Caught by the River

Emergent Slow Arcs

12th April 2020

Tommy Perman shares his audio-visual reworking of Modern Studies’ ‘Welcome Strangers’ in its entirety.

Last year Fire Records released Emergent Slow Arcs – my cheeky secret reworking of Welcome Strangers (a beautiful LP by Modern Studies). I made videos to go with each track on Emergent Slow Arcs. I don’t think I’m synesthetic but I am fascinated by the relationship between light and sound and often imagine different images while working on music. The videos I created are my attempts to translate these thoughts and were filmed in the same locations as the album was made – my flat in Dundee, the art college I work at and my parents’ cottage in rural Perthshire. Each piece features visual remixes of Modern Studies’ music videos projected or superimposed onto these album locations.

The sun and the moon make frequent appearances – a nod to the fact the album was made during bouts of insomnia and in fact most of the videos were made at night. Once my kids were asleep I’d have a flurry of childish activity not usually associated with a man in his late 30s. I’d dash around my flat using any tools I could get my hands on to try to create the effects I had in my head. The gently drifting planets in ‘Celestial Dance’ are table tennis balls levitating on my wife’s hairdryer, squeezed onto a mic stand and filmed in slow motion. A similar technique was used to make some translucent fabric of a child’s fancy dress outfit dance in the video for ‘Ephemeris Mist.’ Our family cat was usually the only other being to witness my experiments – and gave me particularly strange looks while I used a skateboard with a projector and camera mounted to it to try and achieve smooth tracking shots.

Find out more about the story behind the album here and get your hands on a hand-customised vinyl copy direct from Fire Records. Watch/listen below: