Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Achieving Electroplasm

Last Sunday saw S and I trying to make a video for our newest outing at the Brighton Fringe - 'Electroplasm'. It will be an evening of spooky death ballads, theremin and automata, culiminating with a reconstruction of a Victorian seance. Edgar Allan Poe kindly popped back from beyond the veil to describe it as 'drop dead brilliant' and he should know.

Our first task was to record me singing the first few bars of 'My Death'. Previously we've done it in a rather full-throttle, passionate style but for this outing we are doing it in a more introspective way. So there I was singing into a little recording machine, trying to get that contained feeling, when Dolly the Lakeland Terrier decided to join in with a bit of barking. Dolly can detect another dog going past the house without even seeing it (how she manages this I don't know) and likes to say hello and show the other dog they are in her 'hood. The fact that she's a bit of an armchair gangsta doesn't bother her in the least., from her chair in the window she is Queen of the Castle. After a few duff takes we were getting a bit frustrated with our doggie friend. I bet Martha Wainwright or Alison Goldfrapp don't have to contend with canine interruptions.

Then came the video. S instructed me to look mysterious. All very well but my face doesn't do mysterious. It's very hard to look sinister when you are blonde with chubby cheeks. Added to this I was recovering from being 'ill' the night before and look more than a little jaded . So I did the nearest I could to a 'sinister' and 'mysterious' face and mimed to my own singing - badly by all accounts. and had to mime to my own singing - badly by all accounts. The result: I ended up looking slightly mad and a bit confused but S promised to improve things with some judicious addition of shadow and black and white.

It was then my turn to video S playing the theremin. Try as I might I couldn't prevent myself from a) wobbling the camera b) including the very unsinister radiator and TV in the shot and c) chopping the top of S's head off. I was surprised then on viewing the finished article this week to see some rather wonderful shots, complete with gloomy shadows and not a hint of radiator or TV. I was soon taking back my shiny however as I realised that my wobbly shots had hit the bin and the clever ones had been taken by C.

The video is now out and the three of us are committed to doing 'Electroplasm'. The music we are planning to do is gorgeous, the seance promises to be chilling and the venue is suitably spooky. All we need now is an audience.

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