Guest blogger, Harriet McInerney takes a look behind the scenes of Spineless Wonders’ latest microlit screen video project, Out of Place.
The slim and stunning volume that is the Out of Place anthology is filled with expansive microliteratures that have been expanding right off the page! The Out of Place video works have been coming together ever since the selections for this anthology were finalised.
Writer and artist Richard Holt has been a driving force in getting these stories from the page to the screen, and views the two forms as symbiotic, saying that when he began writing as he was “intrigued by the converging challenges of blank pages and blank canvas.” Richard says “The stories in Out of Place resonate with that energy: the conceit that ideas, characters, plot, and voice are all taking form on the page as the reader discovers the text. The videos I’ve created of selected stories are similarly dynamic with audio and graphic elements that are neither entirely illustrative nor interpretive, but rather evolve organically alongside the text itself.”
Emerging composers from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music also contributed to this collaborative project, producing a series of beautiful soundscapes to accompany specific stories from the collection.
One of the students, Alexis Weaver, gave us a bit of insight into the process of putting together her soundscape for John Tranter’s ‘Letitia’s Lithe Limbs.’ After dividing the story into three thematic sections, Alexis says “I exclusively used my own recordings of sound objects to create the piece, using a digital audio workstation to then electronically manipulated these raw recordings to evoke certain tones and emotions. I attempted to create a balance of musical content and non-musical artifacts to achieve an ethereal, hazy impression.”
Given various pieces in the collection to work with, Alexis says she very much enjoyed all the stories, but that her chosen piece spoke to her particularly. For her, it has “an interesting amount of variation in terms of what the personas were thinking and feeling, making it interesting to set to music. At the same time, there is a pervading ambience to the writing that established a strong sense of unity, so I could visualise a complete piece within the character’s thought process.”
All the students involved were taking part in the course ‘Electroacoustic Composition’, taught by Dr Daniel Blinkhorn who is an award-winning composer, sound and digital media artist. These soundscapes and videos all engage the potential of the Out of Place stories to develop into multisensory explorations of theme and place.
These Out of Place video works were aired for the first time at the Out of Place book launch, at Knox St Bar. We’re looking to show them in various arts festivals and public screenings, so watch this space – we’ll have more info shortly!