A roving single light illuminates and conceals, in long takes, a night journey through oak and water. Originally screened multi-channel for composer Milen Kirov's performance of '2' in Los Angeles and Germany.

Director / Cinematographer: Emilie Sabath
Assistant Camera: Harold Hyde
Lead Gaff: Ian Raymond  
Woman in White: Hanul Bahm
Woman in Black: Maya Erdyli
Single channel score by Dan Eaton


The video above was directed by Emilie Sabath.  One day she asked me my feelings about being under water.  "I could pretty much live down there" I had said without thought, and with that she cast me for her piece.  As for director's notes to performer, I was told to animate the dress.  

On set, I met Milen Kirov, the composer Emilie created this video for. Poolside, I asked Milen what '2' was about.  He said it was about two people struggling to become one.  I decided to embody oneness by surrendering to the water without fear of drowning. On a different night, we went to an oak preserve, got creative with lights, and shot part two. 

I never got to see '2' live.  But some time later, Emilie shared In This Earthly Garden with me.
Up until that point, I had thought of Earthly Garden as Emilie's piece. Seeing Milen at an album release party for Orkestar Meze, I was reminded art is seldom made by a sole author.  A work is ultimately alive because the synergy of life forces contributing.  For me, Dan's sound design and score defines Earthly Garden's essence, and I never even met the guy. I also feel Ian's lighting design is the piece's central character. It's the 'nerve' and enigma of the piece.

Though I love performance art, my native element is behind the camera, not in front. But I'm glad I said yes to this. This experience placed me in the performers' instrument. I learned firsthand how much vulnerability, instinct and imagination they have to wear on their skin. It takes hyper-presence and patience. And having worked now with performers over the years, I add to the list: stamina, self-love, compassion and practice. 

In This Earthly Garden feels like Emilie, like a world scented by her past.  I'm glad she went through the trouble to create this piece. 

I have always loved seeing artists of different disciplines work together — not just at the end of a process, an overlay or support role.  I welcome joint processes where the "dreaming up" of a work starts early.  If you have something brewing, or are otherwise seeking a collaborative equal, feel free to reach out.