I really didn’t know what to expect from this meeting. Neither did Aleks, I’m sure. It excited me to not know what kind of sounds she would produce on film when her usual act is an electric mix of keyboard bursts and high, swimming vocals. No plugged instruments that day. It was the three of us in the middle of that monstrous greenhouse in Chicago.
They had two portable keyboards and a metallic box. We hid them in bags and inside Aleks’ coat. We walked into that plant conservatory not knowing whether security would stop us from coming in with their instruments.
“Excuse me?” the receptionist called to us so close to the Greenhouse entrance. “I just need a zip code” she says. So it goes.
We filmed a bunch of takes of her song until she was satisfied with one. And also before the employees blasting the plants with water next to us kick us out or soak us out.
She had some questions for me on the drive back. We had a little talk in which I tried to defend the simplicity of how I work. One camera. One mic (sometimes two). No crew. I knew it was coming. She doesn’t know me. I don’t know her. That day was the first encounter between our own personal, comfortable methods that had to interact to make this video. So it goes.
But in the end, it came down to the simplicity of the four right minutes of the right take of the song. No matter how many cameras, how many songs, how many keyboards, how many mics, there was really no denying the symmetry formed between the beauty of her music and the elegance of that makeshift forest around her. She’s a fantastic singer with a great knack for picking the perfect notes to form a bridge of sound that carries her music upwards.
Hopefully I’ve done a good enough job making this frame of her sounds to earn her trust. I certainly I feel like there’s another meeting between us down the road.