Australian born, Paris-based artist Karen Vogt has blessed these pages in the past with her band, the magnificent Heligoland (see our interview and review of their last album ‘This Quiet Fire’ here and recent collaboration with She Owl here). She has now collaborated with ambient experimental composer Pepo Galán, releasing the album entitled ‘The Sweet Wait’ released last month. We are very honoured to be able to exclusively unveil for you the new video for the track ‘Hypnagogia’.
‘Hypnagogia’ is an ethereal, mysterious composition filled with sky scraping synths that support Vogt’s extraordinary vocals, layered and nuanced, filled with the deepest emotions in the ambient sonic liquid. Vogt says of the track:
When I first heard this piece of music from Pepo, I linked it to feelings about time; about the spaces inbetween waking and falling asleep. Feeling slightly disorientated after a dream or that moment when you wake and have no idea where you are or what year it is. The interesting places our minds go and all the little moments that last briefly and dissolve soon upon waking or drifting off to sleep. It’s hard to capture them and describe them, but I had this in mind as I was writing the lyrics and melodies.
After I had mapped out some vocals I asked Mark Beazley to play bass on it. I adore his bass playing in Rothko because it has always felt very intuitive and had such great depth. So I wanted Mark to just respond and play what he felt like. Ultimately he ended up bringing this part that felt almost like a large creaking ship on a dark, foggy night that moves slowly, but graciously through the dark. The bass felt submerged, but it also kept lifting itself out of the water as it moves through the song and becomes more audible about ¾ of the way through. Perhaps like a large object moves closer to you on a foggy night, but you don’t see it until it’s very close to you. When Mark’s bass finishes out the song, it feels like the great ship has moved pass you and now has gone out to sea.
Pepo’s music is very evocative and so it’s easy to immerse myself in it. There are always some very beautiful and interesting textures that almost feel like they’re waiting for you to sing something with them. It feels very effortless, but the key is to kind of drop yourself inside it at the right moment.
The accompanying video is suitably dreamy and mesmerising with its dappled aurora-like folds of light with smoke and dust suspended in the light – languid and beautiful like the track itself – filling one with a much welcomed sense of peace and calm. It was created by Jeff Düngfelder aka Ümlaut a multidisciplinary artist. Düngfelder says of the inspirations for the video:
I must say I was totally fascinated not just by the beautiful lyrics & music of the song, but also with the concept of Hypnagogia itself. I connected immediately with these precursors of sleep: the transitional state of consciousness between wakefulness and sleep. Particularly the lyrics “When I feel the most alive (Laying awake), For a little while I am inbetween two lives” said it all to me.
My approach to a project like this is to first become totally absorbed with the song with many repeated listenings. Not so much to memorize the song, but to really feel the essence of the song. I let it seep into my subconscious so that it might eventually be a springboard for creativity, or even bring forth a life of its own. The concept and visuals for this film actually came to me during a dream. For me lots of creative problems solve themselves in my sleep.
My hope was that this short film would be a continuation of where the lyrics and music left off, adding another layer of meaning to their art. This state between wakefulness and sleep, like the longing in the song, is universal. It is asking us to “Stay (Another time).
The result is something immaculate and highly immersive:
‘Hypnagogia’ can be found on Galán/Vogt’s ethereal and stately album ‘This Quiet Fire’, available through the link below: