Tag Archives: music

Pride kicks off with the Spectacular at Wonderground

The Pride in London Month has opened with the Spectacular – and what a night. People with so many entertaining skills kept us amused and amazed. Michael Twaits hosted the event with aplomb and drew the night to an end with a fiery rap that was so poignant in the aftermath of the Pulse Nightclub sadness in Orlando, which received a well deserved standing ovation.

pridein london spectacular at london wonderground

pridein london spectacular at london wonderground

pridein london spectacular at london wonderground

pridein london spectacular at london wonderground

pridein london spectacular at london wonderground

pridein london spectacular at london wonderground

pridein london spectacular at london wonderground

pridein london spectacular at london wonderground

Host: Michael Twaits
Resident Band: London Gay Big Band
Makeup Sponsor: Mehron United Kingdom
Hair Sponsor: Milk Shake Hair UK
Makeup Teams: Seventa Image Academy
Hair Teams: HairArt Teresa Weller
Producer: Ian Massa-Harris

Music Video for Mark Northfield

We started the planning for this video last autumn. Initially we sought out a studio to film in with a blank background to concentrate on the use of the bull, bear, and wolf masks. However with a tight budget and commercial realities we decided to approach this with a more guerrilla film-making approach. We sourced the locations around London and then six of us turned up to film using a range of very different cameras. Two were mobile phones, one was a consumer video camera, one professional broadcast camera, and two dslrs. We felt that the variety would add to the hands-on approach and six camera persons with diverse filming styles and abilities would produce a challenging result. It was also more exciting to take these diverse cameras in these quick ‘perform and go’ setups. The actual filming was spread over two evenings, one with the dancers and multiple cameras, and one with just Mark and myself.

After the initial edits, Mark would join in to make sure that the activity on screen responded to the audio. It was then that I was to deal with the colour grading – which when dealing with these different cameras – some with auto white balances, that the job became quite involved. It’s a job that requires an edit and then re-edit and then re-edit….all so that the viewer gets that feeling of ‘one-ness’ from the end result.

Anyway here it is – Saturday Night from the forthcoming album ‘European Dream’ by Mark Northfield

Let The Body Go – music video for Mark Northfield

Mark Northfield - Let The Body Go

I vividly recall the first time I heard the instrumental for this piece. It was when we were filming the session music (see last post) and Mark played this piece to which I remember feeling my eyes welling up. I was in grief for my father who had only recently died and my emotions were all over the place. I just thought it was a beautiful piece of music.

Then Mark told me that it was in fact a tribute to his late mother who had died about a month before Dad. What we have here is a touching accomplished piece of work which I was delighted to film and edit earlier this year.

Mark Northfield - Let The Body Go

Mark posted this on his Facebook page and it is more eloquent than anything I could write on the subject.

“Today would have been my mum’s birthday. It’s the first one since she died last July, so it feels particularly strange and poignant. I thought this would be an appropriate time for me to share this song and video, even though the instrumental version was the first of the Cherry Mint Koala videos I shared online last month.

Two days after mum’s death I wrote a song called ‘Let The Body Go’, which was my own way of trying to come to terms with the intense feelings of grief and release. Mum had suffered severe chronic pain for many years, and it had reached a point where everything was a huge effort. The struggle to survive became the only focus, and with no realistic hope of recovery. An impossible situation. And yet, being the incredibly determined person she was, she lived far longer than I ever expected.

But I didn’t want the song to just be about an ending, even though being present at her death was fresh in my mind. Stupid as this sounds, I wanted to undo time, to rediscover the woman she used to be when physical illness wasn’t so all-encompassing. To celebrate the joy of being alive, of physical experience, of music, and of the role that love and memories play in helping us deal with the nature of mortality.

Above all else, I wanted it to be a serene and beautiful elegy for the woman who lost her one and only child, but then raised two others completely as if they were her own. A most precious and enduring gift.

The video for the song is something I worked on with Eva Perdiki Holdsworth (who previously choreographed a duet for Waiting For Green). Most people who know me will know I’m not a dancer, and goodness knows there are enough talented people I could have asked, but as the song was so very personal I really felt it was something I wanted to have a go at, technical limitations and all. The second half depicts scenes from a life – some of which are directly connected with mum, some not – while the first half anticipates these movements by presenting them in a more neutral choreographic way. It was filmed by Simon C Bennett with assistance from James P Goldie.

The song was another piece used in the recent 1.2 dance project at ArtsEd. They sang my four-part arrangement of it in the WW1 context of the piece so unbelievably beautifully, I was moved to tears by the end. The experience of that performance will stay with me for a very long time.”

Mark Northfield - Let The Body Go

With thanks to UniQ Studios for their assistance with the lighting.

Assistant Editor: Sam Watts
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www.marknorthfield.com

See some opera this Christmas

If you are lurking in London over the festivities why not go and see ‘Hansel and Gretel’ The Opera, which is at the Kings Head in Islington. When two bored kids (played by Danae Eleni and Laura Kelly) get sent to the woods by their irate mother (Janet Fischer) they become ensnared by a particularly revolting witch, brilliantly played by Ian Massa-Harris. Check out some of these pics and give yourself a night out in Islington…

hansel and gretel the opera publicity pics ian pope janet fischer photo by simon c bennett

hansel and gretel the opera publicity pics ian pope janet fischer photo by simon c bennett

hansel and gretel the opera ian massa harris witch photo by simon c bennett publicity pics

hansel and gretel the opera publicity pics danae eleni laura kelly publicity pics photo by simon c bennett

hansel and gretel the opera photo by simon c bennett publicity pics