Watch: “Our COVID experience led us to do something new” – Chellcy Reistma, artiste

During this episode of Take a Bow, Coryse Borg speaks to Dutch-American singer-songwriter/artist Chellcy Reitsma (who is based in Malta) and musician Edward Mifsud about their song and music video ‘Desolate Days’, which was thought up and created during COVID-19, and is truly a product of its time.

The project is part of the Valletta Cultural Agency’s InnovAiR: Artist@Home programme, where a call was issued artists to produce something from home to be shared with the public online, in light of the current situation.

‘Desolate Days’ combines both Reitsma’s music and visual practices with the song featuring Mifsud and her first stop motion animation lyric video drawn in charcoal and chalk pastel, as well as digital art.

“For me, no other medium can convey the passage of time and the long, lonely, quiet waiting of isolation like the slow and arduous process of stop motion animation. Likewise, no other medium than the timeless and ancient use of dusty, fragile charcoals can express the ephemerality of both human existence and the pandemic isolation experience, ” she says, “Furthermore, the act of teaching myself how to do stop motion animation and learning a new skill while in isolation is also part of our shared quarantine experience.”

During the process, Reitsma created approximately 600 images using charcoal and white chalk pastel on four sheets of drawing paper, making it a more environmentally-friendly choice of medium. The rest was done digitally. A total of nearly 800 images were used to create the three minute nine second-long animation.

The song, which was recorded and mixed by Peter Borg of Railway Studios, is available on Spotify. It has received a number of good reviews and is doing well in the local charts.

The music video of ‘Desolate Days’ may be found here. More information about Chellcy Reitsma may be found on Facebook and Instagram.