IN THIS EARTHLY GARDEN (2011)


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.

Credits:
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


ON COLLABORATION & MULTI-DISCIPLINARY ART 


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.