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Fall 2019: Faculty Notes: The Bluebird's Morning Song


In 2018 I spent a month traveling New Zealand for course research. Before the trip I had sketches for an experimental film, but the fragmented images never connected. I arrived and started filming without a clear sense of the project. Traveling in a camper van I woke up earlier each day to the cacophony of birds singing before dawn. One song stood out because of its melodic, contemplative nature and haunting strangeness. This was the song of the Bellbird, and for the rest of the trip I set my alarm so I could record the Bellbird’s morning song. These audio recordings led me to a new idea, and I ended up creating an entirely different film—a ghost story. 

It is compelling the way an image or sound can lodge itself in the subconscious and open up an expansive idea. 

—Damon Mohl