Four years after Skullsplitter, Canadian Paris-based musician and composer Eric Chenaux released a new album. Slowly Paradise is out now via Constellation Records. It features Ryan Driver and Marla Hlady. Now he shared a new video for the track “Bird & Moon“. It was directed by Chenaux’s longtime collaborator Eric Cazdyn.
Cazdyn has consistently created smart, understated, often obliquely whimsical and always conceptually acute visual takes on Chenaux’s brilliantly warped avant-folk/jazz ballads. Recurrent in these video works has been a post-modern exploration of the camera’s gaze and the boundaries between action/inaction, stasis/fluctuation, public/private, observed/surveilled, realism/artifice, premeditation/accident, and continuity/rupture. In his series of videos for Slowly Paradise to date, Cazdyn has also been incorporating Chenaux himself as subject in newly overt ways, exploring narrative minimalism and nominal surrealism with Chenaux as explicit “actor”.
“Bird and Moon” follows Chenaux on a pair of meandering bike rides along Toronto streets in early winter and through Paris during the bloom of spring (his two “hometowns”). Repetitions, mirrored actions, and recurring motifs from each city’s perambulations are edited using frequent, brief, complete blackouts between segments. Calmly rupturing this quotidian realism is an intervention of sorts, as Chenaux cycles past a picnic scene in each city, where “Bird and Moon” plays through a pair of tiny Danelectro amplifiers laid out on a blanket on the grass. The album audio gives way to this site-specific sonic simulacrum, with its tinnier distortions cutting against the naturalism of the setting. This intervention is itself a recurrence of other passing instances in the video where environmental sounds combine with and disrupt the music track.