AN INTERVIEW WITH GYÖM GO, DIRECTOR & PRODUCER OF "CHANGE"
Award Winner - June 2021 Edition
. Best Song
DIRECTOR & PRODUCER
Gyöm Go cut his teeth in Toulouse in the South of France: his father gave him his first guitar in 1992, then Gyöm confirmed his career as an artist with a degree in Musicology in 2005, in addition to a Jazz musical studies diploma obtained at the Toulouse Conservatory in 2006.
He then explored music in various forms for ten years, while learning about photography and developing his taste for the visual arts.
He traveled to Guatemala in 2014 and then moved to Barcelona the same year: two places that would have a decisive influence in his aesthetic universe, notably with the creation of a series of videos inspired by the swarming urban dynamics of Barcelona.
It was in 2016 that a turning point took place: mixing music and video, Gyöm Go began to illustrate with his images the emotions he expresses with his music, to create music videos as a complete experience for the viewer.
Hello Gyöm Go, your Director's statement explains that you "don't make music to illustrate videos, nor videos that illustrate (my) music." Can you tell us about your process in realizing this?
I've been making music for years, but the very first time I met with video software was in 2016 with a friend editing. I saw it was similar to music software: dealing with clips on a timeline. So not long after, I launched myself into Premiere Pro with some video and music material I had, editing randomly like a kid playing with a new toy!
I straightaway liked the relationship between the rhythm & dynamics of the music, and the movement & dynamics of images. From that point I knew I wanted to create videos where I would work in parallel on music and images at the same level of importance. So nothing like hey, let’s illustrate my song with a video! But more something like hey, let’s create a piece where music and video are telling a story together.
The song and video were completed between 2017 & 2018. But you have chosen to not release it until 2022. This sort of "timing" is quite rare nowadays. What is your take on new media and how it's been impacting the flow of releases, both in sound and vision?
New media allow creators much greater reactivity to release their projects (video, music, etc.), considerably reducing the interval between the moment of creation and that of release. However, it’s important to listen to the specific flow speed a project needs, rather than rushing just because the market pushes you to. When I create, I am in a time/space where no one gives me deadlines, but me. In an atmosphere of ever-greater immediacy, we sometimes forget to just take the time.
CHANGE wasn't meant to become what it is. It all started when I met the singer, Tiffany, at work in 2017. The plan was just to have fun doing music. But once the song produced, I felt a potential in what we had done, and started to feel like I wanted to shoot a video clip with a story I would write, when I usually rather like to carry out my editing using images gleaned here and there.
It took me about a year to prepare everything: writing the storyboard, seeking shooting locations, finding participants, establishing the financial and material parts, etc. We shot in Barcelona on April 20th, 21st and 22nd 2018. I then took the time to let the idea mature before starting editing; plus I am learning video on my own, and I knew I needed to improve my technical skills in order to meet the level of requirement I set to myself for CHANGE.
In 2021, I got back to it with the intention of finishing the project for good and presenting it to festivals. CHANGE is currently registered at several festivals up to 2022. I will release the video afterwards.
In the context of a pandemic, doubled with climate emergency, what do you think of your role as a creator, in anxiety-ridden societies?
I wouldn't say that creators specifically have a "role", but rather an impact, positive or negative, more or less in spite of themselves, on viewers/listeners in their daily lives. Art is an important source of daily pleasure to many of us, that acts kind as of a daily therapy that helps manage daily life better, whether going through difficult times or not. Therefore, creators are proposing content that I believe to be of a major importance in people’s life, whatever the context, and in that sense yes, they have an important role as anxiety fighters, in societies of all times probably.
So in the current context of a pandemic and climate emergency, this role might be more important than ever before.
As a creator, if my work can somehow bring good moments to people and accompany them to fight anxiety and feel better, I’ll be a very happy one!
How much of the story did the Dancers know when they created their choreography? What was your initial vision of movement, as related to the track and the storytelling?
The dancers did not know the full details; they just had the song to work with. Nolwenn (main female character) did know the details and was in charge of writing the choreography and lead the rehearsals.
The only thing I knew is that I wanted the choreography to be an extension of what happens first between the two main characters that meet through dance.
Then I totally left it up to Nolwenn to create the movements that the song would inspire her.
I would then see how to use this in the video editing, thinking just like: whatever comes out, it will be cool material to work with!
Are there, in your view, some specific qualities that make a piece of art resonates universally, beyond the potential barriers that language or culture can erect?
Yes absolutely! Not easy to detail though. First, I would say that the level of sincerity an artist is putting into his creation is very important, as I think people are, consciously or not, very reactive to that.
Then, depending on the culture, codes might be different to express similar things, however, art is about expressing emotions, and there are pieces that somehow directly talk to you, by empathy: it works when it touches something that resonates in you, an emotion you do recognize or to which you can rely as a human being, such as pain or joy for example.
But there is that little thing happening in some pieces, that you would not know how to explain, this “magic” that does not belong to anything rational, that no science could ever theorize about (fortunately). And I think that this is the most important “quality” that can make a piece of art resonates universally (so in other words, I have no clue what that is!).
To be the composer, filmmaker, editor, producer and then some, of a project: More freedom, or more constraint?
Ahh!! Good question… definitely both! It is a constraint, for sure, to be dealing with several aspects of the video production process, as it’s impacting your capacity to focus on one specific area to give it more chances to be produced well.
On the other hand, it gives way more freedom to the creator to reach the “dear“ artistic vision he has in mind and bring it to life. But in the end, it depends on the kind of project, who you collaborate with, etc.
For CHANGE, I had it clear I was going to cover the roles I did cover. For future projects, I would actually love to extend collaborations, work with experienced people in their domain.
I do not want to stick to one single model anyway, and I enjoy very much the idea of having different roles from a project to another.
What is your vision for the future of film? And that of music?
My brain’s useless when it comes to imagining what the future of art could be.
I can say I am scared of the globalization driven by capitalism, making art looking more and more like a marketing standard product than an artistic creation coming freely out of someone’s mind.
Now, it's easier than ever to generate content today, thanks to dedicated user-friendly tools for example, allowing fresh and innovative ideas to emerge all the time, with more and more people able to express their creativity, for better or for worse though, but with a relevant and developing number of independent creators who are balancing the prevailing standardization.
So, even though I don't have a clear vision for the future of music or cinema, I am rather confident that the sources of creation are not about to dry up, and that new things are always to come. I don't believe in the fact that “everything has already been done”; which is just the typical human feeling such as the concept of "it was better before"...
I would actually love to be sent a few days in the future, like in a 100 years, to find out what creators will be up to, I find this idea very exciting!
Short statement describing your vision of the post-covid music business, do you think there will be notable changes?
I think the situation will gradually normalize so that things will go back to "the way they used to" in the music business. However, we have seen more creations committed to the cause of the environment since the start of the covid. The situation has raised awareness for many people, so this trend is likely to continue in the years to come.