MEETINGS WITH THE GNOSTIC CARTOONIST

I will try to write some more about David in another post, but for now here’s some info and clips…

David Tibet on Hastings Beach
David Tibet contemplating the Apocalypse on Hastings Beach
the lovely David Tibet, possibly not contemplating the Apocalypse
the lovely David Tibet, possibly not contemplating the Apocalypse

David Tibet is a musician, artist, poet, Coptic scholar, lover of God, and all round good chap. One of my best friends, Geoff Cox, has told me much about David, but it was only on the occasion of David exhibiting at the lovely Isis Gallery that I really got to chat to him. I have often admired his ability to see beyond what is fashionable and to champion those with a true voice or calling, and he has put out albums by such diverse artists as Shirley Collins, Tiny Tim and was the original home for Antony and the Johnsons, way before anyone else championed the beauty in Antony’s voice. mega box PC In another coincidence I had just read a fine novel by Tod Wodicka who wrote the introduction to David’s exhibition catalogue (there’s also an essay by Michael Faber who wrote the amazing ‘Under the Skin‘). There you go, two book recommendations in one blog entry.

So here are two films I made with David in December 2008, mainly about his art.

CHANGING THE WORLD IN A SIX INCH HEEL

Photo by Cait Kirby
Photo by Cait Kirby

Johnny Blue Eyes is a stylist, man about town and artist, he works with cool people and recently hit the headlines when Kate Moss modelled at his debut House of Blue Eyes fashion show (where Beth Ditto also serenaded Johnny with an acappella version of ‘Send in the Clowns’ while Johnny wore a giant clown head!).

Kate Moss at House of Blue Eyes launch show
Kate Moss at House of Blue Eyes launch show
Beth Ditto struts her stuff that same night
Beth Ditto struts her stuff that same night

Now Johnny has an art show at Coco de Mer

So here’s a video of Johnny’s performance I shot on the opening night.. It’s a mixture of Leigh Bowery, karaoke, vogue dance off and a heartfelt dialogue with the world, imploring everyone to riot and be free! And it’s all topped off with a great dollop of love!

SHOOTING THE GOOBLEDIGOOK VIDEO WITH SIGUR ROS

Here are a few photos from the day the video for ‘Gobbledigook’ was shot

jonsi and chris doyle on gobbledygook shoot

This photo shows ace director of photography Chris Doyle, Jonsi and one of the extras on the video shoot

sigur ros john best jonsi

Singer Jonsi with band manager John Best. John is the one who has not been drinking.

extra on gobbledygook shot

An extra rehearsing whirling fire around. Or maybe just bored in a gap between shooting.

jonsi and john best on video shoot

Ahhhh, john looks after a somewhat worse for wear Jonsi

I shot a lot of video that day, here is a little clip of it:

Hopefully some more of it will come out in the future!

ABOUT MAKING VISUALS FOR SIGUR ROS

note from kids after sigur ros gig
drawing of sigur ros gig by kids

hello folks, this is my first blog entry and really its a repost of a thing i wrote for Pippa Brooks‘ website

I have been working with Icelandic rockers Sigur Ros for much of this year on various films and videos which has been great fun. A few months ago I got a call from John Best, one of their managers, asking if I could very quickly get some footage together to be projected behind them on stage. Lead singer Jonsi specifically asked for imagery of some young children singing along to the extended ending of their best known song “Hoppipolla”. So I did what any sensible gentleman would do and called Pippa Brooks, who in her turn made a few calls and voila, a couple of days later we had a party of children ready to go! Thankfully the weather stayed clear for us and a group of brilliant kids (Hannah, Joe, Duke, Madison, Charlie, Grace and Adam), a couple of parents and I jumped into cabs and hightailed it to Clapham Common, where we filmed for a bit then celebrated with ice creams all round!!

nick abrahams filming sigur ros visuals

I shot it on Super 8 film and developed the footage that evening at home, telecined it shorty after and sent it to the band to do with as they wished.

Fast forward to the gig and a whole gaggle of parents and children met up at Alexander Palace to see Sigur Ros perform live. Despite the fact that there were 7,000 people there and we were at the back of the hall, we managed to see pretty well and about half an hour in, it happened…all the kids were up on our shoulders and it was strangely amazing to have the kids watch themselves on the big screen behind the band, and to hear the whole audience (including the kids), singing along with the band. Ok, it wasn’t the most complex of vocals (”ooo-ee-ooh….ooo-eee-oooh..”) but it was just lovely. Plus Alexandra Palace as a venue has many faults, but what it did have was a pick ‘n’ mix sweet stall which the kids found more interesting than the bar!

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After the show I was chatting to Jonsi, who berated me for not keeping the children there to meet him (even though it was past midnight!). Apparantly it’s his favourite visual in the (very visual) show (another highlight was when a real wall of water rained down in front of the band…..hard to describe but beautiful). Here’s another clip of the band performing “Gobbledigook” in front of some more of my visuals…