I’ve had several lives since coming to France on a Fulbright for a photographic essay and research on Russian author Alexei Remizov: grad student, professional singer, mother and wife, writer and visual artist.
This video combines several of my loves: music, writing, visual expression, family and friends. When London band Rough Score invited me to record the lead vocal and co-write the lyrics on this track, I instantly saw a story I could tell using found objects such as vintage dolls, my kids’ bath toys, fabrics, a puppet theater, a canvas by my artist sister, and my husband’s time-tested gourmet margarita recipe, informed by 70’s video “The Kramp Kitchen,” Christian Boltanski’s shadow installations, photo novellas and Maurice Sendak’s illustrations. My excellent DP and editor, Christian Lieu, a Kubrik fan, knew just what lenses and lighting to use for the sequences I storyboarded. As a northern capital, Paris can be gray. We need all the bright light and color we can get, so I whipped up a 5-minute tropical vacation with “Margaritas at Midnight.” Next projects: more short films and a documentary.
This video combines several of my loves: music, writing, visual expression, family.
Brooklyn is one of my first songs, written at a time in my career when I thought I’d never find a partner or have kids. I started exploring my history in the hopes of bringing to light family secrets that might be holding me back. I discovered that my great grandmother’s death shortly after giving birth to my grandmother had cast a shadow over all the women in my family. Writing it broke the curse for me and I was able to move forward. The song is featured in a long-running French TV series, Sous le Soleil, has been released as a single, and is streamed widely on Internet platforms, but never had its own video until last July during confinement, I opened Final Cut Pro, sourced family pictures, early 2Oth century stock photos and footage, shot additional images to bring the lyrics to life, and edited. Bonus: I learned a lot about cinema history by watching early Méliès films. The cover photo is my grandmother Roxie and her father Walter shortly before his death when she became an orphan.
From my life as a visual artist/photographer:
I feel privileged to have studied photography in college, f-stops, depth of field, exposures, and developed my own B&W negs in a real darkroom. Working on a computer screen is fascinating in a different way. My first camera was a Kodak Instamatic, then a Pentax Reflex, a Soviet Zenit, several Olympus models, some Canons, and now of course, digital has entered the picture. I’ve shown at the Cello Café and the Mona Bismarck Foundation in Paris. My work is featured in CD cover art and the permanent collection of the Brooklyn Art Library. I experiment with stills on video, color, contours, effects that mimic impressionist brush strokes, and collage. After all these years, Paris and France still take my breath away, every time of day, every season.