THE MAKING OF NECROSIS

MOOD

The Necrosis chapter was uprooted from the lands of the dead. Holes of brown unearthed patches from an improper harvest. A low laying disease that contrasted the deep green thickets of healthy Finnish forests. Wood stalks lined up in rows, branded with markings of grade & price, as their roots lay in piles of waste beside the road.

 

It was a feeling of darkness that contrasted the purity of the natural landscape. It was the scares of battle wounds. This is a time of unearthing the hidden ugliness, the demons in the closet, confronting the frustration, anger & sadness, & moving on. A journey back to the start of existence, acknowledging the past for its fall from grace, wisdom, and reflection of the truth of suffering, choosing to ground one's forward journey in the deep pool of acceptance. It is also the maturation of the psyche and the acknowledgement that death and destruction has its place when in harmony with the seasons.

 

MYTHOLOGY

An intrinsic part of our mythological mapping during the Augmented Organism Project incorporated various roots of European faery folklore. For Necrosis, the characters & energies we worked with spoke to the environmental setting of this chapter. We had multiple presences involved in this section, such as the Lady of the Harvest, Oak Men, the Topsie Turvets, Arval Parrot, & Tobaira of the Waters. These energies call on a realization of anger, sadness, connecting with the inner warrior, & letting go, allowing the things that no longer serve us burn in the cleansing fires of change.

Further mythological inspirations that supported the story of Necrosis was the archetype of the Lady of the Harvest, representing a death & a rebirth, the natural cycles, & a letting go of the past to make room for the now. World mythology influences of this archetype include:

  • Mielikki the Finnish goddess of forests and the hunt. She is referred to in various tales as either the wife or the daughter-in-law of Tapio, and the mother of Nyyrikki and Tuulikki. She is said to have played a central role in the creation of the bear.

  • The transformation from Dark Lady of Kāli, the primordial goddess of the force of time & the changing transitions of nature that bring things to life or death (Kāla masculine form). (Hindu reverence)

  • Pele, the volcano goddess, known for her creation cycles as a destroyer & shaper of new lands & growth. (Hawaiian reverence)

  • Ukko, god of the sky, weather patterns, harvest & thunder (Finnish reverence)

  • Phoenix, a female sacred firebird that, upon the end of its life-cycle, ignites itself on fire in its nest, reducing to ashes that then births a new young Phoenix (Egyptian & global cultural reverence)

In addition to our main research areas, our main elemental focus for Necrosis was earth, fire & wood. These three elements in combination presented not only a cleansing for the character, but a grounding as well.

PRODUCTION & PERFORMANCE PROCESS

We were seeing patches of barren lands when we were location scouting down small country roads. It was never a handful of trees, but hundreds at a time. It was a stark difference to the surrounding areas of forests that had trees as far as the eye could see. There was a pain seeing this, knowing that there were even worse clearings of forests happening in the world that were bigger than the impacts we were seeing with our own eyes. We then felt that this land environment with its elements of wood, were going to be brought into our story. We did a lot of location scouting for this particular chapter, & made a resting decision on a place that was nearby, somewhere that was a short drive. We did our location research there, finding our soundscape inspiration & movement energy there. We tried a couple of times to shoot there under this three tall trees that were left in this barren field, but the lighting became dark & the evening was getting really late. It wasn't flowing at all so we called quits on it. That evening the fur hood for the character got lost as we traversed through the nearby woods from this location & came upon this cleared developmental manmade hole in the ground. That was a "woah" moment. A day later, we came back to the same spot to shot what we had found, & the lost fur hood was miraculously hanging on a tree right on the side of the road. This was a sign for us. It was 2am, & something told us to keep on driving. We drove & drove down country roads, calculating our path in our minds so that we wouldn't end up lost. This trip ended us right at a huge cleared site that became the new location for Necrosis. It called us, & so it is.

The creative direction of characterization, costume concepts, overall energy & effort of movement for Jazmyne was established from previous workshop at Arteles Center as well as practice led movement research on location. Final performance takes included highly refined movement relationships between Cy's cinematography both on land and in the air with the drone.

