This song has been around for a couple of years now. While living in Madison, Wisconsin, I attempted to write a suite of songs based on nursery rhymes. I’ve always been intrigued by the darker undertones in some of these seemingly innocent children’s tunes. I wanted to explore some of their themes and re imagine them as contemporary songs.
I was very familiar with the first verse of Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star but until I did some research, I wasn’t aware there are another 4 verses to the rhyme written by Jane Taylor in 1806. One stanza refers to a “traveller in the dark” guided home by the little star’s light. I loved the imagery of this and decided to write the song from this traveller’s point of view. It is a sweet prayer for hope and light for those lost alone in the dark.
Musically, it was a reaction to my setting at the time. Madison has a thriving blues scene with a very high calibre of guitar players that influenced me to experiment with open D tuning and bottle-neck slide playing.
I’ve always been a big fan of Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. The film has such an immersive atmosphere. It still looks fresh and holds it’s own among today’s CG laden blockbusters even though it’s over 4 decades old. I wanted to pay tribute to the infamous ‘stargate sequence’ where the hero is taken on a psychedelic journey through space. The vivid colours, eerily beautiful alien landscapes and claustrophobic close-up shots were the inspiration for my latest project.
The next challenge was figuring out how I could simulate space travel with a minimal budget.
The props cost next to nothing. I found an old bike helmet on Trademe for $2 that was spray painted to look like a space helmet. I bought plastic tubing and coloured lights from the $2 shop and duck taped them to my jacket which I put on back to front as my space suit. The rest of the set consisted of Christmas lights and an old game controller steering wheel I’ve had since I was a child.
I shot footage by shining light through a stained glass kaleidoscope. This created a stunning effect with beautiful colours and moving shapes. I took this footage and overlaid it on a simple stock star field animation I purchased online. This was the foundation for the ‘journey’ back to planet Earth. I also compiled stock images of galaxies, nebulas and the Earth and animated them by panning and zooming in Adobe Premiere. Using a video projector, I projected these simple animations on to myself while Dunken operated the camera. The editing was fairly simple and completed in less than a day.
This was a fun project and I’d love to do something with a sci-fi theme again. I’ve already started planning my next video which I hope to have ready in the next couple of months. I’ll be sure to document the process and post about it on various social networks. In the meantime, Show Me Your Light is available to download for free (I do appreciate donations though, they go towards the next project) from Bandcamp.