27.09.2011, Words by Charlie Jones

How to make a Tim Hecker fan video

The majestic music of Tim Hecker has rarely, if ever, been put to video by the Canadian noise artist himself, yet it has proved a fertile source of inspiration for the sort of people who like combining pictures of abstracted nature and industrial landscapes into Youtube clips. Here are some notable rules to follow, accompanied by some fan video examples, if you want to soundtrack the music of the great man himself.

#1 Make sure it’s pretty and a bit watery

Tim’s music is nothing if not the sound of pretty things underwater, so dive in recklessly, even if it does set off some people’s motion sickness.

Tim Hecker No Drums
Analogue Revolver

#2 Be both sincere, tense and a bit cheesy

Though from Quebec, Tim’s music fits the European art film archetype of obsessing over the anguished untenability of human happiness while also being mildly cheesy. One of the things I love about his music is the way it manages to so directly pull at the heart strings rather than hide its intention, as this short, deeply European film shows.

Tim Hecker Chimeras by Francesco Ambrosiano

#3 Focus on the sheer, crystalline unintelligibility of nature

Tim’s music plays with scale well, sounding vast one second and minuscule the next. And it also taps into the terrifying, sublime quality of the natural world and is kind of uncomfortable to listen to. So, a close-up of a wasp would probably fit with October, a track from ‘Haunt Me’ [2001].

Tim Hecker October by Converge4

#4 Focus on the sheer, crystalline … Oh it’s so sweet, he’s drinking!

Amazing how well the sight of a snake drinking water mixes with Tim Hecker’s music. Maybe it’s because he’s called Ralph.

Tim Hecker unknown track

#5 Hint at a nexus of history and nostalgia (preferably dark and industrial, natch)

Tim’s music often employs the patina of history through the method of sounding a bit gritty and far away. This video below uses some old-fashioned footage of docks, because industrial things are good.

Tim Hecker Harmony in Blue by Tawdplant

#6 Have an archival knowledge of odd science experiments

A lateral but still impressive telling of his song Piano Drop from this year’s ‘Ravedeath 1972’ was the below’s footage of the first MIT Piano Drop, an annual event whereby students throw a grand piano off a six-storey building.

#7 Or just bugger it and show some abstract shots of what looks like Harris Tweed

Tim Hecker’s music is melodic, moving, cinematic and really well put together. And it’s also weird, so showing some abstract shapes can work. The fact that this reminds one of Harris Tweed is a fitting bit, as Tim Hecker’s music, like Harris Tweed, is an peerless example of a common-ish thing, and earthily old-fashioned.

Tim Hecker The Piano Drop by Joppippoj

#8 … Or something that pulls together all 7 ideas

Into something nostalgic, natural, scientific and a bit cheesy.

Tim Hecker Borderlands

Tim Hecker – Borderlands by Gregbodprod

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