We Won’t Be in Love Much Longer
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“We Won’t Be in Love Much Longer”
This music video is a hybrid dance film and art flick – a nostalgic episode in the dead of a Southern summer night.
Working on “We Won’t Be in Love Much Longer” was an incredibly satisfying experience for us! In our initial grant proposal we talked about how the project was exciting to us because it would call on all of our artistic disciplines (i.e. songwriting, filmmaking, visual art, choreography, and performance.) It did just that! The two of us (Jessie Marion Smith and Kyle Walker Akins) took on literally every element of the creation of “We Won’t Be in Love Much Longer.” We wrote/recorded the song, choreographed/performed the dance, and shot/edited the video. Taking on all of this was not without its obstacles, but it only served to push us further as artists.
Below is a story about how these challenges inspired our process:
When we set out to make “We Won’t Be in Love Much Longer,” we had no crew. This was an interesting challenge. (Especially for Jessie, who as a choreographer is particularly intent on designing camera action to exemplify movement.) When we were both in front of the camera that meant no one was behind the camera. So, we started playing with the camera and light to develop a visual styling that was engaging with a still frame. This was an exciting discovery for us. The two of us are very used to working as a self-contained unit. (Except for the rhythm section that played on the recording. We have to give a shout out to Donald John McGreevy Jr. on drums and Paul David Heyn on bass.) Working without a cinematographer to shoot “We Won’t Be in Love Much Longer” pushed us into different ways of thinking about making the video, forced us to call on our other perspectives, and design a new lens through which to look at the work. We ultimately constructed the video with thousands of still photographs. With no true video images present, the scenes of the video are isolated incidents within time.
In “We Won’t Be in Love Much Longer,” we applied a specific logic to both our visual and musical technique. As sound can only exist within one moment, the pleasure of music exists on a temporal plane. When making this video, we also followed that rule. Because we have an agreement on syntax, music exists. With the memory of the note/word just previous to this moment, and the expectation of the next note/word to arrive, we have language, we have music.
Another thing we set out to do with this project was introduce dance cinema to new audiences. Below is a story about the live event we held to premiere the video in Reno, NV:
We set up the evening with the intention of re-contextualizing dance cinema within a music setting so we held the event at a local music venue/bar. Marion Walker played live music. And, because the bar was too small to house a proper projection screen, we got our hands on the biggest flat screen TV we could find and held it over our heads while the video played. It was a great party! We also had a little personal viewing station with headphones in the back corner of the bar. A real highlight of the night was walking by that station and seeing people fully engrossed in the video despite all the commotion around them. We saw many people return to the TV multiple times throughout the night and even drag friends over to watch it!
We were also very pleased to have the video premiere online on NewMusicBox. We are going to continue planning screenings for “We Won’t Be in Love Much Longer” and hope to see it shown in a myriad of different settings in the future.
For more stories about our process and the way we are thinking about music and dance cinema check out the interview that Emily Bookwalter did with us!
Our sincere gratitude to New Music USA and the New Music community for helping to support this project!
We are so happy to announce that “We Won’t Be in Love Much Longer” is now online for your viewing pleasure!
Thanks so much to NewMusicBox for hosting the premiere and to Emily Bookwalter for interviewing us about our process!
Check out the video and interview here:
Your first chance to see “We Won’t Be In Love Much Longer” is coming up in two weeks in Reno, NV!
Friday, December 12th, 2014
The Loving Cup, 188 California Ave, Reno, NV
with live music by Marion Walker and Plastic Caves
For those of you outside of Reno, more opportunities to see the video will be coming soon!
We are incredibly proud to say that we just exported the FINAL version of our video! We are now shifting our focus to coordinating the project’s premiere. We will let you know where you can lay eyes on it soon!
We have been steadily working on our video for the last several months (choreographing, rehearsing, shooting). We are happy to report that we are now in post-production and putting the finishing touches on our edit. It is incredibly rewarding to see all the images come together and we wanted to share one with you.
Dearest, Here is a sneak peek of the song we composed for this project. This version was released on our recent album, “November Summertime.” We are almost at the end of our month long “Pleasure Fool Tour” in promotion of that album. The news that we were awarded a grant for this project came to us while on the road in the Nevada desert and we couldn’t have been more excited. We had so much fun working on the music aspect of this project that our vision for the video/performance has evolved. Because of this, we have extended our shooting schedule. Stay tuned for further updates! Love, MW.
Stop Motion Study.
Dearest, Here is a short video study we did while preparing for this project. Love, MW.
Marion Walker will be the Artists-in-Residence at PROJECT: Space Available in Seattle, WA in November and December, 2013. During this residency, Jessie Marion Smith and Kyle Walker Akins will be creating a stop-motion dance film entitled “We Won’t Be in Love Much Longer.” It will be an abstract short film exploring the concept of time. In the film, the organic and inorganic will exist in different folds of time, with objects representing the past and future and humans representing the impossibility of holding tight to the present. Marion Walker will create an ornate landscape of cast ice objects. These objects will have choreographed motions and paths, and will be thawing throughout their actions. The humans in the scene will be struggling for stasis. Placed in strenuous poses and challenging partnering lifts, the dancers will be unremittingly fighting fatigue in order to maintain their positions.
Marion Walker will also compose the music for “We Won’t Be in Love Much Longer.” The film will premiere as part of their January 2014 West Coast Tour. It will exist as part of Marion Walker’s music set and they will perform its score live during the screenings.
This project is exciting for Marion Walker because it allows them the opportunity to introduce dance cinema to new audiences by bringing it into live music venues. Marion Walker is a multi-disciplinary company and they are thrilled to be working on a project that not only highlights their filmmaking and musical talents, but also their visual art and choreographic/performance pursuits.
This excerpt from one of Smith’s past short films illustrates her experience with making dance films.
It is directed, produced, choreographed, performed, and edited by Smith. It also features cinematography by Sean Porter and music by Jherek Biscoff.
This slide show features photographs of cast ice objects that Akins has made in the past.
Start and End Dates
11/01/2013 — 01/31/2014