Standard 2xDVD ed. (unnumbered, unsigned and no bonus CD or photo) but packaged in a gatefold dvd case . Aidan Baker's anodyne ambiences almost act as aural dream machines on their own. But now Baker has collaborated with actual film makers for his Opus Dei, embodied in this double DVD set (one credited as Aidan Baker and the other to Nadja). Clocking in at nearly 6 hours, this in-home installation is the ultimate video aquarium for the acid-minded. Baker's thrum-scapes lay back and patiently coo mantras something akin to mid-period Nocturnal Emissions or Vidna Obmana, while spectacular visions wend and squirm from the absolutely abstract to hi-def nature photography, all to blissful affect. Some footage oozes out and away, like Cocteau Twins albums come to life, while other footage juxtaposes layers of treated imagery ala Derek Jarman experimental films, or early Cabaret Voltaire Doublevision videos. The pieces are so beautifully mixed, often taking field footage and slowly tweaking colours, definitions, focii into indefinable splashes and spectrums. Smoke, fire, clouds, oil, water, glass, humanity and its relation to light and movement are manipulated in a million wondrous ways, matching Baker's epic garden music drone for drone; loop for loop; god for god.
NADJA “WHITE NIGHTS” 2h 45min
This concert was recorded live between 4am and 7am during the 2007 Nuit Blanche event in Toronto. Nadja’s set was part of Insomnosonic, an evening of musical performances at the Toronto City Works Parking Garage, curated by Camilla Singh and The Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art.
Every traveller starts out on foot, and this journey is no exception. Starting out on a night stroll through the city, the viewer is taken on an all night multi-destination visual tour. These destinations give an impression of the past, the present, the real and the distopic. In the spirit of Nuit Blanche, the videos in this compilation celebrate ritual, community, dance, and other ecstatic attempts to create something eternal and mark the passage of time.
Aidan Baker (aidanbaker.org) is a musician and writer; Leah Buckareff (coldsnapbindery.com) is a musician and a bookbinder; together they make music as Nadja (nadjaluv.ca). Their footage consists of night-time perambulations through walkways, under bridges, in subway tunnels, and along the streets of Toronto.
Keith Urquhart is a writer for the stage, screen, and page. In his spare time he also videotapes things. Keith contributed the video footage from the Nuit Blanche performance. The entire event was held in a cavernous garage. He tried to capture the industrial nature of the venue, which meshed quite well with the music.
Naomi Hocura is a video artist/musician and independent curator. She performed a live video set with Nadja for the Nuit Blanche concert. Taking those images (taken during a trip throughout Asia shot from the window of trains and buses) she incorporated band footage to create the first section. Section three features the revivial of Japanese ghosts and an scroll storytelling of an ancient folktale called Dojoji. The footage in section four was taken at the Neputa Festival in northern Japan.
Winston Hacking is an artist living in Toronto currently directing+producing collaborative music video projects and working in the art department on stop motion animated films. His contribution to the project was a simple documentation of video projected backdrops to a scenic fantasy landscape.
General Chaos Visuals (Stephen Lindsey and Eric Siegerman) create organic multi-layered live projections using hand painted gels and customized projectors. They have provided the visuals for Toronto music series, Wavelength, for the last ten years. GCV and Aidan Baker have been mutual fans for many years and have collaborated live a number of times. This live footage of their projections was shot by Jamie Todd at THE AMBiENT PiNG at The Drake Underground on Feb 27, 2007. Naomi Hocura edited and effected the images to create variance without straying from the core vision.
Victoria Cheong (victoriacheong.com) has experimented, created and collaborated in film, video, installation and performance. She is also part of the free noise project HeavyWater, providing visual accompaniment to music created by Wolfgang Nessel.
Allison Peacock is a Toronto-based interdisciplinary artist, working primarily with dance, performance and video. Her work has been presented at Movement Research at the Judson Church (in collaboration with Victoria Cheong), Pleasure Dome's 2009 New Toronto Works Show, 2006 Toronto International Dance Festival, 2004 Canada Dance Festival and the Yukon Arts Centre.
Victoria and Allison's video was created from footage of their experiments with dance-video integration using projections, costumes and live movement. The project was inspired by the work of Loïe Fuller, and performed at Movement Research at the Judson Church in January 2009.
Jeff Garcia (mangopeeler.blogspot.com / halohalo.ca) Collagist. Full-time-UHU-fingers. Screen printer. Part-time-projectionist. Amateur-Botanist. Everything-Low-Fi. Sleep-Apnea-Sufferer. Pending-Synchronicity. Peeler-of-Fruit. Back in January 2008, Jeff travelled to the Philippines and attended a pig slaughter in his mother's hometown, Batangas City. This footage was taken with a first generation Sony digital camera and was projected onto a wall. It was then further manipulated with a 3M overhead projector. This pig was killed and roasted for a wedding.
Brandon Hocura is a musician, artist and writer based in Toronto. He plays in the psychedelic pop band Vowls (vowls.org), kosmische improv travellers Alpine Continuum (myspace.com/alpinecontinuum) and solo under the alias Bazin. With this video he focused on two elements of Nadja's music which he finds fascinating: the amplification and examination of small sounds as well as the extended exploration of feedback. In the video he filmed microscope slides against a television screen, examining the details of each tiny object (insects wings, leaves, stem cross-sections, etc.) while allowing the image to become repeated, enlarged and distorted by the video feedback created by the screen/camera loop.
