TMFF Review

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EXPERIMENTAL OF THE MONTH NOMINEES
Winner: Sweet Mysterious

TMFF Review about Sweet Mysterious
February 2016

‘Sweet Mysterious’ comes from Norway from director Simone Hooymans. Now, a lot of filmmakers choose the experimental path but going experimental is no easy job to do as it is not enough to just film something away and put the takes together as if that would be enough and being an experimental after all would already excuse the project from having a clear logic and trying to serve a certain meaning. Well… ‘Sweet Mysterious’ is one of those rare projects that reminds and teaches us what an authentic experimental really is.

Mysterious, hypnotic and resonating deeply, ‘Sweet Mysterious’ takes one on a quite unique animated quest casting a powerful inclination of reflection upon the origin of things and not only the humankind’s roots in nature but also natures profound liaisons with the human spirit. As any authentic experimental should do, Simone Hooymans’ animation channels its meanings more through the feelings it inoculates the viewer with and less through mental processes that would deliver intellectual logic.

Actually ‘Sweet Mysterious’ has an emotional logic, it’s what one could call a film with a high EQ (Emotional Quotient) so it will rather communicate its meanings at an emotional level.

Inspired from a song of Mari Kvien Brunvoll (popular norwegian jazz singer; one of the freshest and most original voices actually) ‘Sweet Mysterious’ wears the title of the tune with the same name. The steep barren but extremely melodious notes complement so well the animation sending transcendental feelings to the brain and combined with the visuals occasionally uplifting the spirit.

Watching Simone Hooymans’ film is quite a unique experience that teaches a lot about the deep connections of the spirit with nature and its origins, a connection that nowadays most of us have pushed into oblivion.

 

 

 

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Sawtooth Review #18

Sweet Mysterious

3 July – 25 July 2015

Review by: Tanya Bailey
 
 

A brilliant new addition to Sawtooth ARI gallery has opened up this month: The Portal. A reverse-tardis like space (it looks smaller on the inside than from the outside) that was a cupboard and is now a theatrette for experiencing international video art. Inspired. While the space is small, it does not feel claustrophobic and much goes on in there….

Stepping into The Portal for the first time transported me into the world of Sweet Mysterious, an animated piece by Dutch artist Simone Hooymans with music by Norwegian singer and composer Mari Kvien Brunvoll. The first sequence I saw was beating human hearts morphing into trees. With me being a plant ecologist with a passion for trees, this had me enchanted from the start. Indeed the whole piece kept me transfixed as it flowed from waterscapes to landscapes to bits of both, all tied together with the repeating themes of hearts and trees and sea creatures. I stayed around and watched it from beginning to end again.

The music was pulsating, sometimes ethereal and sometimes piercing. It surrounded me in the small space and played a major part in the show. The audio blended beautifully with the visuals, sweeping me along with its rhythm. The hearts beat along in time with the music as they transform into octopuses, their arteries become tentacles, which in turn become tree roots and branches and back to hearts and arteries again.

Throughout the piece we are rhythmically submerged underwater, brought back up through the surface again, taken through a portal in a heart to a pulsating desert then mountain landscape and back to the water again. The intensity of the music matches the busyness of each scene, reaching a crescendo half way through when the screen is full of bright beating hearts and translucent sea creatures pulsating in an underwater scene. From these intense heights we are slowly soothed by a calming desert scene until finally we arrive back at a single tree in a similar scene to that with which the piece starts. A beautiful, engaging journey through the artists’ imaginations indeed.

As I stepped out of the Portal back into the chilled yet warm atmosphere of This must be the place in the Sawtooth Space gallery, I felt happy and heartened by what I had experienced in there. Bring on the next journey to places yet unknown…

The new Building Instrument video is here

 

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HUBRO – recordlabel
 
The trio Building Instrument exist in a sort of fantasy-filled no man’s land between electronica, organic pop and something more mystical and fantastic. They had already built a solid fan base before they released their debut record to rave reviews in 2014. On their second album, “Kem Som Kan Å Leve”, their mode of expression is deeper and more dreamlike, the soundscape is broader and more substantial, and their music is still extremely addictive and strangely catchy. They now release a new video for the track «Rett Ned» from the album. The video was made by the dutch visual artist Simone Hooymans, that for some years has been living in Ålvik in Hardanger, Norway and took two full months to produce.
 
