A live music and film performance co-commissioned by North Carolina Symphony and Princeton Symphony Orchestra. Hiraeth premiered in Raleigh and Chapel Hill NC in September, 2015, and will play in future venues including the Kennedy Center in Washington DC.
Hiraeth: (noun) A homesickness for a home you cannot return to, or that never was.
DeChiazza's film, which partners with live performance of composer Sarah Kirkland Snider’s 30-minute orchestral work Hiraeth, aims to realize moments that never existed—rarefied memories from an imagined childhood. The film's imagery could be understood as an intricate collage of invented home movies—an idealized and amped-up version of dad’s old super-8s.
Shot on location around Salisbury, NC, where Snider’s father grew up and where, as a child, she would visit her grandparents’ home. DeChiazza cast Jasper and Dylan, Snider’s own children, as the primary subjects of his film, drawn to the immediate and tactile way that children explore their surroundings through play, and how childhood memories are shaped through this mode of encountering the world.
With real people and places as raw material, the camera's eye constructs a fictional nostalgic past, selectively focusing on some elements while leaving others obscured in luminous haze. It can draw very close, or pull back to skirt the periphery of its subjects as it seeks to simplify what is complicated and lingers to burnish the beautiful.
The children exist within a story that is always kept slightly outside of our frame--we are right beside it but always looking at a tangent to it. Evading narrative's factual details, we instead become steeped in the tones, colors, and textures it exudes—a poetry that can be understood through sensation and experience.
HIRAETH film production credits:
Directed: Mark DeChiazza
Cinematography: Mark Andrew
2nd Camera: Isaac Rosenthal
Editing and Post: Mark DeChiazza