Taken from the album ‘A Quiet Divide’ by Rhian Sheehan: http://hyperurl.co/aquietdivide
Video by Aaron Bradbury
Produced by LOOP.
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Thanks to NZ On Air Music
Thanks to Jennifer Bradbury, Robbie Newman, and NSC Creative
I’ve worked with Rhian Sheehan on several projects before but this one was pretty special. For me it was a passion project. For the lead up to the release of ‘A Quiet Divide’, Rhian shared the track list and asked if I’d be up for doing some visuals to one of the tracks for the release tour. I felt pretty privaledged to be hearing these secret wonders before they were released out into the world. I listened non stop evrywhere I went for several days and no matter how many times I heard it there was one moment in one of the tracks that gripped my heart and made me well up. It was a feeling of elation, of falling in love, and with flavours of nostagia and sorrow for a moment of bliss that is now gone. For me it was all about that moment that you lose your breath, when a moment is so powerful and overwhelming that your body stops working. I got a little taste of that moment every time I heard it. I found myself tearing up as I walked past people in the street and trying to conceal it. There’s something hardwired in my soul that makes this reaction inevitable as I see two people kissing for the first time after imagining it for so long.
The stage and projection design was created by Weta. It included a large reflective pyramid casting rays of light throught the space and three large hanging transparent screens with separate projections on each.
The output was a 4K UHD video which was split across the three projection screens from left to right.
The idea for the piece was that we are seeing a conversation unfold through a message app conversation thread. The conversation opens with “Going to Whole Foods, want me to pick you up anything?”, a common and tacky one-liner popularised by ‘Master of None’. As the conversation unfolds a long distance relationship blossoms via text over many timezones. Each break in the music marks a passing of time and a new part of their relationship.
The text is displayed as handwritten text accross the volumetric bodies of each character. The two characters are initially divided (a nod to the album title) by a black (transparent) panel in the centre and only appear in the left and right projection screens. It’s only as they meet in person and kiss during the cruscendo do they appear in the centre and spread accross all projection screens. The volumetric bodies are also very subtle initially and become more apparent over time as a reflection of their experience of each other being through text.
The volumetric capture was done using Depthkit. I used my life long muse Madame Jenny and myself as the characters and shot it at home.
Here’s the live version of the video: