End Words Director’s Statement

End Words

Our work is inspired by nature and the uncanny moments when nature and human interventions converge. End Words was proposed to us by Jeffrey Gavett, director of Ekmeles, with whom we had recently worked on their first live streamed performance, just at the onset of the pandemic. He and his ensemble agreed that there was a common ground between Christopher Trapani’s music and our work. Although no one could explain exactly what that connection was.

We found that Christopher’s music evoked a kind of interior, dream-like contemplation of “Cosmic American Music”. We heard influences of other musics throughout his work but their traces were describing completely unique musical landscapes. It was the converging of these musics and the uncanny spaces they evoked that resonated with us.

When Christopher (who is also a poet) talked with us about End Words he mentioned that each of the three poems was in the form of a Sestina, an archaic French poetic form from the days of the Troubadors. The Sestina, he mentioned, is very much about spirals. Spirals, of course, occur everywhere in nature. The Sestina is a kind of spiraling, transformative, playful process for thought and language. It reminded us of how weather can transform a familiar view into something wholly different, yet familiar. We also realized that working in 360˚ would allow the viewer to also spiral through the environment. The Sestina quickly became an ideal for the visuals as well.

We chose transfigured landscapes as a guiding principle, and ventured to the Chesapeake Bay to film. We shot over a few months from fall to winter in 2020. During post-production we were keenly aware of the various convergences before us, and how the relationships of natural and human rhythms can evoke compelling, contemplative experiences as they unfold in time.

Ultimately, End Words is an immersive, uncanny world where Trapani’s music, its poetry and our visuals are symbiotic. The passageway to this environment is nature, filtered through the lens of Trapani’s work; spiraling between the familiar and the dream-like.

End Words project page on Vimeo

Maya + Rouvelle on Filmfreeway