I was asked to participate in an interesting project for Film POP (part of POP Montreal festival) organized by Kier-La Janisse. The project consisted in making a video or a short film with the music of an artist performing at POP Montreal this year, and to make this piece in the same spirit as the obscur genre called Auroratone. Here is a brief description of what the event was all about and what an Auroratone is:
The Auroratone Project is a commission of original short films by experimental Canadian filmmakers set to the music of POP Montreal’s 2012 participants. ‘Auroratones’ were abstract musical films used in mental institutions and army hospitals after WWII as a means of soothing post-traumatic stress disorder and general mental disturbance, invented by film enthusiast Cecil Stokes who was continuing on nearly two centuries of previous pseudo-scientific attempts to correlate colour with musical notes. For POP Montreal, filmmakers Leslie Supnet (Manitoba), Emily Pelstring (Quebec), Jon Rafman (Quebec), Alex MacKenzie (BC), Walter Forsberg (Manitoba), Leslie Bell (Alberta), Jaimz Asmundson (Manitoba), Cheryl Hann (Nova Scotia), Tamara Scherbak (Quebec), Heather Rappard (Nova Scotia) and Sabrina Ratte (Quebec) were approached to create original abstract films guided by the principles of Cecil Stokes’ Auroratones.
Here is the only known surviving Auroratone film, When the Organ Played 'O Promise Me,' which is in the private collection of Gus Martens -- himself an amateur cinema enthusiast and filmmaker, who at one time earned side-money projecting films at the Creedmor Psychiatric Center, in his native Queens, New York.
And, well, here is my own Auroratone, thanks a lot to Tim Hecker for giving the permission to use his music.