#16.1 – DISAPPEAR
Réal : Vincent Moon
Shot in NYC, 2006
It was all there: a red dress, a suitcase full of instruments, a beautiful park, a lake, a little Edith Piaf, and a bunch of laughs. Quite a wonderful morning in the midst of Brooklyn’s July heat.
I remember it as if it were yesterday. It was a Friday morning near the end of July. Shara and I had decided to meet at 10am by the southwest entrance of Prospect Park. Luckily, I was staying right next to the park, and Shara also lived just a hop and a skip away. We didn’t know each other at all, but, nevertheless, I told her to come alone. I was going to talk to her about an “intimate encounter”, a kind of suspended moment that would renew the way we create, and other silly things to reassure her. However, she had such a soft voice over the phone that I decided not to alarm her with my crazy ideas. Fortunately, I had gotten her contact info through a pretty reliable and reputable bunch: Padma Newsome (who was actually Shara’s teacher for a brief time), and The Clogs (which also features the sixth member of The National). So it seemed like I had done my work in order to get in touch with her.
My Brightest Diamond is Shara Worden, a delightful woman who wears ravishing red dresses that suit her well. She has just started to be widely recognized, especially for having been a staple member of Sufjan Steven’s band and his opening act for some time. She just released her first album, but there’s more to Shara than that: she’s not just a piece of plastic that I pass on to friends or hear on my computer, not part of my infinite collection that blends into the background. There is, for example, her striking red dress, which you could stare at in awe for an eternity. (It’s funny, because I was talking to Padma a couple days later and he remarked, “And you know what’s the saddest thing? She’s already married…” Oh, poor Padma, poor us!)
About half an hour after we met, we were already situated in the wonderful wooded areas of the park, wandering about, talking, and just getting to know each other. I could have continued on like that for hours, but it came time to film these videos, which seemed like an inconvenient holdup to our promenade in the forest. What did you think? Obviously these videos are just a pretext. Yeah, what if the Takeaway Shows just became an excuse to meet our favorite artists?
Anyway, so there you have it. She was carrying a pretty large suitcase from which she pulled out an amazing xylophone, and she assembled it right in the middle of the woods. I thought it was pretty dazzling: she became this little red dollop punctuating the giant forested landscape. She played a piece from her album called “Disappear”, which was good, especially considering her beautiful voice and particular kind of fervor. The piece, however, was missing something…which I suppose I’ll leave you to see for yourself. In any case, I got to spend a wonderful morning with Shara Worden.
Afterwards we walked towards one of the many lakes in the park and settled down by the shoreline. She pulled out a whole other assortment of tiny instruments, including a bunch of wind-up toys and music boxes, along with several classics. In the end, though, it was me who tainted the wonderful rendition of Piaf’s “l’Hymne à l’Amour.” I always love to hear Edith Piaf, and, like an idiot, I even started thinking about Jeff Buckley; as Shara started to sing, I was put into a childlike trance. I started to tremble behind my thingamajig of a camera, and I even had the urge to flee to end of the earth. So I started running backwards and eventually smacked my head against the xylophone just behind me, at which point she burst out laughing. Her laughter resonates near the end of the video (hear it?), as she says, “That must be a take!”
Upon finishing up and leaving the park, I asked Shara, “And Sufjan, do you think he’ll be OK?” She replied back: “Sufjan, euh, no.” Whatever, no worries. Besides, he should learn how to sport a red dress as well as you do, Shara.
#16.2 – L’HYMNE A L’AMOUR
Réal : Vincent Moon
Shot in NYC, 2006