Andrew Lovgren launches a new documentary with an original score from WANDA GROUP, we contacted the pair to discuss the collaboration…
Kansas based filmmaker Andrew Lovgren’s latest project documents the connectivity between art and skateboarding. Kickstarter funded ‘Symirroretry’ reinforces the notion that beings are symmetrical to one another, whilst maintaining individuality within the mediums of art and skateboarding. The film features six artists and focuses on the documentation of two protagonists, who must expand their consciousness in order to overcome an idea out of their control. The plot contains an existentialist slant, with artists attempting to find meaning in life and answers to complex questions regarding uniqueness, and limitations in an ever-evolving culture. Lovgren’s intention is to “take viewers on a hypnotic journey exposing artistic ideas relatable to everyday life”.
‘Symirroretry’, the follow up to Lovgren’s award winning ‘Freeling’ features an original score by WANDA GROUP. The compositions explore a dense and creative musicality, which is an apt fitting for the surreal, cinematic and grandiose aesthetic. With previous releases on Opal Tapes and NNA Tapes, WANDA GROUP, real name Louis, continues his exploration of eroding qualities and visceral atmospheres through noise and textural depth. As well as the full trailer, below is a thirty-second excerpt from the forthcoming project. We also caught up with the wonderfully frank WANDA GROUP and director Andrew Lovgren to gain insight in to the collaboration and creative process.
How did the collaboration come about?
AL: I was first introduced to Lou’s music when I started pre-production for Symirroretry, early 2013. Usually my process while writing a screenplay is letting music carry my story wherever it should go. I knew I wanted this project to be dark and industrial. I felt the only way I could accomplish that was to submerge myself into this sort of aesthetic I discovered through the internet. I listened to Lou’s music everywhere I could, however never with the intention of using any of it. I was just intrigued with whoever this guy was from across the globe making me laugh reading through all of his tweets. The more and more I listened, the more I wanted to know what the hell was going on.
WG: HE GOT IN CONTACT OUT OF THE BLUE. HE SAID HE WAS MAKING A DOCUMENTARY FILM AND WANTED TO KNOW IF HE COULD USE SOME OF MY MUSIC. HE SENT ME A LITTLE SHOW REEL SORT OF THING USING TRACKS FROM RECORDS I HAVE MADE AND VARIOUS OTHER BITS. IT LOOKED FUCKIN WONDERFUL. SO CLEAN, CUT PERFECTLY AND JUST HAD A LOT OF SOUL INSIDE IT. WE THEN HAD A CHAT ABOUT HOW MAYBE INSTEAD OF USING THESE ALREADY FORMED TRACKS, WHETHER I SHOULD DO A COMPLETELY NEW SCORE/SOUNDTRACK FOR THE FILM.
In regards to your creative process Lou, did you write to the documentary linearly or one scene at a time?
WG: I NEVER GOT TO SEE ANY OF THE CLIPS I WAS MAKING THE MUSIC TO. ANDREW EXPLAINED WHAT WAS GOING ON IN CERTAIN SCENES AND I WENT WITH THAT. I SENT HIM A WHOLE LOAD OF IMPROVISED STUFF AND WE WORKED FROM THERE.
AL: I put a lot of thought into what he had sent and basically dissected every bit into what I liked or didn’t like. An odd process for sure but Lou was always willing to change whatever I asked. Overall, he sent me 40 tracks. That man does it.
Andrew, how was it directing Lou considering he didn’t see any of the clips he was writing to?
AL: The whole process was amazing. Lou is so authentic, humorous, and light hearted. He just wants the best for this project and that is so humbling. At times, I definitely felt like I was asking way too much from him. I’m such a perfectionist and Lou’s willingness kind of encouraged me to direct him pretty particularly. At the same time, his example helped me accept things for what they are. I probably look into the man and his work too much but his influence has tremendously affected my outlook on this project and everything around me. This film is my life. I’ve put it all on my shoulders and continuing with my vision is not easy. Working with Lou has really helped me realize to just go easy with it all. It is what it is.
Did you familiarise yourself with any of Andrew’s previous projects?
WG: LIKE EVERYTHING I TRY TO STAY AWAY FROM PREVIOUS THINGS THAT HAD BEEN MADE IN CASE IT SORT OF INVADED MY MIND TOO MUCH. I DIDN’T WATCH ANY OF HIS VIDEOS APART FROM THE CLIPS THAT HE SENT ME WHEN WE FIRST STARTED SPEAKING. I HAVE GONE BACK TO HIS VIDEOS SINCE FINISHING ALL OF THE MUSIC AND YES THEY ARE WONDERFUL. THE MAN HAS A TRUE EYE AND IT’S A FUCKIN HONOUR TO BE INVOLVED IN THIS.
Previous WANDA GROUP material focuses highly on texture and collage. Do you feel this project allowed you to explore a more elaborate musical theme?
WG: I JUST TRIED TO FEEL WHAT HE WAS SAYING TO ME AND GO FROM THERE. CERTAIN MOODS WOULD BE MENTIONED AND THEN I WOULD SEE IF I COULD CREATE THEM MOODS. IT’S NICE AND SCARY NOT TO HAVE ANY ACTUAL FOOTAGE TO GO FROM BUT THEN MAYBE IT COULD ALL BECOME A LITTLE TOO LITERAL AND THAT MIGHT HAVE FUCKED ME UP.
The narrative seems philosophical in the sense that it deals with symmetrical beings and the expansion of consciousness. The quote “Everything we know here, at some point in time, is gonna be gone…everything that’s happening on this earth is gonna be forgotten” particularly stood out to me. Were you aware of the implied philosophical narrative? And if so, did it inspire you in any way?
WG: I LIKE THAT QUOTE A LOT AND AGAIN I DIDN’T KNOW OF THE QUOTE UNTIL AFTER I HAD MADE ALL THE MUSIC AND SOUND FOR THE FILM BUT I AGREE WITH IT. EVERYTHING GOES BUT THAT IS THAT AND I GUESS YOU HAVE TO JUST KEEP GOING FORWARD AND SPEND THIS TIME IN A WAY THAT SINGS TO YOU AND THE PEOPLE YOU CARE ABOUT. LOOK AFTER THE WORLD WHILE YOU TOUCH DOWN ON IT, MAYBE. I AM NOT SURE, SIR. I JUST LIVE ON THE EARTH AND TRY MY BEST.
AL: Thank you Lou for all of your hard work. CHAMPION.
‘Symirroretry’ is released on the 23rd of May. Stream the trailer in full below, which features a track from Hav Lyfe.