After a long break from blogging about my newest installation work, known until now as The Chapel Project, I’d like to now take this opportunity to welcome you to Volucres, the work that will be shown at the 2016 Artlands Festival in Dubbo in October.
While a little less than 12 months ago I was euphoric with the reception given to The Chapel Project by the local community and other professional artists, since August last year this multi-disciplinary collaboration has stumbled and fallen several times. I didn’t know what to say about it along the way for fear it wouldn’t get up again.
There are moments when I’ve taken heart from these words attributed to Winston Churchill:
Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.
Well, there’s probably been a considerable dampening of enthusiasm over the last 10 months as various sponsor approaches and hours and hours of grant writing produced nothing; frustrating phone calls with arts bureaucrats produced nothing but more frustration; goal posts for crowd funding campaigns kept moving; and key players who had said they were committed to the project suddenly went MIA…while the countdown to October 2016 continued in the background.
Glimmers of hope came in the form of reconfirmed commitments to the project by my local team of creatives and some money from Artlands to put towards the project – one-eighth of the original budget, but something.
We’re now working to Plan E, as I like to call it. And you know what? I’m kind of happy it’s all turned out the way it has. The disappointment, the anger, the despair has been what some might call a learning experience – to tuck away for future reference.
Rising from the ashes, Volucres will now be a work that truly represents the original vision I had for the project two years ago – to simply create music and imagery from my birdsong recordings. I’m now working with people who really get what it’s about and who are keen to demonstrate just how bloody good regionally-based, creative story-telling can be.
After several weeks of working in my studio, I recently had a session with Hot Trax Recording Studio’s Wez Thompson, a Dubbo-based sound engineer and musician. It was a highly productive session that is finally bringing to life the visions in my head, as sound. I’m still working away in my studio trawling through sound libraries to find just the right birdsongs to finish off the mix, with another studio session with Wez scheduled soon.
There will be some big surprises in this work for anyone who has been following The Chapel Project and its birdsong-inspired choral music composition. While the birds remain, the rest is an emotional rollercoaster of sounds, music and imagery that pretty much sum up the journey this work has been on.
While the sound is being mixed, the video components are also in development, with my video guy, Peter Aland, and I working through narratives, imagery, footage, special effects and the like. There’s much more to do here over the next month or so as we bed down these ideas.
With contracts now signed and the clock still ticking, it’s time to bring this baby home. Five months and counting.
VIDEO: A test projection in my studio of sample footage and a sound mix