NRYN TALKS BRAILLE – TEXT LUKE TIERNEY
COMPULSORY have come back with another thoughtful piece and this time trippy visual no-one-saw-coming. True to their story-telling art-infused ways Nryn has created a narrative told through vintage stills set in the 40s/50s. While Braille’s beat echo’s past Nryn creates another unique piece employing a clever technique to show the passing of time taking us on a couples journey from start to finish.
We had a chat with Nryn about inspirations for The Cats Gone Wild, how the images were chosen and a love of repeating visual motifs.
Word Is Cheap: You don’t make “normal” videos, how would you describe your style?
Nryn: I feel like the style I’ve developed tends to revolve around repeating visual motifs, and teasing out form and organisation using shape, colour or movement. After signing to COMPULSORY I was encouraged to build on a number of different projects but all retaining my traits and expanding on visual and creative elements. To me, both the process and the result usually feels like an experiment in motion and patterns, always trying to push and never settling.
WIC: What were your inspirations when creating Braille?
N: The track uses a really broad palette of influences and styles. An overwhelming feeling I had when listening to it was how strongly the music drew on art forms like collage and photomontage, to me. It was exciting to want to represent all the contrasting sounds in a consistent way, and those concepts stuck with me and drew me towards creating a ‘moving photomontage’ of sorts. The track itself is about the break down of a relationship, and how difficult those times are, so I wanted to represent this idea and those conflicted feelings too.
WIC: Where did you source the imagery?
N: I sourced images from all over. Mostly I found the images online, so I was able to use images which were labeled with the appropriate licences to allow reuse, modification and so on. Finding and preparing images to tell the story, and to represent the mood and emotions of the characters and music was a laborious process! I had to be quite discriminating with the types of image I could use, from a technical, thematic, and a copyright point of view.
WIC: How did you come up with the movement of the video?
N: Coming from the collage angle, I had in my mind the visual idea of layered fragments of photos. When considering the story elements, and the couple that it focuses on, I thought one way to represent this would be to treat the space on screen as if it were something like a little puppet theatre, where characters come and go, on and offscreen, with the scenery and props simply fragments in themselves. The constant pushing forward movement, to me, is all about time moving forward, unrelenting, forcing the characters through their relationship, through its breakdown and with time, forcing them to reflect on all of it. In a sense it’s a useful device because it can show time as a healer, but also a reminder that whatever you think and feel today about your life and situation, is actually fleeting.
WIC: Why did you choose to go black & white?
N: Although the story could really be about a couple in any time, the specific images used date this particular couple to the 1940s-1950s, so black and white images echo that. One reason for choosing this timeframe is that straight away there’s some shorthand there around gender roles and the nuclear family. I thought that could allow fast exposition, conclusions could be drawn, so that might help the characters to be developed quickly, meanwhile allowing some experiments with the form. It was also useful from a technical point of view to ensure consistency between the qualities and types of all the varied images. It helps gel everything together.