Afternoon of Fools

Afternoon of Fools - Music by Andrew Keeling, Film by Steve Pennington

Ahead of the culmination of our MECHANIKA competition on October 16th in the Brunel Tunnel Shaft, we wanted to introduce some of the incredibly talented composers and visual artists that we will be showcasing, and to find out a little more about their projects. Here’s an interview with composer Andrew Keeling and filmmaker Steve Pennington about their allegorical piece exploring man’s relationship with technology...
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So Steven, could you explain a little about the visual style you've chosen and any influences you've drawn from?

The moving image piece is based on the work of Cecil Collins whose paintings and drawings evoke the theory of the fool ‘and the emotion generated by being alive and contemplating the spectacle of contemporary society.’ (Anthony Kedros, 1981). The visuals in the piece include iconic imagery of man and machine and the transition of time where technology is increased.

And are there any particular images/symbols which recur throughout the piece?

The wheel is there in the passive background throughout the film, while the fool and maiden idle away the day in the foreground knowing that technology is there when needed. For us, this symbolises man's control of the environment in an almost god-like fashion.

And this image of the 'fool' and man's increasing dependence on technology, has it inspired the musical side of the collaboration Andrew?

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The music is scored for amplified string trio (violin, viola and cello) and explores pounding rock-like rhythms set against homespun folk music and chant: the machine against the natural and spiritual emerging, as it were, from the depths of the unconscious; in metaphorical terms, from the shaft of Brunel’s tunnel.

Thank you both for letting us know a little more about your project - looking forward to playing the finished product in October!

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