Stream/download ‘Yearning for the Infinite’: https://ffm.to/yearningfortheinfinite
Subscribe to Max Cooper: https://MaxCooper.lnk.to/Subscribe
The final track from the album was written with my long-term collaborator, the great pianist and composer, Tom Hodge. Visually it’s a story of how, as individuals, we are compelled to keep going, indefinitely. The imagery from Kevin McGloughlin uses an early example of moving image by Eadward Muybridge, featuring a woman walking, the simplest few frames, yet a scene which speaks a thousand words. It needed something somber but with hope to represent the visual story of our endless pursuit and attempts to make sense of the world we live in, amongst the chaos circling around us and going on inside our heads. My synth work didn’t seem to do it justice. I thought perhaps an old instrument to match the image source could work better, so I drew on recorded sessions with Tom to find the right musical fit. The same applies throughout the project, the music is primarily defined by visual requirements.
I’ve had the idea to make some type of version of this video for about ten years, for whatever reason I haven’t had the chance to get it done until now.
When I heard ‘Circular’ for the first time and read the statement about it, as well as the combined ideas for ‘Yearning for the infinite’, I immediately thought that this is a place where this video idea could work. After some discussion with Max we got going on it..
This project was definitely a labour of love and I enjoyed every bit of it!
The idea for the video initially came from a thought about Obsession (the vicious cycle.)
I think we often find ourselves getting caught up in routines, letting small problems become unnecessarily overwhelming and consuming so much of our time.It seems so easy to let this happen. At the same time I think it is often some form of obsession that drives people to do what they love, find people they love etc, it’s quite a strange old thing…
Using the Circle as a symbol of an inescapable and never ending notion, I tried to evoke a feeling of the infinite, and the idea of a reoccurring and self made predicament…
I used circles as the main subject matter as circles have an infinite symmetry, they can be rotated by any amount and always look the same, they’re the only 2D shape with infinite symmetry. It’s amazing how a simple circle can be so complicated! I suppose there is a reason why the circle is one of the classic representations of infinity. Also I really love the shape:)
The video required quite a bit of planning, location hunting and measuring things up etc.
I had a nice surprise with how much I enjoyed being out (mainly on my own) painting huge circles on the quiet barren terrain, much more fun than it sounds:). (for me)
A huge thanks to my Dad who actually took on a role as a Grip!
Thanks to my brother Kevin for helping with shooting!
Thanks so much to Max Cooper for involving me in this project.
The circle with its infinite degrees of rotational symmetry, endless path structure, and seemingly endless statistically random digits of pi, was a key visual form in the project where I was looking for ways to visualise the infinite. Paraic McGloughlin had a great idea for bringing in the human side of the story as well, with his human stuck in their loop with a touch of insanity about the whole thing. I love the balance between the delivery of the concept and the surrounding scenes, like the two shouldn’t be combined, but somehow it turns out beautifully.
I went for a curving form of musical structure. A slow and smooth melodic pulse which had its own rhythm, but which I could also play at my own pace. It just seemed to embody circular form to me, hopefully you can hear what I’m talking about!
With this in place I set about making my first almost entirely improvised piece of music, I think I only added a single bass and pad element, and a couple of sound design additions to complete it after extracting the entire piece as a live recording. This gives it a much more fluid structure and melodic form than is normal for my music, which is one of the main differences throughout the album from those which have come previously. It was certainly a nice way to work on a personal level, and something I’m continuing to explore.
Paraic has delivered something of a masterpiece for his visual interpretation. Something like 170 hand drawn circles of epic proportion telling the story of human obsession quite literally as well as metaphorically. It puts a big smile on my face to see this, hats off to Paraic McGloughlin and Kevin McGloughlin for their beautiful art and for allowing me to be part of it.
The full album project is explained at https://www.yearningfortheinfinite.net
Follow Max Cooper: