Friday November 17th Sequoyah and I premiered his album Dream Sequence and the "Blue Jays" film at Argha Noah. This week's post is a reflection on my experience collaborating with him so far.
"I found a rare gem in Sequoyah as a Collaborator" - Journal Entry
PART ONE - BLUE JAYS TREATMENT
I first met Sequoyah at his tour kickoff at the Atlanta Contemporary. I thought I would miss his set and almost didn't leave the house, but took the chance. I had been listening to his music while filming practical effects for LIFE and was captivated.
I got there just as he went on. His dad was on drums and his mom was the back up singer. He was even better live. I offered to do a music video with him and he sent me some demos. Blue Jays stood out. I developed an idea and shared it with him in Inman Park after a long conversation about our lives and loves. I created this treatment to prove the concept.
One of the biggest inspirations for the project was Kahlil Joseph. I first became familiar with Kahlil's work after attending a Liquid Blackness talk at GSU with him as a guest speaker. His work totally entranced me, and became a huge inspiration for the project. Some of the images used in the treatment come from his work on "Process" by Sampha, and "Until the Quiet Comes" by Flying Lotus.
Other images are sourced from: "Moonlight" by Barry Jenkins, Alexandre Moors & The Little Homies music video "i" for Kendrick Lamar, Grace Jones' performance footage, Maceo Frost's "Raised by Krump" documentary, "Shame" and "Voodo in my Blood" music videos for Young Fathers, and "Key and Peele" sketches.
Another big inspiration on this project was Wong Kar Wai. Specifically his brilliant use of color and the step printing technique. (There's an cool video essay that explores ways in which Moonlight by Jenkins might have been influenced by Wong Kar Wai's work.)
This video is from a rehearsal at the Work Room. Sequoyah and Anicka had been praciticing his movement for several weeks and I came to see how it translates to video, espesially at low shutter speeds/low frame rates.
Some photos that I snapped here and there during the development/filming/post process. I wish I had taken more, but when I'm doing a lot of jobs on a project, I can forget to pick up the camera.
These are some of my journal entries while I worked on the project.
PART FIVE - DREAM SEQUENCE ALBUM PREMIERE
Months after the project was finished we premiered the album "Dream Sequence" and the music video at Argha Noah. We created a tea house with a dance floor. There was free tea, cocktails, vegan food and a warmth to the atmosphere that was really very unique. Kofi, a magician friend, asked what my inspiration for the project was. I said that there were a lot of things and they changed and evolved throughout the filming process. So I said it was about "Ancestry".
During the process of putting this post together, and looking through my journal for entries, I came across an entry that didn't directly deal with the project. In fact I was writing about a woman I was seeing at the time. Yet, in its own way, it describes why I said "ancestry".
"What can I know of my ancestors
What kind of dreams did they have
What blood did they
pass through into my
What world could they
what beauty can be achieved when the blood of 2 people are mixed -
whose blood centuries ago
would never meet."