Hooymans had earlier made a video for the track «Sweet Mysterious» from Building Instrument singer Mari Kvien Brunvoll´s Norwegian-Grammy nominated debut solo album. The video has won two awards and has travelled festivals internationally. «I remember I started to cry when she came home to me to show me the video. I was so touched by the meeting between my music and her work» says Mari. «This time around we knew eachother well, and since we gave her a deadline, she worked super-concentrated 24-7 in two months to finish the video. There´s a large amount of hand made drawings that went in to this… – Then – BOOM it was finished, and the result is pure magic.»

Drømmende video fra bergenstrio

Bergensmagasinet

Building Instrument er ute med en nydelig animasjonsvideo, laget av Simone Hooymans.

Mari Kvien Brunvoll er en artist som etter hvert har fått rykte på seg for å være en opplevelse live, enten som soloartist, som duo sammen med gitartrollmannen Stein Urheim, eller, som her, i trioen Building Instrument.

Lag-på-lag-musikk som ikke ligner på så mye annet, men som samtidig er underlig tiltalende og tilgjengelig.

Den nye videoen er bygget rundt låten Rett ned, hentet fra Kem Som Kan Å Leve. Dette er trioens andre album med drømmende og innfallsrik lag-på-lag-musikk som ikke ligner på så mye annet, men som samtidig er underlig tiltalende og tilgjengelig.

Musikken ble skrevet til åpningen av et nytt permanent Kurt Schwitters-utstillingsrom på Henie Onstad Kunstsenter på Høvikodden. Denne tyske kunstneren bodde i en periode på tredvetallet i eksil på Hjertøya i Maris hjemkommune Molde, der han bygget et av sine Merzbau (collagelignende boliginstallasjon) i steinhytta han leide.

 

Den surrealistiske teksten til Rett ned («I ville ikkje ete heile de’ / trekke me innover i kroppen sånn at du / du kan ta over») er skrevet på Brunvolls egen Molde-dialekt, men fremføres som en blanding av kulokk og tungetale.

– Jeg begynte å gråte da hun kom hjem til meg for å vise videoen på prosjektoren i stua vår.

– Vi har jobbet med å utvide eller utviske språkets meningsinnhold, på samme måte som Schwitters gjorde i sine lyddikt, forklarer hun selv.

Akkurat det sier ikke meg så mye, men jeg synes det fungerer bra. Slik lydmalende sang brukes i mange sjangre, og gir straks en følelse av noe mer organisk, der stemmen blir et instrument i samspill med de andre heller enn å bære frem noen mer eller mindre meningsbærende ord.

Videoen er laget av Simone Hooymans, en billedkunstner som også tidligere har billedsatt Brunvolls musikk. Hun står bak videoen Sweet Mysterious fra Mari Kvien Brunvolls soloalbum (se den nederst i denne saken), en video som har vunnet to priser og blitt vist på en rekke festivaler rundt i verden.

– Jeg ble virkelig veldig rørt av møtet mellom musikken min og arbeidet hennes, og husker at jeg begynte å gråte da hun kom hjem til meg for å vise videoen på prosjektoren i stua vår, sier Brunvoll.

Et slags drømmende landskap som minner både om Björks fantasiverden og klassiske barnetv-serier som Pompel og Pilt og Professor Balthazar.

Begge videoene viser et slags drømmende landskap som minner både om Björks fantasiverden og klassiske barnetv-serier som Pompel og Pilt og Professor Balthazar.

– Denne gangen kjente vi hverandre godt, og siden Simone fikk en kort frist fra oss, jobbet hun superkonsentrert natt og dag i to måneder for å få den ferdig, forteller Brunvoll.
– Et stort antall håndlagde tegninger ligger bak det ferdige resultatet, og resultat er helt magisk.

Building Instrument består av Mari Kvien Brunvoll (vokal, sampler, zither, perkusjon, kazoo), Øyvind Hegg-Lunde (trommer og perkusjon) og Åsmund Weltzien (synth, elektronikk). Simone Hooymans er opprinnelig fra Nederland, men har de siste årene bodd i Ålvik i Hardanger.