All This You Saw

Director: John Hughes
Year: 2018
Duration: 7.30 Minutes

A live performance with ‘Films & Voices’ ASTRA (October 2018), Lithuanian House, North Melbourne.

The composition is by Melbourne composer Martin Friedel. ASTRA Choir with ensemble musicians Erkki Veltheim, violin, Aviva Endean, clarinet, Maria Moles drums, Rohan Drape organ, Kim Bastin and Joy Lee piano, Peter Dumsday, organ and celeste. Conductor, John McCaughey. Images, John Hughes

Catalogue: “Martin Friedel and John Hughes (with editor Uri Mizrahi) form a long-standing team in film and music, including One Way Street (1992) a film on the philosopher Walter Benjamin. This new work ‘All This You Saw’ for film, choir and ensemble, relates to a 1940 poem of Bertolt Brecht: “On The suicide of the refugee WB.” ‘All This You Saw’ evokes themes and ideas we associate with Benjamin: a philosophy of history, the refugee, remembrance. Friedel has previously created works for choir and piano with ASTRA, drawing on Benjamin’s texts; this project offers an opportunity to extend these variations. Imagistically. Christian Boltanski’s book Kaddish (1998) is another reference point. Both sound and image have their seeds in One Way Street (1992); Friedel’s music here drawing on specific notes from his composition for the earlier film, while the image references discrete fragments – the refugee in transit, the Klee painting Angelus Novus and Portbou the Spanish border town where Benjamin died in September 1940.”