For costume, we added elements of a lone animal warrior woman going to battle from things that we collected in the local second hand shop, an urban shop in Helsinki, & from some of Jazmyne's costume collection brought with her for this project. The energy of the piece was already determined, as well as the quality of movement (being heavily focused on deep rooting movements progressing into industrial & digital machine like limb isolations. The framing & perspectives Cy captured with the choreography of his cameras were what gave the expansiveness & bigness of the destruction we witnessed & enriched the storytelling of the message that was coming across. 

FINNISH BALLAD TRANSLATION

FINNISH                                                                                       ENGLISH
Armoa kaikk’ on, armoa vaan,                                         All is grace, grace is all
Jos mitä milloin mä toimehen saan;                              If I ever accomplish anything at all;
Jos koen voimaa, hehkua, tulta;                                      If I ever feel strength, glow, fire
Kaikki se kaikk’, rakas Herra, on sulta                             All of it, dear Creator, is due to you
Kaikki se kaikk’, rakas Herra, on sulta.                            All of it, dear Creator, is due to you

Uskoni kallis sun on se myös                                           My dear faith comes from you
Rakkaus, toivoni sulta on myös                                        Love, and my hope, those come from you too
Oikeaan ohjaa, armo on tieni                                            Guide me to the right path, grace is the way
Suuri on Herra, mä ihminen pieni                                     Great is the Creator, I am so small
Herra on suuri, mä ihminen pieni                                     The Creator is great, I am so small

Jos minut hylkäät, siihen mä jään                                    If you forsake me, there I shall stay
Vaipuen usvana yön hämärään                                        Sinking as haze to the darkness of the night
Työni on turhaa, vaivani suotta,                                        My labor is pointless, my efforts in vain, 
vaikka mun aikani ois tuhat vuotta                                   even if I lived for a thousand years
Vaikka mun aikani ois tuhat vuotta                                  Even if I lived for a thousand years

Mutta, sun armoos turvautuen,                                        But, resorting to your grace,
uskossa nauttien hän tietää sen                                      the one who enjoys your faith knows the way
Mullasta nousee painunut pääni,                                     From the ground will my weary head rise,
totta ja voimaa mä saan elämääni                                  truth and strength I shall gain for my life
Herralta voimia saan elämääni                                        The Creator will provide strength for my life

Kiitos ois Herra kun minut loit,                                          Praise to the Creator for creating me,
kun tämän kaiken minulle soit                                          for providing everything to me
Ällös sä pelkää, myötä ja vasta,                                        Don’t be frightened, now and in future,
hoivaa ja hoitele kuin isä lastaan                                      the Creator looks after like a father does his child
Hoivaa ja hoitele kuin isä lastaan                                      Look after and nurtures like a mother does her child 

EXCERPT FROM JAZMYNE'S CREATIVE JOURNAL

"Earth, earth being torn up, trees uprooted. It was eerie for me to pass the sections of woodlands being cut and cleared. From the view of the car, it was a quick view to witness the scene, but the feeling resonated with that of a cemetery. The roots were piled up or left deserted in the torn up earth, left with its uselessness. The stack of roots as we drove by, reminded me of elephant trunks, of ivory. Though not priced or at all compared to what the “worth” of ivory is, it had the same concept of killing something to use parts of the “body” and discard the rest.  The roots were a big symbol for me, as they represent the deepest connection to the earth mother, the anchors in the depths of darkness. The roots made me think of wisdom, and of traditions, and of growth, and of process for something so small to continue growing up up up to the light, until it grew to be over 10 meters tall. The roots reminded me of our elders, of “old people”, who are generally “discarded” in society, not to be dealt with and to live the rest of their lives enjoying what they have left until they have completely “dried out” and choose to leave this world. They hold so much past and wisdom of experience (the best teacher), but they tend to be left on the side of the road in piles, in senior homes in quantity, left in others hands until their last breath. "