All Songs Considered
Thu August 8, 2013
Viking's Choice: Stunning High Aura'd Video Reminds Us That Snails Are A Real Thing
Originally published on Thu February 12, 2015 8:00 am
We forget to listen closer, look closer. As a big-picture kind of guy, I do that myself, and that means missing details that make day-to-day life more vivid. Listening to High Aura'd, it's apparent that creator John Kolodij hears life with great clarity. Last year's Sanguine Features was a personal favorite of mine: a dark and buzzing LP that, when turned up loud, felt like a dark hallway with treasures tucked away in the corners. It's sound that demands deep inspection, and director Kenneth Linehan's 16mm-shot video for "Remain in Light" — from Kolodij's forthcoming split 7" with Blood Bright Star — is filled with those oft-unseen moments. You'll want full screen on this.
This is the extent of my snail knowledge: Snails move really slowly (unless mutated by nitrous oxide or something), chew up gardens and aren't terribly into salt. And up until this video for "Remain in Light," I don't know that I've ever seen a snail this close up before. How are these creatures even real? Somehow, the goo that is the snail's body molds and re-molds like a Swedish mattress on an endless glide. Kolodij's music does much the same thing, as if he's bending circular saws and Glenna Van Nostrand's (Omniviore) angelic coos in some ancient gastropod ritual. In an email from director Kenneth Linehan, that doesn't sound too far off.
For several years, I lived in a rundown old house on the east side of Providence, R.I. The house was on a steep hill, and the green space in front of the house had been left to do its own thing for over a decade. This seemed to make it a particularly desirable haven for snails as, during the warm summer months, whenever there was wet weather, hundreds of snails would emerge from the undergrowth onto the sidewalk, stairs and other landscape features. I decided to start trying to document the phenomenon and have spent the last few years returning during the summer to capture them on film. John from High Aura'd suggested that we collaborate on a video, thinking that the snail footage would work well in sync with the track "Remain in Light," so we decided to use some of the footage to make this video for the song. The movements of the image and music seem to flow very naturally together, and we've discussed a future collaboration on a live 16mm projection of the snails during a High Aura'd performance.
The High Aura'd/Blood Bright Star 7" comes out Sept. 3 on Anti-Matter Records.