atomictv David Bickerstaff
Artist, filmmaker and creative director of digital media for narrative environments

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Drift: Sonia Boyce

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Filmed and edited by David Bickerstaff
Video | 16:9 | 14 minutes

With Axel Lapp, Sonia Boyce, Markus Utz, Iris-Anna Deckert and Philipp Claßen-Utz

This film records the making of a project called Drift by the artist Sonia Boyce, where she continues her interest in collaborating with choirs and vocalists.

Working with curator Axel Lapp and the music director Markus Utz, Sonia films the soprano Iris-Anna Deckert singing the same medieval plain chant in different parts of a cloister attached to the Konstanzer Münster in Konstanz, Germany.

Markus Utz speaks about the medieval song ‘O Viridissima Virga’ (Hail, o greenest branch), and its composer Hildegard von Bingen, a mystic and important woman of her time. The song is a beautiful prayer-like homage to Mary as the fertile being through who nature is renewed, bringing great joy as mankind worships to the praise and glory of God. The gently weaving melody is accompanied by a continuous drone and is usually sung by a combination of a male solo voice and unison ensemble verses.

The films are edited so that each rendition of the song begins at the same time. In the finished video installation, each scene is displayed on a seperate screen. As the piece proceeds, the four voices drift in and out of sync, creating a gentle clash and haunting chorus.

Drift was devised as a four screen video installation by Sonia Boyce and was first shown as part of 'Menschen und Orte' curated by Axel Lapp for the 150th anniversay of the Kunstverein in Konstanz, Germany.

   
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