Visages Mecanique – New Video & Music

Video by Daniel Berkman
Music by Lynda Arnold and Daniel Berkman – Hammer Inventions

About The Video From Daniel Berkman:

Visages Mécanique (Mechanical Faces) was filmed at the Musée Mecanique at Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco.
I’ve always been inspired by the mechanically operated musical instruments and antique arcade machines and on a recent visit to the place I felt compelled to whip out my iPhone and take some moving pictures. I thought in order to avoid glare and to keep a steady shot I’d just slide the phone across the conveniently placed glass barrier between me and the ruggedly crafted antique displays.
What I realized upon looking back at the footage was that there was a particular melancholy quality to these faces. They were like ghosts, playing out age old scenarios at the drop of a coin. But on my iPhone the footage seemed particularly haunting. I was tempted to devise an evocative musical score.

The first thing that came to mind was a track Lynda Arnold and myself had written in February called “The Spaces Between”. It was essentially a Hammer Inventions track composed of all piano related sounds; piano, prepared piano, bowed piano, plucked piano and even ambience that was taken from Musée Mecanique which was slowed down and played backwards. The track fit perfectly, even down to the bowed piano line syncing with the sequence of the four faces. I decided to relate the track to the footage and so called it “Visages Mécanique”. Not because I know French but because it kept with the theme of the video and because I thought it sounded cool.

The other key element to making “Visages” was the use of an iPhone app called 8mm which converts normal footage into vintage masterpieces. I would use different effects for certain clips but leave the bowed piano bit during the chorus without the vintage effect to create an environmental contrast.
I found the 8mm effect to be very realistic and it really inspired me to experiment with timbres within the soundtrack.

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