Susanna ‘Wilderness’ Music Video
Stills from the video
I was thrilled to be contacted by Norwegian artist Susanna about the possibility of animating a music video for a song off of her new album ‘Garden of Earthly Delights’. This album was largely inspired by the works of medieval Dutch painter Hieronymus Bosch. “While this is not a soundtrack to his paintings," Susanna says, "I feel a resemblance between the absurdity in his pictures and today’s existence. Humanity has never been more enlightened and competent to make sustainable solutions for everyone, but we still close our eyes to poverty, environmental issues and lack of equality." To create this record, Susanna gathered a new band/a new team of musicians, called The Brotherhood of Our Lady.
I worked with Susanna to develop moving imagery for her song “Wilderness”. The animation is seeking to be a kind of folk-art style depiction of the continuum of energy that ebbs and flows indiscriminately in nature. I explored this through cycles ranging from simple to infinite loops. I was also interested in approaching this concept using animated transition and metamorphosis. Power, equity, mortality, rebirth, community, and inter-connectivity were themes I referenced when creating the imagery for this song. I hoped the video would strike a balance between subtle humor and existential wonder.
The video was produced using a combination of digital and analog frame-by-frame image making techniques including handmade watercolor / gouache painted elements, digitally drawn 2D animation created in TVPaint software, and compositing / additional motion in After Effects. I used textures produced by Brian Smee & Isabelle Aspin in addition to a few I created. I had additional clean-up help from Zach Erickson. Auxiliary Compositing was done by Zak Margolis. Thank you so much to this magical squadron of animators who helped and supported me.
Susanna: voice, piano, CP80, Rhodes, electronics
The Brotherhood of Our Lady – personnel:
Stina Moltu: guitar, voice, tape recorder
Ida Løvli Hidle: accordion
Ina Sagstuen: voice, electronics, synth
Natali Abrahamsen Garner: vocals, electronics
More about Susanna:
Susanna has been releasing music since 2004 through independent labels like Norwegian Rune Grammofon and German ECM Records, and through her own label SusannaSonata since 2011. She is known for her transforming of songs by AC/DC, Dolly Parton, Thin Lizzy and Leonard Cohen among others, but also for her strong originals and her collaboration with artists like Jenny Hval, Ensemble neoN and Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy.