Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Moonsea

Moonsea by GothicNarcissusI called it, I called it, I called it the moon scene,
It is a cruel dream:
At the end of my day your gravity reaches
Such a long way.
Here in the moon scene
It is a cruel dream.
Don’t share the past, if you won’t share your heart
All that we share is the view of these stars.

There are diamonds on the floor you can’t take back.
There’s an eyelash on the board, does she wear black?
I called it, I called it, I called it…
All the violence that I swore you could have back.
There’s red varnish on the door, I don’t wear that.

I called it, I called it, I called it the moon scene,
It is a cruel dream.
From up so high, I can hardly decide
If you’re waving hello or waving goodbye.
Here in the moon scene
It is a cruel dream.
Don’t share the past, if you won’t share your heart
All that we share is the view of these stars.

There are diamonds on the floor you can’t take back.
There’s an eyelash on the board, does she wear black?
I called it, I called it, I called it…
All the violence that I swore you could have back,
There’s red varnish on the door, I don’t wear that.
I called it, I called it, I called it…

And I’ll be in the back of your mind,
I’ll be at the front of the line,
And I’ll be in the back of your mind,
I’ll be at the front of the line,
Waiting for you…

[ Moonsea – Phildel ]

Fourth work from The Disappearance Of The Girl.
Moonsea… Gosh, that was a tough one! This is actually one of my very favourite songs from the album, so I found it a bit surprising it was so hard to figure out visually. The only thing I had very clear from the beginning was the styling: Luisa’s beautiful white dress and the Moon headpiece, which was customarily done by Cunene for my friend Deborah Luna, that I indeed borrowed about one year before shooting, as soon as Luisa and I started discussing the project. I also had a general idea for the pose and light, as well as to use a black background, but I still felt the overall image wouldn’t do justice to the beautiful song: how to capture that aethereal, mystical beauty and give it a moon-like feel? So I kept listening it hoping to get a really good hint.
The real problem was, I did have an idea, but I wanted it to be as little digital as possible, which is of course impossible for a song whose key metaphore is a lunar landscape. If anything, at least I wanted it to be made chiefly of resources of mine, so at some point, when I visited Capo Testa with my mother last summer, I even took a few stock photos of the white rocks there. Unfortunately, the light we had that day turned out to be too sharp for my needs, so I had to scrap them.
When I came to the actual postproduction, the first thing I thought was obviously texturising the background with the stars I shot last august, which improved the situation (at least there was a visual connection with the “diamonds” in the lyrics) but still wasn’t quite god enough. Eventually, I resigned and decided that who cares, the portrait was still mine. So I resolved to, err, borrow a few Apollo shots (sorry, NASA!) and go digital. That’s it, I really couldn’t do otherwise. Also, working on Translunaria earlier this year helped me find the key to a good “lunar” blend: luminescent dust, that’s the trick!
Always due to my deep love for this song, I did a lot of takes asking Luisa to move her arms and try to call/wave hello or goodbye from afar to her “Earthling” addressee, but I had such high expectations for this photo I was never satisfied despite her great work. Finally, when I hit play on the song to give the “mood” for the shooting, I had the idea: I asked Luisa to sing along. The trick worked for a photo inspired by another song I love (which is still unreleased and unpostproduced because I have some kind of “sacred awe” for it), and did wonders on this one too: singing along makes you focus on the lyrics, and they bring along the mood. So here we are, and at last I’m very, very satisfied and proud with this work: despite deviating a bit from the proper photography genre, I can see the song in it, which was the main goal anyways.

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