Melbourne's Lee Hannah takes a bold direction with 'Infinitely' a visual album that combines the sublimity of the Mallee region with a minimal soundtrack.
When it comes to music and film, I can be a little fickle. Sometimes I feel like it reduces the impact of what occurs onscreen. Sometimes, though, sound and visuals can be such an inextricable pairing with the power to totally floor you. LEE HANNAH's visual album, Infinitely, is the latter - an absolutely stunning exploration of Victoria's Mallee region, and a fascinating musical experience in its own right.
Lee Hannah has previously released albums as The Townhouses and one half of Take Your Time. Infinitely sees a drastic shift into experimentalism; an exploration of minimalism in both nature and sound.
Filmed with an iPhone while camping on Latje, Kureinji, Barkindji and Wergaia land which borders both South Australia and New South Wales, the film consists entirely of static long shots of nature. Framing arid vistas, towering gumtrees, decaying flora and landscapes bustling with life, every frame is packed with gorgeous detail. Sometimes its the way the sun shines through the leaves of the trees; other times its the intricate way the shadows of the setting sun move across a grassy clearing. It perfectly displays Lee Hannah's idea that the Mallee "never really stays still" - that "what looks dry, barren and lifeless from a distance, is undeniably alive and complex on a micro scale."
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The musical side of Infinitely works in perfect tandem with the visuals. With notes of Sydney experimental improv trio The Necks (particularly their brooding soundtrack for the 1998 film 'The Boys'), the music is, much like the Mallee itself, an ever-evolving being. With the central sound of a drone - typically a synth note or affected sample - Lee Hannah improvises with one or two instruments; there's bass, piano, what sounds like manipulated field recordings and plenty of synths. Shifting between music concrete, modern classical, drone and ambient, Infinitely is a fascinating piece of music in its own right - a perfect accompaniment to pensive train rides or late-night walks.
Infinitely is truly one of a kind. Both elements are stunning by themselves but it's together that they both shine, letting the organic beauty of the Mallee and the organic minimalism of Lee Hannah's soundtrack play with each other in perfect harmony. You can grab Infinitely digitally or on a limited cassette run via Healthy Tapes - but make sure your first taste is the full visual album.
WORDS BY MAX LEWIS