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If the Great Depression Were a Music Video... [Exclusive]

The Tobias Stretch-directed "Dobryy Vechir" brings the atmosphere of the Dust Bowl to Tsyphur Zalan drone music.

by Beckett Mufson
Dec 15 2015, 4:15pm

Courtesy the artist

A new video for Christopher Bono's drone noise project Tsyphur Zalan's "Dobryy Vechir" offers a rare window into the barren atmosphere of the Great Depression. Directed by Tobias Stretch, who has previously done videos for RadioheadDirt Bikes, and Bono, "Dobryy Vechir" embraces the imperfection of 1930s celluloid. He channels the ghostly appearence of people—and what appear to be locusts—captured on vintage film, re-editing and modifying old found footage to create something neither old nor new.

"The history and technology of the moving image has evolved quite a bit from the days of Muybridge to our current line of digital capturing devices," Stretch tells The Creators Project. "What I think is really compelling is how the relationship with our own human history and reality is shaped by the ever evolving look and vastly expanding types of recorded images we use to see our world projected back in some limited way. The older the film stock the more ancient and ghostly it often feels, and I'm sure the virtual reality platforms of the future will only take us even farther away from the look and feel of our earliest celluloids."

Screencap via

"Dobryy Vechir" explores the overwhelming presence of nature by combining Zalan's stormy soundscapes with visuals from the Dust Bowl. "I struggled with what imagery to use initially but I figured out a how to deal with the sound of the rain storm in the piece after finding these old depression era films made by the government in the dust bowl of the 30's," Stretch says. The effects were created by superimposing some of his own footage over the vintage celluloid, but it's largely comprised of found footage. "Although it's a sandstorm setting in the film, the rainstorm sounds and the other beautiful audio layers work quite well with that setting."

"The cyclical patterns of nature which manifest through floods, droughts and storms tie us to the experience of previous events in history," he continues. "Now that we have the ability to maintain a visual record of these events hopefully it can help us understand life and calamities of the past, present and possible future. I wanted the storm imagery to operate as a metaphor like dark clouds on the horizon of history or the storms that rage within the human spirit."

Check out the video below:

"Dobryy Vechir" comes from Zalan's October 14 release, Sink, which you can download here. See more of Tobias Stretch's work on his website.

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