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Premiere: The Line wrestles with his thoughts in ‘Epilogue’

Words: Dylan Murphy
Director: Ellius Grace
Cinematographer: JJ Rolfe
Featuring: Brian Dillon & Alice Jacquier
Edit & VFX: Ellius Grace
Thanks: Motherland, Alex Lynch, John Cutler, Joshua Fanning, Sara O’Loughlin,
Marina at Pickering Forest, Bad Soup Records, Sophie Geary, Gareth Quinn Redmond.

Following the release of The Line’s Anti-Matter, we’re delighted to premiere the dark and naturalistic visuals for ‘Epilogue’ directed by Ellius Grace. The monochrome offering shot in a forest explores the intersection between physical and digital mediums and provides a new perspective a year on from his debut album’s release.

The social norms of rural Ireland and our predisposition as humans to try place things in neat boxes mean that Brian Dillon, AKA The Line has spent his time exploring the contours of these established rules, taking the road less travelled whenever possible.

Crafting his debut album Matter from his home on the coast of Ireland, the sounds of the harsh winds inevitably seeped into his work and came to soundtrack a record about resilience that landed at a time where people needed it most.

A year on from its release The Line shared a remixed version of the album – Anti-Matter. Landing with an interactive listening map, it became a living breathing piece that stretched the record beyond the confines of Spotify libraries and social media posts.

Further exploring the ever-expanding world the album resides in, The Line has teamed up with Ellius Grace for the video for ‘Epilogue’. Weaving between the dry leaves and crisp bark of a deserted forest, The Line escapes his four walls in search of solace.

Taking queues from folk horror and almost psychedelic palettes, the monochrome piece comprised of both physical and digital approaches to develop the otherworldly textures. Watch the full video below:

Ahead of its release we spoke to Ellius and The Line about the video.

Texture-wise where did you draw inspiration from for the visuals?

 “My first inspiration was from the sounds of Brian’s music. He makes such organic and textural soundscapes, it brought really strong visuals of undergrowth and foliage into my head, a dark forest floor with a face buried in it. Then the lyrics which are about not being able to get someone out of your head just brought more ideas of how an idea or thought can embed itself into everything you see and do. I wanted to visualise this in a hallucinatory way, mixing the inner thoughts with the external landscape that our character is walking through. JJ Rolfe, our cinematographer did an amazing job as always, bringing both humanity and ominous atmosphere to what we shot. I looked to folk horror for some of the visual queues, how nature becomes an ominous manifestation of human psyche. There can be something so powerful in just holding on the texture of bark or branches as they sway in the wind. Spooky.”  

I wanted to visualise this in a hallucinatory way, mixing the inner thoughts with the external landscape that our character is walking through.

Ellius Grace

Can you talk a bit about working between physical and digital mediums for this piece?

 “I wanted to create a look for this video that I hadn’t seen before, so I researched a bit and found a process called style transfer. It’s a way of analysing the texture information from an image and applying it to the movement information of a video clip. It can create a really trippy and digital look, quite like datamoshing, but I wanted to find a way of making it look more organic and natural. I printed out multiple frames from each shot in the video on an old xerox machine, then scanned them and applied them back onto the video with this digital process. It was very labour intensive but it made for some really fun experiments and new approaches to things I wouldn’t have explored otherwise. I hope the final look is hard to put your finger on, somewhere between paper grain, digital noise and blurriness in between the two.” 

What was the creative process between the pair of you in crafting this video?

Brian: “I really enjoyed working with Ellius on the video. Before I told him anything about the track, he pitched an idea to me, which was remarkably similar to what I had in mind. Ellius used the term ‘organic’ to describe the sound of the track and that seemed serendipitous to me, as my intention is always to make organic electronic music. The visual process of using technology to distort natural images matched up with the compositional process really well. We also had a laugh making it, especially throwing loads of petrol on the fire and when I dropped my phone in the sea.”