‘This Long Winter’ – process notes for a video remix

‘This Long Winter’ is based on a poem submitted to The Poetry Storehouse by Kristin LaTour.

This continues my interest in multi-voiced projects. Like poem-making, videopoetry-making is a binding/weaving process, a deliberate or serendipitous blending of disparate things (words, images, sound) that were not linked before. Since voice is for me a hugely prominent element of the process, I continue to look for ways to create voice duets, voice dialogues, voice mosaics. In this previous project, for example, I used my middle-school son’s voice along with mine; in this one, I joined a recording made by Dick Jones with one of mine; while in this one, I mixed the voices of four readers from the wonderful non-profit LibriVox site. The challenges with the multi-voice process are two-fold: 1) identifying recordings that speak to the poem in a way that works for me and 2) credibly blending recordings of differing technical quality.

I thought Kristin’s touching ‘he said / she said’ poem lent itself well to dialogue format and since I liked Jonathan Lu’s Storehouse reading, I made a separate recording of my own, then blended the two. I sent my first take (in which our voices alternated couplets until the last one was split between us) to Jonathan for comment, and he suggested what became the final arrangement, in which we alternated the first four couplets, then split the last few between us.

Once the hybrid voice track was complete, I looked for appropriate imagery and it didn’t take me long to decide on the rather sad rainy day clip series I had found at OrangeHD.com (a site that offers very random free clips for download). Going for a lonely, melancholy feel, I slowed the clips down slightly and added a ‘Sci-Fi’ video effect to the clips in iMovie, which gave them a pale green flattishness that I liked. I quickly decided on the jazz track, which again felt melancholy to me and helpfully full of wistful connotations that I thought rounded off the experience nicely.

Thanks once again to Kristin for contributing her work to The Poetry Storehouse, and to Jonathan for the reading. As always, we warmly encourage other remixers to visit the Storehouse and get creative with its contents.

Visit the Poetry Storehouse Vimeo page to see all Storehouse-based video remixes produced to date.

Published by

Nic Sebastian

Nic is the author of Forever Will End On Thursday and Dark And Like A Web. She founded the now-archived Whale Sound site and is co-founder of The Poetry Storehouse. Nic blogs at Very Like A Whale and Voice Alpha.

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