History is littered with creative siblings, often in music, sometimes in film, occasionally in literature… See the Sisters Bronte and Arquette; the Brothers Grimm and Gibb; the Coen Brothers, Baldwins, Wachowskis and Gershwins; soft-pop super-duo The Carpenters, hard-rock guitar heroes Malcolm and Angus. The families Corr, Barrymore, Boyd and Mora. Then there are my personal faves, Ann and Nancy Wilson from Heart. Seventies AM rock would have been nothing without these sisters, nor their songs Barracuda and Crazy On You. Nothing. It’s come time to add a pair of visual artist sisters to the list: Lucy Dyson and Molly Dyson. Both are from Australia. Both live in Berlin. And both are starting to leave their mark in a serious way. …
This is my music video tribute to ‘the present moment’, in all it’s authenticity, goofiness, love, humanity, beauty and ragged wonder…
‘Salted’ by Cooperblack stars “Cooperblack” (then Jeremy Conlon, Simon Kormendy & Oliver Budack), and a rag-tag group of Darwin friends with playfulness and courage in their hearts. Recorded in 2009, before I even knew what mindfulness was – and meditation for that matter (I now study and teach both) – I also layed claim to inventing a new genre: Music Video Diary.
Inspired 1000% by Jeremy‘s exceptionally beautiful song – such an exceptionally talented musician and composer! – footage for ‘Salted’ was (mostly) recorded on one infamous Darwin balcony, in the heaving, sweaty climes of Northern Australia. Channelling Warhol (one of my biggest documentary inspirations), I asked my willing ‘non-actors’ to sit together, listen to the song “and kiss when you feel like it.”
Furthermore, “I’ll leave the room once I hit record. Just be yourselves. The rest is up to you!” Such was my sparing yet golden direction…
The biggest challenge was getting the song playback to work and not tipping over the wee camera! (I’d bought a very cheap, crap tripod.) Some months later, one afternoon, my talented, kind filmmaker friend Tom Salisbury drove several hours to edit it on my kitchen table. For nix.
Looking back at ‘Salted’, I still find it such a funny, intimate, moving clip. A series of moments unfolding in real time of people just being: being playful, being thoughtful, being authentic in ‘the now’… And trusting the music to support them in front of the camera and me ‘behind’ it (well, in the other room), whatever the hell they thought I was doing! Some people have moved on from Darwin; some from each other… The beautiful dog Chio is no longer with us. Jack the galah flew off into the bush. Yet there they all are, perfect – and perfectly themselves – embedded in a sweet, living, present moment experience, together.
It’s a tribute to love, actually. While it might be difficult for some to watch now, I feel so grateful to have been allowed to submerge this moment (and song) in the river of time (and video) with such a bunch of bighearted people, to one of whom I’m now married.
I’m also reminded that impermanence is a constant and vulnerability only a kiss away. And while a great physical distance now cleaves us, I love that we’re all still in each others’ lives, somehow. This funny little clip unites us us together, forever. Much love and thanks to Jeremy, Oliver, Simon, Jess, Mega-Jess, Deb, Karen, Lauren, Aaron, Amy, Erin, Jack the galah, and vale Chio the dog.
Travelers, it is late.
Life’s sun is going to set.
During these brief days that you have strength,
be quick and spare no effort of your wings.
On their recent international tour, Australian indie-pop legends the Cannanes stopped by Berlin to play a house concert as part of the Sofa Salon series, a live music enterprise run by Berlin-based Australian singer/songwriter, Samantha Wareing.
And I got to make a music video for them! I like to call it a music video documentary…
I don’t get the opportunity to ‘film-make’ very often these days, so I was grateful for this opportunity, which combined my passion for ‘snapshot’ photography, documentary and music video. Perfect.
My partner in crime was Gentleman Jim Coad (Video Architecture), who I charged with editing responsibilities. We made it over a couple of days here in Berlin. (It was a cruisey creative collaboration – just the way I like it ; )
Jim was in Berlin on a four-month “self-imposed artist retreat” from Central Victoria; we had initially met there when I had photographed him at several live arts events, as part of my documentary work with Punctum Inc.
Jim is a projection artist: one of his major projects in Berlin was a live video projection on the outside of the famed Bauhaus Archive.
Many thanks to everyone who supported and/or took part in the ‘Grotto Capri’ music video project: to the various members of the Cannanes dotted around the globe (including Fran and Steve), and the generous members of the Sofa Salon Berlin community. And if you’d like to find our more about the glorious former Sydney restaurant which inspired this song, visit this blog post.
As a filmmaker and film lover, I’ve always been a bit in love with ‘the music video’ form. It’s such a creative, free and fun way to express yourself inside the dual worlds of music and film.