Fire Incantation

Category : 1+1+1... a film series
Jan. 26, 2022 at 11:35 a.m. PST

David Brown, double bass

Mariah Mennie, fire dancer and composer

Filmed at University of British Columbia Buchanan Courtyard.

Statement from Mariah Mennie:

"I first met David Brown when he and Jeremy Berkman commissioned me to write a duet for trombone and double bass in 2019. After the premiere performance David asked if I would collaborate with him for the 1+1+1... a film series. This began an amazing collaboration.

From the beginning I envisioned the ethereal sounds of David’s bass calling into being fire elementals (fire poi) and causing them to dance. This seemed the perfect visuals to incorporate into the film aspect of the project. I used the imagery of fire - sparks, wisps of smoke, flames - to build the sound world for the piece and combined that with rhythmic elements to dance to and melodies to hear the bass sing.

With the piece written and learned, we were ready to add the fire and film element… until we tried to find a place to film in the middle of a crazy, heat wave, fire year! By the time we finally got permission to film at the UBC campus, it was October and raining.. hard. We filmed at night in the pouring rain for almost 8 hours. It was epic. The end project is both nothing and everything I envisioned."