Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Morphine: presentation of the project

I feel kind of guilty whenever I start a new project without completing any of the ongoing ones. But you know, inspiration strikes in the most unexpected moments and I have to do something before it fades.
Recently, Belarusian-German singer and pianist Leandra released her sophomore album, called Isomorphine, six years after her debut, Metamorphine. Both albums are incredibly good and the apparent connection between the two titles instantly intrigued me. Also, the songs on Isomorphine are extremely inspirational and I immediately started having a bunch of ideas about them; I had tons of ideas about Metamorphine too when I first heard it, back in 2008, but at the time I didn’t even have my first reflex, let alone any means to fully develop them. So I decided to resurrect a few of those old, shelved ideas, combine them with the new ones and and poof, I had enough material to kick off a new series rather than taking unrelated photos.

Leandra’s songs are very unique both musically and lyrically: the two albums sound different, with Metamorphine being more darkwave and classical-oriented while Isomorphine is more synthpop and dance-oriented, but Leandra’s distinctive songwriting makes many songs somewhat lullaby-ish… in a twisted way. Both her melodies and lyrics have certain qualities that give a nursery rhyme feel, but one that lulls you into nightmares rather than a peaceful sleep (she even wrote a downright hell-like song explicitly called Lullaby). This sort of dark, oneiric quality inspired me with lots of surreal imagery: many of the works will thus have some twist that makes the image unrealistic or possibly even unsettling, which will of course require a great deal of postproduction. Another stylistic standpoint which I have already clear is the colour filters I will use. I think both album covers perfectly convey the general feel of the songs, so I will be paying homage to them by adopting two colour schemes for the two halves of the project: the Metamorphine half will be greenish and the Isomorphine half pinkish. This will give a further sense of homogeneity to the series while allowing me to develop each work as a stand-alone piece, and will require me to plan everything in the photos, from the lights to the colours in them, in order for this kind of postproduction to be fitting.

I’ve started 2014 with a big shooting of two works from this project, one from Metamorphine and the other from Isomorphine. I am currently postproducing the first, which is due to be published tomorrow. I hope being so productive on New Year’s Day will bring me luck for the whole 2014, so wish me luck and enjoy Leandra’s music while watching my upcoming photos!

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