Daniel Holmes, Belfast
"The Light of My Eyes" A Film
Pure imagination is what always leads people to expressthemselves positively, which is why the Wand seeks to honour unusual efforts. "People with synesthesia can taste shapes,hear colour and even see sound," director and writer Daniel Holmes describes his film to me.
Welcome a voyage of discovery, edgily bordering between realism and fantasy.
Actually it feels like I am attending a philosophical seminar.
"I was first made aware of the condition listening to the introduction to Pharrell Williams N.E.R.D album, 'Seeing Sounds', in which the musician describes what he feels and sees, which inspired my first ill-fated attempt to make a film five years ago," he goes on. "I wanted to take the opportunity to create unique cinematic combinations of colour and sound. The colors bloomed around him and that image always lingered with me."
So let's step into this ocean of experience at least to paddle our feet, tread the road less travelled, highlighting work that is extremely imaginative and so less mainstream, or as poet Larkin once put it for "The Less Deceived".
"Then I saw Juliette Binoche in Krysztof Kieslowski's "Three Colours: Blue" where she sees flashes of blue, whenever she hears a particular piece of music. It's never explicitly stated whether or not the character has the condition, but these moments were powerful and they awakened the potential of all that synethesia has to offer to the medium of film."
Daniel Holmes' new film is an experience that makes most film-making seem palid and grey with author of "Tasting the Universe" Maureen Seaberg already having written on it in "Psychology Today".
The most basic question an artist might ask is what is real, because the spiritual aspect of redefining that is what art's privilege is.
"When two sensory experiences combine they form a totally new sensation, " he explains."They transform ordinary activities into extraordinary experiences." There are many varieties of synesthesia, about sixty types in fact, thought to exist, but only a few of them have been studied by science, which seems pitiful as the notion they embrace suggests a lot of research into the nature of reality is skewed in a way that most are baffled by and perhaps afraid to embrace.
"Visions of colour are particularly powerful and common in synesthesia. As I conducted my research I became interested in the personal effects that a person's kaleidscopic built‐in world would have on them. There's lot to explore in their relationship with the outside world."
"When I first heard of the ability to see sound I was struck by the cinematic potential, " Daniel goes on. "Combinations of sound and image are boundless," he enthuses and I see why he is keen to raise money to do justice to the potential revelation a film might be. Considering Daniel has involved David Holmes, one of the most respected musicians in Belfast, it is set to be a short work of real promise. David's work is described variously as 'psychedelic funk, Northern soul and hip hop'; he ran a club in Belfast that Orbital played at, inspiring their track 'Belfast'.
David has made several albums,
the first with the provocative title "This Film's Crap, Let's Slash the Seats," which was inspired by film soundtracks, but he has also been involved since, with a number of major films like 'Oceans Eleven' and 'Twelve'.
His release of 'The Holy Pictures' included "I Saw Wonders" a track that for me made the torch relay come to life as it was chosen accompanying music at the Olympics Opening Ceremony, notably with Beckham bombing down the Thames in a state-of-the-art speedboat, before arriving later with the torch in the stadium.
"Our own worlds are far richer than we often seem to realize," Daniel concludes.Often synesthesia is seen purely as psychological but it is surprising how many artists have the gift; Charles Baudelaire being the earliest known synesthete to describe the facility.
Canderblinks Film Production the company behind the film, are also the makers of "Good Vibrations", about the start of punk in Belfast, around Terry Hooli, a record shop owner instrumental in developing Belfast's punk-rock scene. It's a highly acclaimed masterpiece with a cult following (and opening film at
Karlovy Vary Film Festival, Best Feature at Galway Film Fleadh, amongst other honours)
This may be why Laloy Roddy is drawn to the project. As a late starter, who was a therapist in England before returning to Belfast at 33, he has a gentle and subtle manner which makes for a great actor. According to one journalist's words in Northern Ireland he is "thegreatest actor of his generation." He has a way of looking out for the unusual and with his breadth of experience and reputation for challenging himself, has proven able to imagine himself into others minds; in this case of a person who feels blessed with visions.
"The unique visual poise of the film is paramount to its success" Daniel concludes, which is why he has launched a Kickstarter http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1350562856/the-light-of-my-eyes
to help the film receive all necessary backing. It promises to be a truly meditative, unusual experience. "My main purposein this film is to bring viewers into a previously unexplored world." Some of the first haunting sounds can be heard, with startling imagery by Daniel, there.
Talking to Jude Kelly who reminds
one of the
Festival of 1951
being the reason for
builing of the
dedicated to the
is why I feel a page for
sheer daring projects
should be available.
So what is Synesthesia?
There are passages in the Bible as in Percey Shelley, William Blake and Edgar Allan Poe that have synethetic imagery, often combining sound with sight.
One of the many experimental
shots that with great talent
Daniel Holmes has
already put out.
The text for the film is what I would like to know, but equally I feel intrigued at not knowingall that much.
Anticipation is often an underrated emotion.
Thoroughness and sensitivity aside, which I think
we can grant the writer director has, neither Daniel
Holmes or Lalor Roddy experience synesthesia,
so they are looking in ..but some do without realising
I was amazed to find out that even Tilda Swinton is supposed to have it.
Pharrell describes it in 'Psychology Today,'
interviewed by Maureen Seaberg, March 2012:
"The ability to see and feel this way was a gift given to me ..and if it were taken from me suddenly I'm not sure that I could make music."
Charles Baudelaire the first scientifically recorded synesthete.
Portrait by Gustave Courbet 1848
Stuart Pearce is a synesthete and director of voice at the Globe Theatre, who helped Lady Diana, Vanessa Redgrave as well as Mark Rylance. He describes: "Anger looks like shards of broken glass, blood red, shooting between the people who evoke it.. A melancholic lament becomes deep purple..."
The Wand as part of London
Peace Prize is contributing £50 towards the film.
Isla Ure's "The Passengers" we
are highlighting two
that are poetic,
miles from the violent cliches
that many think