Recently I've begun bringing my recordings to life with film. It began with Words & Pictures films where the song lyric is set against complementary photos.
Then using already existing footage from
Last Call for Nefertiti we embarked on making more traditional music videos, and have also started to make recordings of live shows and snap interviews.
You can find out a bit more about how they came about below. And if you like what you see subscribe to
The Shipping Forecast was the beginning.
As a lover of both music and art, I had the idea of putting the two together, reinforcing the atmosphere and words of a song with a beautiful visual journey. A long admirer Helen Mckenna-Menges paintings, her imaginative seascapes were perfect for what I had in mind, and she generously gave me a free hand to plunder her gallery and reproduce my favourites on film.
I found when selecting them with a lyric line in mind, a loose narrative emerging. The song lyric plays with the ideas conjured up by the names of the shipping areas. Visually I began playing with the idea of changing reality, in the mind and in the world, juxtaposing paintings alongside photographs. The photographs are by Lily Blackmore.
Here are some other recent uploads in the series.
These films are different in style and were originally conceived as part of the English Cabaret Hour at the Edinburgh Fringe, with the idea of projecting them behind me as I played. The Alan Titchmarsh song is from my 'tributes' set, inspired by the late Blossom Dearie, whilst the film and pictures for the Buildings song were taken to illustrate a point.
Last Call for Nefertiti is a documentary film by Tom Blackmore telling the story of Nicholas Reeves' first explorative dig in the
Valley of the Kings, for which Sue Casson & The Brannick Academy wrote and performed a soundtrack. I'm revisiting these songs, alongside some new ones in my show - a woman, a piano... and Last Call for Nefertiti,
These music videos draw on footage from the original film.
Over the last year, regularly producing a film to accompany a song has meant I have learned things that can and can't be done from my excellent editor Robert Blackmore. I have discovered that it's possible to scan across a still so that it appears like film, that two pictures may be cross-faded to produce wonderful effects, like the quick time lapse from winter to spring in Green Rainfall. We have experimented with the text software to give it movement and animate the lyric, as we do in Catching Falling Leaves, so the lyric becomes part of the story, and looked at after effects, as in Snow and The Dance.
My songs are often inspired by the beauty of nature, and over last year a series of seasonal films evolved. Take a look below.
As with all the films in the series the beautiful photographs that make the film possible are by Lily Blackmore. Visit her website for more.
More films in the pipeline. Subscribe to keep in the loop!