In 2020, as spring turned to summer and the country was locked down, locked up, locked out and locked in, everything appeared to be changing. Outside, however, it was business as usual. The seasons continued undeterred. The sun and the rain, the flowers and the bees all came and went as usual. On Thursdays, at eight o’clock, a lone bell ringer at St. Marys prompted applause for NHS staff and key workers who held us together through these turbulent months.
Directed, edited, graded and filmed by Michael Cumming using the Blackmagic pocket cinema camera 4K with a variety of - mostly rickety, old - lenses. The soundtrack was written, produced & played by Michael on a variety of - mostly rickety, old - instruments, including: electric & acoustic guitars, synthesizers, glockenspiel, bass, drums & percussion.
"In attempting to connect with nature in a fresh way, had haiku masters of the 17th and 18th centuries obtained access to video cameras, they would have shot something resembling Michael Cumming's short film ‘Spring/Summer 2020’. Making everyday nature come alive anew is no easy task, and Cumming does it with great poignancy and grace. The visual use of the wind (negative space) and insects (positive space) for rhythm and momentum is inextricably thrust forward and noticeably enhanced by the gripping music. The stark symbol of the only manmade object - the church - was literally hammered home by the incessant ringing of the bell, as if what started out auspiciously can become annoying, much like the history of the church. There's a John Cagey calmness and tongue-in-cheek pushing of boundaries bubbling under the surface. The beauty of the colors and shapes of the flowers is sweepingly symphonic. I let out a gasp upon seeing the tiny wings of a bee flutter in the air like two electric fans."
John Solt - Poet & Author