A ballerina, whose pointe shoes are extended by a set of sharp kitchen knives, dances and twirls insistently until reaching exhaustion, fighting to maintain balance on the lid of a grand piano set on a stage. The theatre with its red velvet warm lighting, resembles an oversized music box. The camera turns around the dancer revealing the opposite side of the room: an empty and painfully bare theatre.
The ballerina appears as an eerie figure expressing effort, sacrifice and pain in her strive for perfection. Both fragile and cruel. Initially shy and hesitant, her steps become more and more emphatic, menacing and not exempt of violence, scraping and cutting into the delicate surface of the piano with her sharp pointe shoes.
Through this work, Javier Perez investigates and reflects once again upon the human condition. Using a strongly metaphorical language rich in powerful symbolism, he reveals the weaknesses that become the boundaries between seemingly irreconcilable concepts such as: beauty and cruelty, fragility and violence, culture and nature or life and death.
Trailer for Amon Tobin's all new, highly ambitious, breathtaking 'ISAM' live show. Tobin will be stepping away from previous DJ centric performances, and instead will be providing a large scale live audio/visual experience to select cities around the world. Designed in conjunction with Blasthaus, VSquared Labs, Vita Motus Design, Leviathan and others.
1st June - MUTEK, Montreal
9th June - Astra, Berlin
10th June - AB, Brussels
11th June - Bataclan, Paris
15th June - Melkweg, Amsterdam
17th June - Roundhouse, London
'ISAM' is available now in a variety of formats, including a deluxe 2XLP / Limited Edition CD Artbook (featuring exclusive images and an essay by John Doran) / Digital / T-Shirt package.
All summer long when I'm chasing storms, I'm also time-lapsing. It's actually my main goal when I'm out there. A clip here and a clip there. Some days you get nothing great, some days you get SIX amazing scenes in a single afternoon. A powerful rain shaft. An intense hail core dump. Shelf clouds. Dust storms. Lightning. The Milky Way. That's what I'm capturing out here in Arizona between June 15th and September 30th every year, which is our official monsoon window. And this is the result of all that time spent.
My favorite part of capturing all this is when I sit down to create this final film. While some scenes are worthy of standing on their own, a lot of them need to be part of something bigger. And when I start laying it out, they suddenly morph into this collection of storm imagery that tells the story of my summer.
This year I wanted to raise the bar. Not compared to everyone else, but my own personal bar. I licensed music this time. I wanted two amazing songs and I think I found them. Powerful, fast-paced, intense. Nothing gives life to your clips like a beautiful soundtrack.
I'm incredibly proud of this film. I've probably felt the same way every year in the past, but there is something about this summer that blew away the others. And I think it's because I'm better at what I do. I'm finding the structure in storms like I never have before. Our haboobs (dust storms) were limited this year, but those days were amazing, as you'll see. And I caught even more lightning this summer than the last two years combined. I think the scenes are more powerful and cinematic than ever. And for this final product, I've quickened the pace and I believe I'm finally showing the monsoon in all its beauty and glory.
There are over 45,000 frames in this film. I drove over 14,000 miles across Arizona. This takes work, time and patience. The month of July felt like a huge failure. It was a rough start. It seemed as if the year was going to be brutal and I'd be lucky to capture anything good. And then it all changed and I'm here now releasing what I feel is my best overall work to-date.
I'd like to thank a few people. Dustin Farrell, Sean Parker, Jesse Attanasio, Joel Schat and Bryan Snider. All of you helped me in some way. Answered my technical questions, helped me switch to better software, enabled me to take another leap in quality and inspired me. I appreciate your friendships and willingness to share.
Mostly though, I have to thank my family. My two older kids, Lyla and Eli (6 and 2 1/2) were along for the ride for many of these storms. The final shot in the whole film was one where my wife was out of town and I took all THREE of the kiddies with me, including my youngest who just turned one. I'll always remember that moment. The Milky Way blazing in the sky, I was feeding the baby a bottle, and taking turns with Lyla who did the best she could until her arm got tired and I took back over. Out there on a dark road off Interstate 10. Meeting another photographer named Val and just enjoying a spectacular moment with my kids all being a part of it.
My wife though. Jina. Wow. She believes in me like no one else could or ever will. She knows what I have to do and empowers me to do it. In fact, while I want this film to be amazing for everyone watching, I truly want to impress her the most. It means that all the time away this summer was worth it. Because life is a little bit nuts during the monsoon in our house, where I've returned from a chase at 6:30am having being out for 16 hours straight, only to go back out later that night after only a two hour nap.
I say it a lot and I'll say it again. I wouldn't be here without her. And I love her for it.
Technical Details and Credits
This past spring I purchased an eMotimo and Dynamic Perception rail system…but I ended up not using them. At all. I wanted to. Believe me. But many of these clips aren’t very long in real time. Sometimes less than 15-20 minutes in a lot of cases. If I took the time to set-up a rail or panning head, I’d be missing a lot. So none of the clips this year use outside motion control.
I used two Canon 5D Mark III's along with a Rokinon 14mm 2.8 and Canon L lenses, like the 17-40mm, 16-35mm, 50mm, 35mm and even the 135mm.
Songs: Bernini's Angels by Kerry Muzzey and Inertia by Dexter Britain
Thank you for watching. All clips are available in 4K resolution. Please email, comment or message me on Vimeo for questions, licensing inquiries and whatever else you might need