The tools of the contemporary practitioner of the Arts extend far beyond pencil, pen and brush. This week saw me investing in two microphones: a shotgun microphone for my DSLR and a USB microphone for studio work.
As part of my Masters portfolio I am required to produce a short film contextualising my practice. The first attempt although visually interesting was overpowered by the soundtrack and the end result resembled a strange pop video. Back to the drawing board I was forced to re-examine my proposed theme and intentions and start again.
A visit to Orkney provided me with the perfect backdrop for my next idea. I would weave my Master proposal into a ‘letter in a bottle’ accompanied with objects that I had found on the shoreline. This letter would be my narrative for the film. I would then commit my bottle to the sea in the hope of communicating at some point in the future with the finder.
With photographs, film, soundtrack and recorded narrative it was time to edit my film. My second attempt fulfilled the brief but the sound quality of the narrative frustrated and annoyed me. Much research and a lighter wallet later.......
The investment paid off and improved the sound quality easily by 100%. I am now much more satisfied with my third attempt.
What has surprised me is how much I have gained from the task, the final video being only a small part of the accomplishment. For now I have a new thread to my Masters proposal as I intend to commit many more ‘messages in a bottle’ into the waves. The investment in the microphones means that new films must be conceived and shot also........
There are many reasons to send a message in a bottle: it can be an out poring of the heart, part of a scientific survey, or just plain curiosity and the anticipation of seeing where your bottle is discovered plus the chance of making a new connection.
Today saw me sending forth into the ocean the first of many bottles that I plan to commit to the waves over the next couple of years. My motivation, to challenge people to consider what their definition of beauty is and to invite them to reply with their answer.
Along with the invitation I have placed in the bottle objects that I have collected from the shoreline: objects that I consider worthy of being viewed and wondered upon. Included too was a surprise find of a yellow duck that had been released overboard the local ferry 3 months earlier. As luck would have it I met the ducks owner and asked them permission to encapsulate the yellow messenger along with my objects on a joint mission of adventure.