Getting Intimate with Lucy and Robyn

Tell our readers a bit about yourselves and your history in the creative industry?

We are L+R. A collaborative duo made up of Lucy Hawes and Robyn Davidge. Childhood friends. Freshly graduated. Eager to continue our passion for film.

Lucy studied fashion photography and currently works for Nick Knight’s SHOWstudio. Robyn studied film and works for the trailer house Intermission Film. Being at different universities enabled us to combine different angles of narrative and style for our first collaborative music video. Growing up together in Bristol, with the influence of Massive Attack (Robyn being the daughter of composer Neil Davidge) has enabled us to quickly find an aesthetic that defines us both.

Talk to us about Intimacy. What is it about?

Being two girls in a largely male dominated industry, and collaborating with a female musician, we realised that femininity was a theme we wanted to explore. The concept came about from a chapter within the book The Great Cosmic Mother, by Monica Sjoo and Barbara Mor, in which the ‘Cosmic Serpent’ character features.

‘She who observes the water, who studies the dew from the drop, who knows the courses of the stars, her heart is like a serpent.’ ‘It shed its skin it seemed reborn.’ ’The serpent path in the sky was the winding spray of stars in the galactic spiral-arm’

It discusses themes of strength, attraction and regeneration, the symbol of the woman and the power that she can hold over others. The use of snakes throughout the film directly links ideas from The Great Cosmic Mother. We were particularly drawn to the historical evolution of this symbol as the serpent used to represent women with command and beauty from the early ages. It was a positive symbol with the shape representing a female spine. However over the years it has been twisted to become something negative, mainly due to male influence over the years. Now the animal is commonly associated with betrayal and trickery, and has been twisted to become phallic. We found this really interesting and used the historical themes of the snake for our character, whilst playing with the connotations of sensuality that are also related, linking back to the song lyrics.

What was the creative process?

Quite simply. We decided we didn’t want to stop working creatively since graduating this summer so we contacted Fifi hoping that she would give us a chance. She too had connections to Massive Attack, as she used to be managed by Tricky, so it seemed a fitting. Not only this but the track we had to work with has been remixed by the successful DJ Phaeleh (pronounced ‘fella’), who is from our hometown of Bristol.

We spent a good few days just listening and storyboarding. We then contacted the artist, and friend, George Baldwin to see if he would collaborate with us. George works with interactive animation so together we created something that could react to the music. Combined with a move to London, new jobs and no internet for two months we finally managed to finish the video from our small laptops.

Who are the musicians?

Fifi Rong is a London based artist. ‘Eccentric, deep and honest, Fifi brings pure emotional intimacy into her songs with a mesmerizing voice, nuanced with a traditional Chinese flair’. She has recently been nominated for The Best Chinese Electronic Artist of 2014 and has just returned from her Chinese tour.

Meandering between the shifting tempos and timbres of dubstep, garage, electronica and house, Phaeleh (aka Matt Preston) is known for his cinematic electronic music. His last two long play releases have cemented his position as one of the most exciting new producers to emerge from his home town; Bristol.

‘Phaeleh’s downbeat and heartfelt sound honours the tradition of Bristolian fore fathers Massive Attack, Smith & Mighty and Portishead, with a fresh outlook and penchant for sub sonics.’

What was the difference between creating this music video compared to the films you have produced in the past?

Duration. This is one of the longest films we have both ever made so the concept needed to be strong enough to hold the time frame. Interactive animation. The snakes you see were produced using a software called Processing, which allows you to write your own programmes. Without George’s incredible skills this video would have been very different!

Remix. This track shares two different people’s creative visions so it was an interesting one to balance an outcome that suited parties.

What are your plans for the future?

That would be telling, but we can safely say that this will not be the last thing you see from us!

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