Cinematographer Michael Gissing created ‘Threatened Species Dance’ for me, which is a mesmerizing slow motion dance featuring my Tasmanian plant designs set to the incredible music of Linsey Pollak & Lizzie O’Keefe. Dancers Lily Sassafras and Clementine Robertson move poetically to the music draped in swathes of my luscious silks that feature Lomatia tasmanica, seaweed and Giant Kelp Forest designs, all rare and endangered Tasmanian species. The dance is a homage to these wondrous and beautiful Tasmanian plants and also a gently reminder of the fragility of our natural world with its precious flora and fauna, and our need to protect it.
The powerful sound track was very generously provided to me by Linsey & Lizzie. This incredibly talented team produce soundscapes that bring attention to our fragile natural environment.
The Story Behind The Song
Once upon a time there was a planet called Earth. During many millions of years a rich, complex and beautiful ecosystem developed with an incredible variety of lifeforms. Over time one of the animal species in this ecosystem became dominant and their impact on the planet was so massive that many of the other species could no longer survive and became extinct.
We take up the story during this extinction period, but the story is not told with words, as words have fallen on too many deaf ears for too long and people have stopped listening. The story is told through sound, through the voices of the animals themselves that are endangered. These animal calls speak directly to the heart in a way that words cannot.
They are joined by one lone human voice, a voice of empathy, using no words but conversing and intertwining with the calls of the animals. There is no narrative, we already know most of the story, even if we choose to ignore it and don’t know the ending. So this piece is a song for the Planet, an inter-species choral work, and they’re singing for their lives! If their calls don’t affect you then nothing will.
‘Dangerous Song’ is a performance piece that combines the human voice with the sounds of endangered and extinct animals to create an intriguing and moving musical performance. Linsey plays animal calls using a midi wind controller where breath, lip pressure and fingering control real animal call samples. He uses live looping technology to instantaneously record layers of music as he plays. Lizzie joins him weaving her voice in and out of the musical landscape of animal sounds.
This excerpt was taken directly from www.dangeroussong.com
Michael recently revised the film for me using the latest film editing technology. In the six months since Threatened Species Dance was first published, the Topaz AI models (vision enhancement software) have improved. Michael originally used Topaz to create the ultra-slow motion from the original 4K 60fps shoot. 4x and 8x slow motion was generated giving effective frame rates of 240 and 480 frames per second. The first iteration of Topaz AI Chronos software didn’t handle the silk’s movement and motion blur correctly.
Models/dancers – Lily Sassafras & Clementine Robertson
Editing + Post Production – Michael Gissing
Videography – Amy Brown
Music by – Linsey Pollak & Lizzie O’Keefe at www.dangeroussong.com/blue