Very grateful this morning to the Tweeted Times, who featured me yesterday after I tweeted my new stage for my upcoming Half-World video art show. I wonder if they know that the “stage curtains” in the image are really a photo of the lining from my mother’s old suitcase? Then again, maybe that’s what makes it avant-garde? What does avant-garde really mean anyway? I don’t know. I guess I’ll let others figure all that out. Anyway, thanks Tweeted Times. You rock. And thanks to you too for following. You really rock, and as promised, I’ll be sure to let you know first when the curtain rises on the final Half-World video.
Masked orchestral dubstep composer Zero agrees to allow “Elysium” as the soundtrack for “Half-World.”
After weeks of back-and-forth emails with enigmatic musician Zero, I’m absolutely thrilled today to announce that the mysterious orchestral dubstep composer has given me full permission to use his track “Elysium” as the soundtrack for my final “Half-World” art video.
As a blend of violin, driving rock guitar and dubstep, “Elysium” might be described as Lindsey Stirling meets Skrillex. Yet beneath that lies an intricate and subtle layer of woven sound that can only be called Zero. With its hints of Cirque and shades of Epica, “Elysium” so powerfully evokes mystery and passion that I immediately knew it would be the perfect soundtrack choice for “Half-World,” and I’m jazzed that the masked composer gave me permission to his use his track.
- For more Zero, click here to listen to “Unchained Dracula” on SoundCloud.
- To check out his mask (and more), visit Zero on Facebook.
- To see the “Half-World” preview video, watch the Carnival Poster Show.
Hope everyone had a great weekend! Cheers for now.–Xris
Before I put the poster art away for good, and before I start assembling the final video and wrapping my yearlong exploration of the carnival realm called Half-World, I wanted to share three images that I couldn’t include in the Poster Show video.
The Green Man (far left) was created as a reminder to myself (and anyone else) that, beneath this endlessly swirling carnival called daily life, the soul of nature remains unsullied by our comings and goings, and is always willing to speak and share its wisdom to those who listen.
The Troll (center) represents all the outsiders—the “freaks” and outcasts and anyone who’s ever been made to feel like an outsider. In popular mythology, trolls are evil creatures who turn to stone when exposed to sunlight. Yet in Half-World, the Troll is simply guardian of the outcasts, and his only “evil” is a willingness to defend individuality with a ruthlessness born of the idea that everyone has the right to be proud of who they are.
The Watcher (far right) is not some lurking creature intent on causing harm. Rather, the Watcher is a creature who was drawn to the edges of Half-World… where the treeline stands between our world and Half-World… and his expression is simply shock and horror over what he sees in our world. Yet like many drawn to things like news feeds every day, he finds it hard to look away or discern the bad from the good.
I’ve been told by some that, overall, the Half-World images can be dark and unsettling. One person even called them Gothic. While I don’t know how I’d classify the Half-World images, I’m certainly happy that they can evoke strong emotion.
Freshly minted this morning: The Half-World Carnival Poster Show.
As a promo and prequel video for my upcoming Half-World art video, I tried to create a series of images that capture the kind of posters that carnival promoters used to tack onto telephone poles before the carnival rolled into town.
Overall, the images took about a year to create.
Each image features a character appearing in the final Half-World art video, and I went for a dark, grainy feel to evoke elements of darkness and mystery (à la “Something Wicked This Way Comes”), then mixed in lighter, more fantastical images to balance out the experience.
To segue from one image to the next, I used straight barn-door transitions. I wanted to keep it simple and almost clunky to lend the idea that there might be someone backstage simply sliding the poster panels by hand.
To properly translate the detail and complexity of the images to video, I rendered the video in HD, meaning the video may play with hiccups on some devices.
All images were created as composite images in Photoshop CS3. With the exception of a few elements like the front stage facade and a few light strings (all of which are stock and free-use), and all elements are original.
The opening and closing footage was shot at the now-defunct Candy Factory Studio.
While I appear as different characters in the video, I wasn’t looking to create a glorified selfie. Special thanks and eternal gratitude to my partner Mary Beth for letting me turn her into characters like the Gypsy, the Stormwalker and others, as well as my son Nicholas for appearing as the Sprite and the Wildboy. The Mushroom woman is a stylized picture of a Toronto busker, and some of the other characters are from pictures of Cirque sculptures taken in the lobby of the O Theatre at the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas.
Royalty free soundtrack “Deus Ex Machina” by Darren Leigh Purkiss adheres to all usage guidelines.
All images copyright © 2017, Xristopher Bland | abmCreative.
To preview the upcoming Half-World video itself (and see some other goodies), you can always visit my new art digs on Redbubble.
If you missed the Half-World video trailer, you can check it out here.
Enjoy the show. 🙂
Hey all. I’ve just uploaded four new works of art at ABM’s new digs on Redbubble, and wanted you to be the first to know, since the works are preview images of my upcoming Half-World video and are only available on Redbubble. And they look pretty snappy in high resolution, to boot.
Be the first on your block to experience the awesome resolution-ness! 🙂
The star field and earth image are public domain from the NASA site. The central figure is a Cirque sculpture close-up taken in the lobby of the ‘O’ Theatre at the Bellagio, Las Vegas. The breakfast was toast and coffee. Enjoy (both the work and whatever breakfast you might be having right now).
If all the world’s a stage, make yours awesome in 2017 and all the years ahead. Happy New Year and all the very best of everything for you and your loved ones. –Xris