During the last few weeks I’ve written mostly individual profiles of the subjects in the portraits I’m creating, including Michael Stuhlbarg (“A Soft Spoken Serious Man”).  I’ve also posted demo mp3s and several edited interviews.  But I’ve intentionally written a little less about the projections.

(Filming footage this week in NYC for the song “I Can Breathe Underwater”)

In performance, the interviews and songs will alternate, creating companion visual and musical portraits.  But while I’m playing the songs at the piano, additional film projections will stream across the canvas, mostly abstract images related (tangentially or literally) to the lyrics.  Mike and I decided early on that we could do the project without the projections but not without the interviews, so our focus for the last month has been filming and editing interview footage.  As we near completion of the interviews, we’re turning our attention back to the projections.

The portraits of Michael Stuhlbarg (both song and interview) relate the story of a remarkable night from the summer we worked on Hamlet together.  Amidst a gathering windstorm, Michael continued a soliloquy as tree branches and other debris blew across the stage.  The Public Theater produces Shakespeare in the Park in a beautiful outdoor theater called the Delacorte, and a few weeks ago Mike Heck and I went to Central Park to shoot footage for the projections that will accompany the portrait of Michael Stuhlbarg.  The song, in a sense, is about what it means to be an actor: the dichotomy of working in a very public yet often very solitary profession.  The images from the empty Delacorte hopefully help to capture that feeling.  Mike is editing interview footage, but I’ve started to edit projections.  Below you can watch the footage that will accompany “A Soft Spoken Serious Man.”  I’ve also included a link to just the mp3 below the film.  More multimedia soon.

(Film © 2010 Matthew Carlson and Michael Heck)

A Soft Spoken Serious Man (mp3) by Matthew Carlson

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