When I was in Northern Ireland last year, I was lucky to stay with storyteller, Liz Weir, who is an inspiration, a mentor and a friend. She introduced me to Guy Goldstein, a visual artist and musician from Tel Aviv, who was doing an Artist Residency, in the Curfew Tower, in Cushendall.
Liz and I chatted with Guy over tea, about his work and he recorded one of Liz’s stories and one of my songs. A couple of days ago, he contacted me to share the work he’d made that included both.
This is what Guy says about his art:
“As both a visual artist and musician, I am fascinated by the transitions between forms – attempts to convert actions from one medium to another, specifically between the visual and sonic. The relationships between sound and image in my work are rarely linear or teleological, and the process of transition between them is crucial, including chance or human mistake involved. I often employ a cyclical logic, in which each form is an impetus for another kind of form, as a means of investigating the mechanics and emotions of perception. In its malleable shapes, the information at the core of each piece gains an essential presence, though it is no longer readable in its original format.”
My song was written in Ireland as a response to a letter from an Irish ancestor, kept in my family since 1871. While I was visiting the place it was written from, I was moved by the realisation that my son, at the time, was the age of my ancestor who had migrated to Australia, all those years before. I suddenly felt a deep empathy for the anguish his parents must have felt, when their only son left them and sent no word for 8 years. They thought he had died. The letter I have is very emotional. It was their first letter to him, after they had received his first letter home, 8 long years later.
Guy has woven my song with sounds of the sea, a community at prayer, shipping bells at other sounds and in doing so has captured the landscape and the longing that lead me to write my song.
My warmest thanks go to Guy – I am so delighted to hear my song re-contextualized like this! It is made new and at the same time made more potently what it originally was intended to be. It reminds me what a joy it is to collaborate with other artists and how that process stimulates further creativity and grows our work.
My song is woven into Track 2: Farewell to Love and Liz’s wonderful story is central to Track 9: End of Story. The whole play list is rich and fascinating and I encourage you to get some good headphones and enjoy it all. It is a sonic window into Guy’s time in Northern Ireland.
Guy is looking to tour this work and I wish him well its ongoing manifestation in the world.
You can listen here: