Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Wilderness Notes

Over the past few months, Vicky Langan and I have been dropping hints and leaking the occasional image of an upcoming Western we made together. I'm now delighted to reveal the full context of the exciting project our film is part of...


Kirkos Ensemble and the Experimental Film Society are proud to present Wilderness Notes, an exciting collaboration bringing together two of Ireland’s most innovative contemporary arts groups from the fields of music and film.

Wilderness Notes will feature premieres of 3 new films by EFS filmmakers Rouzbeh Rashidi, Maximilian Le Cain and Vicky Langan, and Atoosa Pour Hosseini, created in tandem with new compositions by young Irish composers Barry O’Halpin, Seán Ó Dálaigh, and Robert Coleman which will be performed live by the Kirkos Ensemble.

The three films that comprise Wilderness Notes all explore psychic, territorial and technological margins. Isolated characters, all somehow locked into masks or fixed personae, navigate desolate zones between dimensions where a sense of being physically adrift and at risk is mapped onto a corresponding inner state. But they are not only adrift in space, they are equally adrift in time. Making experimental use of several outdated moving image formats, notably Super-8 and VHS, Wilderness Notes summons up ghosts from an abandoned future, taking its cues from the western, the nightmare of nuclear holocaust and the masks of ancient theatre.

All three of Wilderness Notes’ musical compositions were written to complement EFS’s filmmaking approach. Barry O’Halpin’s is derived from the electromagnetic spectra of 5 chemical elements, resulting in an ethereal and almost alien set of harmonies and moving parts, while Seán Ó Dálaigh pits the ensemble against undulating sine waves and introduces an element of choice into structural repetitions to create a vibrant microtonal universe. In contrast, Kirkos co-director Robert Coleman’s contribution is a song cycle, setting poetry by American poet Morri Creech for voice, ensemble and electronics, examining the states of consciousness that flash beneath the waking mind.

For Wilderness Notes the Kirkos Ensemble will be Miriam Kaczor[flute], Leonie Bluett [clarinet], Máire Carroll [piano], Jane Hackett, Cillian O Breacháin [violins], Nathan Sherman [viola], Yseult Cooper Stockdale [cello], Barry O’Halpin [electric guitar] and Sarah Thursfield[voice].

The collaboration marks a new frontier in the experimental filmmaking and contemporary music scenes in Ireland, combining both groups’ radical approach to presenting their art and engaging with audiences in challenging and refreshing ways.


September 1st & 2nd, Filmbase, Dublin
 

Wilderness Notes is presented by Kirkos Ensemble and the Experimental Film Society, with support from Ensemble Music and Filmbase, and is funded by Arts Council Ireland.

Book tickets here.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Big News from EFS


Rouzbeh Rashidi has posted the following:

I’m very happy to announce that my long brewing project, the documentary Luminous Void, has received funding under the Arts Council Open Call programme.

Luminous Void will be a poetic examination of experimental filmmaking viewed both through the personal prism of my experience of emigration and through the collaborative consciousness of the Experimental Film Society (EFS) collective, which I founded in 2000. My relocation from Iran to Ireland fourteen years ago gave this project a specific multicultural background that has at least as much to do with the culture of creating cinema on the margins as with either country. This film will examine the existential similarities between living as an artist operating outside the mainstream and the condition of being an emigrant.

Luminous Void will be made in collaboration with several members of EFS and will explore their motivations and working methods. Its form will be poetic and meditative, using documentary portraiture but also landscape to great effect – an essential part of so many EFS films. In so doing, it will reveal an art ultimately not tied to traditional notions of nationhood or national culture but adrift in an indeterminate shadow zone on the edge of society, using film history as its only chart to navigate the increasingly slippery reality of the 21st century.

I’m particularly thrilled that the announcement of this film comes in the run-up to the launch of the book Luminous Void: Experimental Film Society Documents, which will be published later this year. Together, the book and the documentary will provide a comprehensive account of a very specific strand of experimental filmmaking in Ireland which is receiving ever increasing exposure and recognition. EFS has been active for almost two decades now and has produced over fifty feature films and five hundred shorts. Throughout this time, I have carved a unique niche for our cinematic endeavors. Thanks to the tremendous support of the Arts Council, we can now consolidate this legacy and move forward to ever more ambitious projects. Onwards!

To find out more about this and other awarded projects, check out this video:
https://vimeo.com/225407272