Cast: CREDITS Matthew InglebyLyrics voiceover William ButterworthPiano Henrik JensenDouble bass Tom HopkinsVoice and instrument recordings, Audio mastering Matthew HawkinsMoving Images, Film edit and mastering Stephanie Norgate Lyrics editor, script advisor Anders RindomScript, Lyrics, Still images and still image sequencing, Field recordings (audio), Project management Will Butterworth performs 'Alfie' by Burt Bacharach (1966) Henrik Jensen performs extracts from 'If I were a Bell' by Frank Loesser (1956) and 'Waterloo Sunset' by Raymond Douglas Davies (1967) William Butterworth and Henrik Jensen together performs twelve fragments taken from 'Alfie' by Burt Bacharach (1966) 'To Dust' is a new multi-media work, created by a small ensemble of players. It has come about by using often the simplest of means: a camera, an audio recorder and a laptop computer. Although the final outcome of these efforts is the DVD you are holding in your hands, not all about it may be what as it first appears. For although it has been my aim to move you, what you see will often stand still.
The narrative has come about, not by the flicker of fast moving images but in a slightly more hesitant way, by sequencing single photographs one after the other. There is however little point in listing what may evade expectations or indeed be absent in this project. Rather I would prefer to dive in and tell you about what is on offer. This DVD will serve you a story, or rather two, but tell them in tandem, one weaving in and out of the other. They both intend to take you on a journey, but of different sorts. One will send you from the glittering towers at Canary Wharf in London's new city to the shaded, empty gardens of a long vanished villa in Golders Green on the edge of suburbia. The other will take you on an adventure of a less tangible kind: a narrator, your guide, will in song-like words cover you with lavish promises and fickle hopes, as his and our journey moves towards its destination, where the realisation of the forces that drive him forward is revealed. Perhaps this venture is best experienced like a piece of counterpoint music, where two voices meet and part in order to perform a dance, to the rhythm and forward motion of time.
As the two journeys unfold, memories embedded in the images will be brought to light and the text be given rooms and spaces to inhabit. 'To Dust' is a story about the place for love, when dreams and hopes get to reign supreme. Nothing in life can, as far as I can tell be experienced standing still; only in the chase of something have I ever encountered the feeling of catching what I have been seeking. But it's all rather perpetual. Arrival, when it occurs often proves no more than just another beginning. One of the great stories about love, or rather the absence of it is the 1966 British film 'Alfie' that has haunted me throughout this project. It is certainly no coincidence that I have chosen to revisit its score and have re photographed part of scenes for image sequences. 'Alfie' is despite operating in some kind of period closet, still a moving and bitter sweet reflection on relations between men and women that strikes me as poignant today, as it did when I first saw it as an adolescent, thirty odd years ago. It is a personal benchmark you could say, when it comes to such matters. 'What's it all about?' asks Alfie, the main character directly to the camera, as that film draws to a close.
It is as if he expects us, the audience to have the final answer. I for one, despite all those years, may not be any closer. 'To Dust' is in the same way as that particular film a tale of personal progression. Like some classic narratives that involve great leaps, it uses water as part of its setting. It may alas neither take you as far away as the tales of Odysseus travels nor require quite the heroics of its spirited hero, but the challenges are nevertheless real. The sirens calling may not be beautiful women, even if this story will show you a few. Rather it is reality itself, or the concept of what could be real that begs you for a fling. It will ask you to open up to the world, give in to all its wonders and ask you to reconnect. This is an invitation to celebrate the moment, a summons to opening up and falling in love with all there is around you, calling you to allow dreams to come forth again. What we have could be the recipe for one hell of a time, as the young narrator will try to convince you. Now, are you ready for the ride?
Number of pages: 66
Dimensions: 125 x 140 mm