Pantha Du Prince - The Winter Hymn Music VideoSelf-referential yet self-governing in the best of ways, the music video for Pantha Du Prince’s “The Winter Hymn”, directed by the musician Hendrik Weber himself, culls together years of video footage to offer a look into his recent collaboration Scott Mou, aka Queens, and Bendik Kjeldsberg of the Bell Laboratory. Together, the three form what is known as “The Triad”, a collaborative interdisciplinary art project with a forthcoming 2016 release of the same title.

Weber’s first release since 2010, The Triad is an album that Weber believes “is governed by itself”, and takes listeners on a “transporting” journey. The music video is similarly transporting. Anchored by deeply intentional elements — such as the use of parabolic mirrors and crystal formations, which are symbols of “free energy” — “The Winter Hymn” is a moving collage that also incorporates movement art and collaborations with artists like costume designer Muyao Zhang. Incorporating so many key players into one project can easily create a muddled output, but under the watch of Pantha du Prince, “The Winter Hymn” not only works, but serves as an exciting teaser for the immersive artistic experience that The Triad hope to bring to festivals this year.

In the following Q&A interview with Weber, the artist speaks of the connective tissue that threads through his work, thoughts of formation and metamorphosis, and many more things, intangible and floating; tangible and grounded.

Pantha Du Prince - The Winter Hymn Music Video

 

The Triad album was the result of individuals getting into a room to jam, as a bit of a response to highly digitized electronic music. You also generally have an interest in dreams and states that are a bit outside of the normal realm of reality. Can you comment on how these states of mind tie in with the live music aspect of the record, and how they influence one another?

Sometimes I ask myself, “Where does music come from”? These waves, frequencies – how do I receive them? How can I translate them into a piece that everybody can follow in a pleasurable way for the mind and the body?

I just get focal points for the mind. It also requires new techniques of mind training, but generally it is naturally there. From the start of our existence, everybody can connect to these frequencies in a very direct way. Listening is already creating. While reproducing the tracks live, we become the music itself – a metamorphosis.

 

The album is very much governed around “feel”. How would you describe that feel?

The album is governed by itself. The material governs itself. It is a journey to very idyllic places that get questioned and destroyed, replaced by other spaces that challenge the reception and give you a chance to rest as well. Reset. The feel would be transporting, I’d say.

 

The music video for “The Winter Hymn”, which you directed, is the first look at the visual accompaniment for the record. If the music was born from jamming and collaboration, what is the process for how the video was born?

The video also created itself. We used these parabolic mirrors for a while, and I collected a lot of crystals and stones over the last years. I wanted to use crystals as landscapes; inner worlds in close-up.

Simon Krahl of Transfoma helped me to film these objects. The parabolic mirror as a symbol for free energy everywhere.

So the video for me should show a kind of becoming of a Formation. The Triad is a formation of stable constant output, so we wanted to find movements and form of inner refection for ourselves to become that formation. The video shows this process of finding “us” – “The Triad”.

 

There seems to be a variation of film qualities and grades in the music video, including hi-def and lo-fi. How many cameras or projectors did you use? How much was original footage versus found footage?

I collected a lot of the material over the years, as worlds of spaces to be in, to imagine yourself living in temporary space. So it is quite a variety of images that followed me for a longer period of time.

 

How much time was spent in shooting versus post-production?

Shooting and developing the scenes took us one week – post-production probably the same amount of time. It was definitely a group process, as Scott Mou helped a lot to finalize it.

 

Pantha Du Prince - The Winter Hymn Music VideoPantha Du Prince - The Winter Hymn Music Video

 

Muyao Zhang created the costumes, which are beautiful, spacey, mystical, and in some ways neutral and timeless. They fit in with the background crystals, light refractions, and starry imagery. How did the collaboration work with the designer and the “sets”?

Muyao Zhang is a fantastic designer, and she is also highly musically trained. I would rather say she is a musician working with fabric. Her costumes are her work, and it is her “solo” work; it was all already there. We took what fitted best from 2 collections she did. It was a friend of mine from China, who introduced us in Berlin. Muyao works in Berlin.

 

You refer to other visual elements that influenced The Triad, such as the Fritz Lang-inspired “Frau im Mond, Sterne laufen”, and costumes, light shows, and videos for the live festival performances. How close is this live imagery to what we see in the music video? What else can be expected?

We will see a staging of the music. This contains elements of the video, but also stay more abstract.

 

Are there certain festivals or audiences you feel will react better to a more theatrical performance? Would you call it theatrical or would you term it something else?

I would call it “situated living images”. And for sure it is not for everyone. You can close your eyes, but not your ears.

 

You mention the open-ended nature of the record and its performances, where anything is possible. Releasing expectations, what are your HOPES for the project?

We want to tour for a year and make a living; afterwards, we want the music to travel alone. Pantha Du Prince - The Winter Hymn Music Video

 

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