Here’s one for all of those people who, despite thinking it’s probably wrong, can’t help but rubberneck as they drive past the scene of road traffic accidents. This is a video for those of us who congregate at scenes of crime and sudden death, (I don’t count myself within that crowd) hoping to get a fix of gore or a snippet of gossip. If you’re a voyeur of death and can’t wait for the next episode of Casualty then I give you this for Saturday morning breakfast – 7 deaths by Kim Halliday.
Sent through to me earlier this week, the combination of music and image quickly compels. Amidst a dark and driving ambient rock sound, a muffled, synthesized voice issues what might be health and safety instructions. But, we can’t quite pick out what we’re being told. The deliberate lack of clarity alienates and confuses as our brains try to make sense of the soggy mush we’re given.
Initially, the video doesn’t help but simply serves to compound this sense of dark mystery. Fixed images of heroin needles, devastating car crashes and missing aeroplanes hit us flash, bang and wallop; a collage of death. Then, as this stunning video progresses, we’re treated to scenes of more tenderness; snowscapes and family joy juxtaposed into the devastation; hunger and homelessness amplifying the desperation.
We’re encouraged to think, reflect and amend our interpretation as new stills reveal different perspectives; it’s a murky, mystery tour that we’re invited to be part of.
Unsurprisingly for something so cinematic, Kim Halliday is a composer who has worked on film and TV. Since studying at the London Film School he has scored several award winning short films as well as ‘Credo’, a movie which starred Boyzone vocalist Stephen Gately before he died.
7 deaths is taken from Halliday’s album, Halflight. Produced by and featuring Martin Lister of Alphaville, ‘Halflight’ was recorded between Halliday’s studio in London and Lister’s studio in Berlin. Tragically, soon after mastering was finished on the project Martin passed away following a heart attack. The pair, longtime friends, had never worked on a full project until this album, making its release all the more poignant for Halliday.
Some will find this talk of death morbid. I guess I’m nothing more than a virtual rubber-necker but there’s something at the very heart of this song and video that appeals.