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New Video for Eric Chenaux's "Slowly Paradise" (Constellation Records)

Constellation Records:

We’re beyond pleased to present the fourth video from Eric Chenaux’s latest and acclaimed LP Slowly Paradise, launched today at The Quietus. “Bird & Moon” is once again produced by Chenaux’s longtime collaborator Eric Cazdyn, who has been the exclusive video-maker for Chenaux’s past four solo albums now, going back to 2010. Cazdyn has consistently created smart, understated, often obliquely whimsical and always conceptually acute visual takes on Chenaux’s brilliantly warped avant-folk/jazz ballads.

Recurrent in these video works has been a post-modern exploration of the camera’s gaze and the boundaries between action/inaction, stasis/fluctuation, public/private, observed/surveilled, realism/artifice, premeditation/accident, and continuity/rupture. In his series of videos for Slowly Paradise to date, Cazdyn has also been incorporating Chenaux himself as subject in newly overt ways, exploring narrative minimalism and nominal surrealism with Chenaux as explicit “actor”.

“Bird & Moon” follows Chenaux on a pair of meandering bike rides along Toronto streets in early winter and through Paris during the bloom of spring (his two “hometowns”). Repetitions, mirrored actions, and recurring motifs from each city’s perambulations are edited using frequent, brief, complete blackouts between segments. Calmly rupturing this quotidian realism is an intervention of sorts, as Chenaux cycles past a picnic scene in each city, where “Bird & Moon” plays through a pair of tiny Danelectro amplifiers laid out on a blanket on the grass. The album audio gives way to this site-specific sonic simulacrum, with its tinnier distortions cutting against the naturalism of the setting. This intervention is itself a recurrence of other passing instances in the video where environmental sounds combine with and disrupt the music track.

In the words of video mastermind Eric Cazdyn: “This video is a mirror, but one that reflects over time rather than space. Like a mirror, there is an identity, a repetition, a copy; and there is a difference, a split between a body and its double…but, in Bird & Moon’s mirror, the identity and difference is not only that of Paris to Toronto or Summer to Winter, it is that of the video to our memory of the video. Framings, durations, camera movements, sets, edits, props, acting—they’re all identical from the first to the second half…but they are also different depending on how our memory works. We remember. We forget. We watch it through. We scrub back. We don’t care. We click out. The mirror is not at the exact middle of the video’s timecode; nor is it in the centre of the black frames that divide the two halves. The mirror, rather, is the indivisibility of time and space, of our past and future selves. Or we can throw away the figure of the mirror altogether and think about the video as a rubber band snapping back against our own skin.”

“Bird & Moon” joins three other videos previously released from Slowly Paradise – “Wild Moon,” “There’s Our Love,” and “An Abandoned Rose” – and is another wonderfully epigrammatic visual accompaniment to the stuttering, leisurely, gently fried vibe of this song, from an album The Quietus calls “a remarkable record, both wildly experimental and as comforting as a soft embrace.”

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