This post is the first of a new series, highlighting talented artists whose work I admire.
I call it ‘3 Question View’ because it’s limited to three questions (Who would cross the Bridge of Death must answer me these questions three
) and it’s a rather truncated inter-view, designed to elicit three compelling answers from each artistic mind.
Three Question View – Paul Ramey, Surya Namaskar
Anna:This video for Surya Namaskar features a lot of unique, handmade elements, stars on the fingertips and hand-painted backdrops. What was your inspiration for this style?
I was at work and doodling, wondering how to transfer this new song to video. I wanted to incorporate a sky motif, with the rising of the sun. I didn’t have much of a budget and wanted it to be different and clever enough that video might go viral. We had no time to do animation, so we decided to go simplistic. I thought how funny it would be to have stars on the end of fingers, dancing.
Hands are such a basic human part and express so much. It was very fun to do physically; Haley and Tina loved getting their hands painted, hiding behind cardboard, playing the stars to manifest the sky. The crescent moon rises and the stars tremble and pull away from the moon.
Surya Namaskar is Salute to the Sun or Sun Salutation in yoga. We were taking yoga at the time and our attitude was one of gratitude yet playful, to greet the song with joy and not hammer it into place, to go towards the feel.
The imagery of veils and the hidden seems to be a recurring theme in your work. How did it develop in this video?
We wanted to capture day and night and the transition; both are entities here. We wanted to express especially the veils of night, veils hiding what you can’t see. I didn’t want Tina or Haley to be people, just one aspect of the sky.
Tina plays the role of Night, giving way, and Haley was the Rising Sun. Both have their veils and represent the yin-yang of the sky; some things are hidden no matter what side you’re on. The veils conceal and reveal.
Who and what was the muse behind this song?
I had just moved off a big project, Veil and Subdue, which played with night and dreams and hidden aspects. After that, I wanted to do something more upbeat, techno, positive and accessible. I have this ongoing fascination with Middle Eastern music and iconography. I bought a new computer program that opened a new world with sounds we could pull in – wonderful exotic sounds, to capture the flavor I wanted.
Also, during the filming we knew that Tina was pregnant and that definitely influenced our awareness as we were creating it – it was a new day, our new daughter.
Enjoy Surya Namaskar:
This post dedicated to Sofia Ramey, who will no doubt consider her dad the nerdiest, coolest thing ever.