This fall I helped with a little bit of art direction on a film project (seen above) that my friend Derek Kimball was commissioned to do for the annual horror film festival Damnationland in Maine, a series of vignettes to introduce and transition between the pieces made by various Maine filmmakers. D is a very old and dear friend of mine and my husband's, and my husband has scored two of his previous film releases, I Want You To Know and The Bully, both of which rightly earned some awards on the festival circuit. D, in addition to being an incredible musician (see Felsenmeer & Selbyville), has always been one of the most visually inspiring people in our lives, and his aesthetic is really beautiful, very informed by his love of the natural world, and especially that of his New England home. He really did such a beautiful job on the vignettes above, and I was flattered by his request for input. Do visit his Vimeo page to view more incredible film, video and animation work here.
...swiftly over the board and gently swept all the pieces into a heap; and, meditatively with an artist's skill, made up a new game of the same pieces with quite other groupings, relationships and entanglements. The second game had an affinity with the first, it was the same world built of the same material, but the key was different, the time changed, the motif was differently given out and the situations differently presented.
And in this fashion the clever architect built up one game after another out of the figures, each of which was a bit of myself, and every game had a distant resemblance to every other. Each belonged recognizably to the same world and acknowledged a common origin. Yet each was entirely new.
"This is the art of life," he said dreamily. "You may yourself as an artist develop the game of your life and lend it animation. You may complicate and enrich it as you please. It lies in your hands. Just as madness, in a higher sense, is the beginning of all wisdom, so is schizomania the beginning of all art and all fantasy...Here, take your little pieces away with you. The game will often give you pleasure. The piece that today grew to the proportions of an intolerable bugbear, you will degrade tomorrow to a mere lay figure...I wish you much pleasure, my dear sir."
This is one of the most beautiful songs I have ever heard. If anyone reading this is knowledgeable about recording at all, I would love to know your thoughts on how the vocals might have been recorded...what kind of room? what kind of microphone? It is perfection.
What is the meaning of Initiation? It is the Path to the realization of your Self as the sole, the supreme, the absolute of all Truth, Beauty, Purity, Perfection!
What is the artistic sense in you? What but the One Channel always open to you through which this Light flows freely to enkindle you (and the world through you) with flowers of inexhaustible fervour and flame?
And you set up against That this spectre of grim fear, of shame, of qualms and doubts, of inward quakings lest--you are too stricken with panic to see clearly what the horror is. You say "the elemental spirits and the Archangels are watching." (!) My dear, dear, sister, did you invent these beings for no better purpose than to spy on you? They are there to serve you; they are parts of your being whose function is to enable you to reach further in one particular direction or another without interference from the other parts, so long as you happen to need them for some service or other in the Great Work.
Please cleanse your mind once and for all of this delusion, disastrous and most damnable, that there can be opposition between two essential parts of your nature.
I cannot write more; it makes me too sad. I hope there is no need. Do be your Self, the radiant Daughter of the Muse!
With that command I turn to other tasks.
That all being said, may I admit that I am unbearably bored by my art? Perhaps "bored" is an unfortunate and inaccurate choice of word...dissatisfied? unimpressed perhaps? The phrase that continues to loop in my mind, "Strike that, reverse it," seems the most accurate way of describing my malaise. I want to erase my entire portfolio off of the map and start anew.
I wish that I were able to dig up an appropriate title for these, portraits of an artist I admired from afar who has since become one of my most trusted friends, but I fear that I am still learning how to properly articulate my love for those most dear. I always seem to fall short, and I often fear that those who mean the most to me won't ever get a sense of the depth and nature of my feelings. This is something that we all struggle with, I'm sure. If I find the proper language, I will return here to amend, but until then, here they remain unnamed: portraits of a friend and of a time that I am forever grateful for.