Mathematics is one of the nine tracks from the album ‘Poetry Versus Orchestra’, a collaboration of British spoken word artist Hollie McNish and the Metropole Orkest. Hollie is known for her strong and powerful words and performances and her poetry ranges from uplifting and lovely words as mother to socio-critical and thought-provoking statements about nowadays’ society and environment. Jules Buckley and Chris Wheeler teamed up to write music on the poetry of Hollie and have it played by the Metropole Orkest in order to combine its energy and unique sound with the words by Hollie. The outcome is an ‘installation of sound, inviting the audience in this socio-political world’. (Jules Buckley)
Martin Pyper from ME studio in Amsterdam has been asked to design the album itself, but furthermore he created a stop-motion video of one of the tracks on the album: Mathematics. Throughout this design he made use of nails and wool in order to support the message of this multi-scenic and diverse album.
The same technic has been used for the video of Mathematics, which includes poetry about nowadays’ common hate against immigrants within our society.
The video by Martin empowers the track with a visual aspect, which makes its message even stronger. This combination of the strong political core by Hollie, the music by Jules played by the Metropole Orkest and the stop-motion video by Martin can be regarded as a piece of art, which invites people to
Stop Moving. Start Watching. Start Thinking.
‘As an artist, Hollie writes about social issues, prejudice, hatred and the skewed norms of a dysfunctional society.
The technique with steel pins and string felt right for this particular album and the personal, direct and unpolished message it brings.
Using icons was a deliberate choice, the prejudice she talks about is often a simplification of complex issues and graphic icons are themselves, also a simplified or even cliché shape that is used to depict something often much more complex. The icons tell their story in a very basic and direct fashion.
‘Mathematics’ was created by hand frame-for-frame in my studio using just a pile of foam boards, steel pins (about 8,000 of them) and 200+ metres of wool.
The clip was created using a stop-motion technique and was built entirely by hand. The 1,900 stills used to make the film were incredibly labour-intensive to make and the whole process took roughly 200 hours to complete, including making the original artwork, building the set, weaving the wool, photographing the frames and editing the video.
A minial amount of retouching was done to stay true to the original idea which was to keep it as simple, real and as handcrafted as possible.’
Martin Pyper – me studio
Published: Wednesday November 2 2016