In The Open | David Power & Seán Martin
David Power’s initial interest was rock music but the electronic instrumentals on David Bowie’s ‘Berlin’ albums led him to composers such as Boulez and Stockhausen and, for a while, he was interested in very experimental music. In the late 1990’s – following a difficult compositional period – he simplified his style and became interested in collaborative work. He has set poems by many poets ranging from Emily Bronte to Tony Walsh. He has worked with filmmakers – Sean Martin, Annabel McCourt and Sean Atkinson and artists, especially Linda Ingham, and his latest collaboration with her – Kinds of White – is on show at the Bank Street Gallery concurrent with this show. His work has appeared in galleries, churches and outdoor settings as well as in the concert hall. In 2012 his Eight Evening Songs appeared on the acclaimed CD Songs Now: British Songs of the 21st Century on the Meridian label. For more information about David Power, please visit http://www.davidpowercomposer.co.uk.
Seán Martin is a writer and filmmaker based in Edinburgh. His books include Andreï Tarkovsky and New Waves in Cinema (both published by Kamera Books) plus books on the Knights Templar, the Cathars and Gnosticism. With Louise Milne, he directed Lanterna magicka: Bill Douglas & the Secret History of the Cinema (‘A fine documentary,’ The Guardian) and A Boat Retold, a documentary about boat-building and story telling on the isle of Lewis, featuring writers Robert MacFarlane and Ian Stephen. Seàn Martin’s other recent work includes The Hidden Castle and A Priest from a Different Land, premiered at the Alchemy Film and Moving Image Festival in 2016–17.
Martin is currently undertaking a PhD by practice in filmmaking at Edinburgh Napier University, where he is making a film about the Scottish metaphysical writer David Lindsay, to which David Power also contributed. Seàn and David have also collaborated on a performance of the Vestiges installation in York and two other short films. For more information please visit http://www.vimeo.com/lanternamagickafilms.
In 2015 David Power decided to make a video for his viola and piano composition Platinum. Power has long been fascinated by Rene Magritte’s series of paintings – The Empire of Lights – which depict a daylight sky about a nighttime urban scene. The filmmaker Seàn Martin shares this fascination with Magritte and agreed to make the film. For Martin, Magritte’s images are at once dreamlike, cinematic and philosophical and seem to withhold a great secret. Walking through the Bruntsfield Links area of Edinburgh at dusk gives Martin the feeling that he is walking into a Magriite picture. So, when Power suggested this film, Martin took his camera to the Links at dusk to see what the secret was doing. Most of the footage is as the area looks at dusk but, in a few scenes, we used sky replacement software to fully recreate the Empire of Lights effect. This additional work was done by Robin Garland.