One of the hardest things for me when I left Chile this summer was knowing that I would no longer have access to the ocean. This was saddening for a variety of reasons, one of which being that it provided beautiful footage for me to capture for films. Where I live is significantly more boring and therefore quite a bit harder to film, so I was in a rut.
I took an Ichthyology course (the study of fish), and due to our location, the focus was primarily freshwater fishes, especially in the lab portion. I came into the class with a passion for marine fish and not so much for freshwater ones, but within a few weeks, something changed.
We went out into the field to search for fish on several occasions and it was the highlight of my semester. I absolutely adored it. We would sample the streams and rivers looking for what fish species were in the system, and I discovered that there was so much more life in those waters than I had ever imagined. I surprised myself by my own fascination, saying that the fish were beautiful. To me, they truly were.
I knew I had to make another film and relay what I was seeing to others. I decided to create a film that captured these waters for their true beauty and showed the beauty that lies just beneath the surface. I was limited in what I could shoot since I was so jam-packed with my heavy course load and my thesis, and I was not able to travel far enough to some of the locations that I wanted to film, but I was determined to work with what I had to make a film on par with my Chile film. I decided to go with rivers, since they are so prominent in Tennessee, and I filmed at the Harpeth River (Relient K fans may recognize this place as the location on their most recent album cover), the Stones River, the Duck River, and the Tennessee Aquarium (one of my favorite places). I had to select the music, and only one person came to mind: Brian Bradley.
Brian Bradley is a phenomenal artist from Minnesota. Born in Seoul, South Korea and raised in Minnesota, Brian has a unique view of the world that is translated into his work. Brian photographs the world with breathtaking landscape photographs (among other photographic forms) and also creates vivid, expressive music (his most recent album, Mars Mission 1, follows the journey from Earth to Mars in 17 tracks that relay the story). Brian graciously provided the music for my first film, and consequently he had a track entitled "Rivers," so it was a perfect match. "Rivers" is a fast-paced, sweeping track from his album North, an instrumental album inspired by the Minnesota landscape, and it provided the perfect audio backdrop and added a level of depth to my film that would not have been achieved without it.
This is how I see rivers. This is how he hears them. Perhaps we will make you, too, aware of their beauty.