Collaborations | Hodgens + McPhee
The first collaboration produced for the Inter-Creative Collaborations Project comes courtesy of the immense talents of musician, Robert Hodgens (Bobby Bluebell) and filmmaker Grant McPhee. The chosen song is Reflections Of My Life, originally written and performed by The Marmalade.
We hope you enjoy this meeting of creative minds and support the Tiny Changes charity fundraiser detailed at the bottom of the article
Reflections Of My Life
– Music: Robert Hodgens (Bobby Bluebell). Film: Grant McPhee
Some thoughts on the song choice from Robert Hodgens:
“This song means a lot to me … its an amazing piece of existential writing to find on a hit record from a group too quickly dismissed as chart fodder..
As a child growing up with a father who worked through the tumultuous dismantling of Glasgow’s shipbuilding industry this song and others seeped into my conscience through him and keep me bonded as a son to my father and for that i will always be grateful.”
Grant McPhee gives his thoughts on his vision for Robert’s song choice:
“I was delighted to be working with Bobby and his concept for these lockdown collaborations really appealed to me. I really rate him as one of Scotland’s best songwriters but the idea of him doing a cover was something I found really interesting and appealing to me, more so as ‘Reflections’ is a classic.
I was simply given the track and free reign to do as I pleased, which is sometimes too much responsibility. My take on Bobby’s idea was for people to have some fun but also possibly build on part of some larger collective heritage or experience: That when ‘this’ is all over there will be a record of people working together to try and do something positive that can be later looked back upon and form something bigger. On a deeper level I suppose it’s looking into the nature of some ways which people collaborate and how everyone’s body of work is partly a sum of multiple individual experiences or those shared with others over time. Bobby’s choice of song was inspired.
For me it was important to stay focussed on the collective idea and what I thought its goals were. It was definitely not to be tempted into trying to do something that was overly flashy or would draw too much attention to itself, or more importantly take away from others. My immediate priority was to not do anything that was too overtly distracting to Bobby’s music. The performance and music are very low-key and this is what, to me, gives it its power. Nothing felt like it was overworked or overthought and I didn’t want to impact on that. Of course, for me this was tricky as I often get criticised for not being subtle with images. The biggest issue for me however was due to Covid restrictions and limitations for not being able to film new and original material. I decided to resort to archive.
While it’s maybe a someway literal interpretation of the song I wanted to work with images that were complimentary to it and also fit my style. I’m a big fan of Marianne Faithful and I also knew Bobby was too. It’s always frustrated me that she’s mostly seen as simply Mick Jaggers girlfriend or being an ‘icon’ of the 1960s. She’s a fantastic artist in her own right who has produced a fantastic body of work that’s full of depth and in terms of her image she’s been as much of an icon now and throughout the decades as she ever was, often more now. If you’ve read her biography she’s had a remarkable life which has only added more depth to her earlier work – both when performing latterly and for a listener to the original recordings and this is what I thought would compliment Bobby’s cover and provide some interesting images to accompany.
Luckily there’s a large amount of archive available. I spent a little time gathering images from every year of her career from 1962 to last year, around 400 photographs and in a very DIY fashion tweaked them all until I got the eyes to roughly match. For the ‘progressions’ I didn’t want them to look like one of those YouTube videos (though I was definitely influenced by those ‘fan’ videos) where someone sticks everything into an algorithm and presses a button and hopes for the best. I worked out a way where I could control the progression manually to give it a human feel and just kept on repeating them on top of each other again and again, backwards and forwards. I’ve always been intrigued by Nicolas Roeg’s theories of manipulating time with editing and tried to add this into the mix. In some cases there are thousands of these images layered onto each other and when you press stop you end up with a unique still that’s a composite of someone’s life experiences all together but with each one slightly different. There’s no grand statement, just a series of small ideas and questions that a viewer or listener can ponder on and offer their own interpretations.”
Also on Inter-Creative Collaborations:
FUNDRAISING FOR TINY CHANGES
As all the creatives involved have given of their time and incredible talent freely, we decided it would be appropriate to release the songs (for FREE download) on our Bandcamp page but ask anyone who downloads the tracks to please consider a donation to the Tiny Changes charity which was set up by the family of Scott Hutchison who was a founding member of Frightened Rabbit. Scott took his own life after years of battling with mental health issues. The family felt compelled to set up Tiny Changes as a mechanism to support projects which positively impact on young people’s mental health.
Here is the link to Tiny Changes’ page…
Here is the link to Into Creative’s Just Giving page which is raising funds for the charity…
Please also visit the Bandcamp page where you will find the FREE download links to the songs…
INTER-CREATIVE COLLABORATIONS BANDCAMP