Iris Fraser-Gudrunas is an artist (flickr.com/photos/irisfraser). She works in film, video and situationally based projects. She also curates film, video and music events and DVDs in Toronto, Ontario. For White Nights, she presents a different idea of a sailing trip. Not all yachts lead to beaucholic vacations - especially in our industrious society. In fact, it's harder and harder to find an "escape." So instead, dream through a seascape in reality close to your own city. Welcome to a modern sea man's vessel on a tour along our modern landscape.
Brian Joseph Davis (brianjosephdavis.com) is an artist and writer living in Toronto. "The principle called mobility-immobility is this: every thing is changing but while some things are changing others are not." - John Cage
AIDAN BAKER “DRONE FIELDS” 2h 58min
This concert was recorded live between 10pm and 1am at the OM Festival in Killaloe, ON (Canada) on June 21, 2003 as part of the Field of Drones exhibition, curated by San Francisco’s Dub Beautiful Collective. The festival occurred on a large tract of land in a remote area of north-eastern Ontario, featuring multiple stages with various artists and differing types of music. The Field of Drones exhibition was set up in a large open field with a chain of speakers extending out from the stage so that, as they approached the performance area, listeners would be ‘physically’ drawn into and surrounded by the sound. It was very cold and very dark.
Drone Fields is an exploration of the abstract within nature.The videos in this collaboration take images from our natural environment and process/reinterpret/manipulate them into abstraction and dream imagery. Taking reconizable images from our surroundings and extract the loops and patterns from them, emphasising the more emotive essense of colour and texture, just like the way samples of sound become less tangible when put in the hands of Aidan Baker. The video work for this DVD aims to be faithful to the space that Aidan's music allows our minds, creating a focal point that will bring about a new dialogue between sound and image for the audience.
Tess Girard (tessgirard.com) is a Toronto-based filmmaker and visual artist with a background in music, photography, painting, and cinematography. Her work combines multiple formats and media, utilizing image in sound to create truly unique multi-layered, audio-visual pieces that explore subject matter from a philosophical perspective rather than a strictly narrative one. Her work considers themes of the beauty behind everyday objects and events, and the meaningful connections they have to our lives.
"On Peering Through Windows" Parts I and II (first and last chapter): This diptych is a contemplation on the abstract that exists within reality. A window pane acts as a conduit to reveal the shadow behind the real. Rain drops are no longer what they seem to be, but rather individual shapes. A curtain becomes a reed, becomes a leaf, becomes a curtain again; all without any sense of change.
Naomi Hocura is a video artist/musician and independent curator. With her contributions to Drone Fields (second and fourth sections) she took images of water and manipulated them to bring out the organic rhythm and abstract shapes created by reflections of light. She is interested in the optical illusions created by the pixelation inherant in low-res video and finds beauty in the imperfections created by loss of data.
Ataxia Films was founded by Paul McCann in 2005 (myspace.com/ataxiafilms). The central visual creation is an ongoing series with chapters thus far including Plasma Baron & Despotic Brume. These 6 & 5-part horror/experimental video collections played in part or whole at Montreal’s Fantasia Film Festival and the Boston Underground Film Festival. Ataxia also created a visual counterpart to Nadja’s “Stays Demons” track.
When invited to participate in the Drone Fields visual project, Ataxia went on a very bad trip and interpreted the Drone Fields sounds visually as a vague offshoot to the previous Plasma Baron/Despotic Brume collections, with recurring characters and fragmented themes being sucked inadvertently into the context. The result is “Black Tidings in Hollow Perimeters”, which is exclusive to this DVD. Ataxia’s mission statement stands firm: unease proliferation continues unabated. Many thanks to Aidan Baker, Leah Buckareff, Naomi Hocura, and perimeter dweller Oisin Grehan.
Tasman Richardson (tasmanrichardson.com) is a Canadian video artist, electronic composer, designer, curator, and organizer. For over a decade he has exhibited or performed extensively throughout the Americas, Europe, North Africa and Asia. He lives in Toronto, Canada. His works are available from Vtape, Art Metropole, V-Atak and his website. He filmed the video for Drone Fields on his old handycam on a flight from Tokyo to Toronto (he NEVER use cameras, with this one exception). The frozen lakes and rivers were reflecting a shimmering ribbon the whole way, just ahead of them. He then multiplied and rotated this simple segment over and over until the natural light became a more frantic, kaleidoscopic lattice work. Like Nadja's track it arcs from simplicity to complexity to simplicity again.
Rebecca McClellan and Jakob Thiesen are based in Toronto. This piece was shot on film about five years ago, then manipulated on the computer. It was their first moving picture experiment.
Naomi Hocura, Aidan Baker & Leah Buckareff
Editing & DVD Authoring
Naomi Hocura & Tess Girard
Design and Layout:
Aidan Baker: guitars, drum machine, vocals, flute, percussion
Leah Buckareff: bass, percussion, vocals
Neil Wiernik: laptop/processing (guesting on hour two of Drone Fields)