I have an impulse to make art, I cultivate instinct and nurture the relationship between the conscious and subconscious mind and employ them to invent and transcend the mundane, writing quickly and instinctively until the narrative appears. Writing for me is a very visual experience resulting in vivid imagery, which easily translates to film and visual art, giving the poem another life beyond the page and provides another layer for me to guide the audience’s interpretation of the text. Composing music for my films ties these two elements together to create a mood that reflects the world in which the poem lives.
In 2012, whilst in an antique store, I found a pianola scroll of a composition by Franz Liszt called Die Loreley (English: Lorelei), this piece of music was set to the poem of the same name by German Poet Heinrich Heine. Based on the German legend of a beautiful maiden who in despair over a faithless lover threw herself into the Rhine River and was transformed into a siren who lured fishermen to destruction. The echo of the rock is said to be the siren’s call. Inspired by both the music and legend I composed and typed a poem of my own onto the pianola scroll.
Click here to listen to an Interview with Mark Niehus on Radio Adelaide
Mark Niehus, Lorelei, 2020, single channel video, performed by Navien Iseut. Written, directed, and musically scored by Mark Niehus. 5 min: 48 sec.