Tuesday 18 June 2013

The Pioneer Wife Speaks in Tongues

Sometimes I collect images, keep them with me until the right poem comes along.
The same with certain tracks I create.
'And So They Live' (John Ferno, Julian Roffman, 1940) is a piece of archive showing poorly educated "mountain peoples" living in poverty and stricken with disease, it's a public-domain documentary about life in the Appalachian mountains with some great looking shots but a typical and very patronizing narration.
I used some parts before more than a year ago in 'Odds and Ends' The images stayed on my 'shelf' since then...

In came Donna Vorreyer. We worked together before and I think she's a very fine poet.
Donna has got a new collection out: 'The Imagined Life of the Pioneer Wife' (Red Bird Chapbooks, 2013)
Almost every poem in that collection could have been used for this videopoem. Not because they're all the same. Because they're all so good!

I asked Donna if I could use 'The Pioneer Wife Speaks in Tongues' and she recorded a version.
Listening to her voice I went back to this track:

The two worked perfectly together, I only added some whispering in the background. Now I had a steady basis and I could start the search for the right images.
There was one sequence in the film I really loved. Can't explain why, but the feet in the snow worked on a whole other level. When I placed that sequence on the basis, the rest came naturally.

Have a look and listen for yourself:

Words & Voice: Donna Vorreyer
Concept, add. Camera, Editing & Music: Swoon
Footage: 'And So They Live' (John Ferno, Julian Roffman, 1940)

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