David Knight - 29th May 2009

Wobbly, squelchy, milky... William Hall's experimental video for London two-piece Hook and the Twin's first single is transfixing, and rather extraordinary.

It's all about the oobleck. And it's not often you can say that.

So what is this substance that turns from liquid to solid and then, remarkably, stands up all on its own William, a highly regarded graphic designer making his directing debut, explains all below.

http://www.youtube.com/watchv=Omrg1PgEFGk[/youtube]

William Hall on the making of the video for Hook and the Twin's Race for the Bone

"Hook and the Twin are a two-piece band based in London. They use live looping - recording themselves on stage - to build up a big sound that is part electronic and part rock band. The music is often catchy and rhythmic, and despite attempts (ranging from Krautrock to The Hollies) they manage to transcend categorisation.

"Their lyrics are often enigmatic, and in the case of their first single they were gnomic too. The song has just one line: 'Race for the bone, watch all that muscle go', which is repeated throughout. The lyric, and the swirling, building music reminded me of some experiments I'd seen while browsing YouTube. The experiments involved non-newtonian fluid - or oobleck, a mixture of cornflour and water.

"Oobleck has some strange properties. It's a fluid, but under stress it solidifies. So you can ease your hand into a bowl as if it is single cream, or you can punch it and it feels like plasticine. If you drop a ball of oobleck it will shatter into pieces on the floor, then melt into fluid. It is really fun to play with.

"An additional and equally extraordinary quality of oobleck occurs when it is exposed to a specific low frequency. The oobleck begins to rear up and tendrils of it reach out and tumble around like... well unlike anything - but there is something organic and anthropomorphic about the movement.

"The video captures some of these moments. There isn't any CGI at all. When you see the gold head shake it is speeded up, but everything else was done in-camera. I'd like to say the oobleck was responding to the music of the band, but actually on set all you could hear was a very loud, dull rumble, like a broken tumble dryer.

"The imagery for the video - the whiteness, the gold head, the balls, the miniature suited mannequin, and the black dust, are all related to my interpretation of the music, our experiments with the oobleck, and discussions with the band.

"I wanted to produce something that was as ambiguous, as foreboding, as serious, and perversely as playful and vibrant, as the music itself."

Credits

DirectorWilliam Hall

David Knight - 29th May 2009

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