This is not a lost surrealist movie from the 1920s, one of these poetic experiments in black & white conducted by the likes of Man Ray or Hans Richter, forgotten on a shelf and mysteriously resurfacing after having spent 90 years in oblivion: this magical piece was created by Argentine director Mariano Ramis to illustrate one of the most arresting tracks on Juana Molina's upcoming new album Halo. The title alludes to the album's bone-themed art: "halo" refers to the ancient legend of the evil light, which floats above the ground and scares travellers at night. Though it's hard to tell whether the lyrics actually relate to that, or rather to a character which is deeply immersed in a state of expectation… Here's what director Mariano Ramis says about the making of this video: I wanted the video to be an experience of beauty which illustrates the song, a portrait of the intimacy of Juana's mind in that beautiful and strange house in which she lives. We shared several ideas, Juana told me something about the way glowing bones are related to the mythical ¨luz mala¨ in the deep night outside the city, I was quite familiar with those stories as a kid, so I connected a lot with that, it was very stimulating process, Robert Wyatt, Juan José Saer, symbolistic painting, structural cinema, there is a little of all that also. The video is made with a very complex and laborious, frame-by-frame animation technique (involving an inkjet printer, laser film paper and soy sauce), which provides random accuracy in the detail of each frame. This randomness extracted from meticulousness allowed me to end up believing that what I was doing may make some sense.
Halo is Juana Molina's seventh album, and it pursues the experimental path she began years ago, marking a new milestone in the evolution of her own, unmistakable voice. She's "on an evolutionary journey of her own devising" (Pitchfork), and pushes once more her "eerie, hypnotic" music "to increasingly haunting" (SPIN). "She belongs to a rare category: that of free musicians. Like Björk or Robert Wyatt, she is.. simply free…" (Les Inrockuptibles).
Juana Molina's album "Halo" comes out on May 5 (vinyl 2LP / CD / digital)
The Portable Infinite is an online music and arts magazine based in Los Angeles. We are a collective of independent artists supporting and promoting other cutting edge independent musicians and artists.