CORONA IS A STRANGE FRUIT
Ode To The Virus
You funny little bastard
That nobody could see
Or smell or taste
But you were right there
You travelled on us
Around the world
Where we shake hands
And kiss cheeks
You made us
Stopping the life
We used to live
We are humans
They are superior
So you are that part of nature
Threatening what we love
To waste and ruin?
The lungs of the planet
Were damaged by fires
Created by us
Now justice is given to our lungs
Some fight for the freedom
To not wear a mask
What was already lost
You made us see
That we can change
You made us see
That we are not
Picture: Susanne Swanson-Bernard (USA)
Music: Peter Pichler (Germany)
Poem: Cornelia Pasch (Germany)
Video: Ian Gibbins (Australia)
Susanne writes about her art and collage ‘Masked’
During these stressful times of Covid 19, when so many of us are in quarantine, almost everything we do has been affected by the virus. Businesses are closed, some have closed for good, due to financial hardship. We must wear face masks to protect one another in case someone has to sneeze, or has a cough, etc..
Our emotional responses about these changes are reflected in the art we create, it is inevitable.
I wanted to create this piece titled “Masked” to show the artist Frida Kahlo in a mask with the threat of Covid 19 surrounding her. To me, this piece means that nobody, not even Frida Kahlo, is safe during this Pandemic. Of course in real life, Frida has already passed, but that is the beauty of collage, I can bring anyone back to life.
Peter writes about his music piece ‘Corona is a strange fruit’
I played this music and noises exclusively with the Mixturtrautonium (please click here to get more information about this instrument), no sampling at all. Only the whimper, screaming, laughing and my singing is real.
The track has got 4 important parts:
1. First I played the song “Strange Fruit“. This is the first time a Trautonium plays Jazz. The song was written by Abel Meeropol and sung by Billy Holiday in 1939. For me, it is the most important political song against racism. I only played one verse (0:00-1:30)
2. The birds attack humanity. This is the real Trautonium sound from the film ‘The Birds’ by Alfred Hitchcock. The fluttering and bird screaming was only possible to imitate with the Trautonium at that time. After Birds, the Trautonium got well known. The book to that movie was written by a woman, Daphne du Maurier (1:30-2.57).
3.Schubert, Trio op. 100 – Andante con moto. mélancholie with singing birds! (2.57-4.20)
4. “Drinking everybody “ ! A robot voice was created with the Trautonium technology in America in 1939, the VODER, an early speech synthesizer.
The first words the inventor made the electronic machine say was in fact: “Drinking everybody” (4.20-6.10)
Ian writes about his video ‘Isolation Procedures’
“ISOLATION PROCEDURES” uses text from various official announcements made early on in the shut-down. It was filmed almost entirely in the neighbourhood around where I live, mostly in some old quarries. The quarries are cut into rock that is over 630 million years old, and the stone was used to many public buildings and houses of the aristocracy in the later 1800s – early 1900s. Many miners were killed in the operations there. The soundtrack for the video is made from recordings of frogs, birds, and passers-by in our garden.
The video has been featured in Moving Poems (USA, April, 2020); selected for New Mediafest 1st Corona Festival and TheWake Up! Memorial (Cologne, Germany 2020)
It’s very dystopian and many people found it quite disturbing – but you need to watch it through to the end.