Ben Harper once said that Piers Faccini was “An exquisite singer-songwriter-guitarist with a beautiful voice. It’s Joseph Spence meets Nick Drake meets Soundgarden.” It’s a statement that takes some consideration, but on playing the latest album from Faccini you can get the point. I Dreamed An Island is a collection of songs that present the urgency, sensitivity pride and precision of the artist, whose 2004 debut, Leave No Trace won incredible acclaim. This collection builds on a body of work that furthers Faccini’s reputation as a man who remains on point.
ARTISTdirect invited Piers to introduce the video from his new track “Bring Down The Wall”, with a view to sharing the inception, the creation, and the full realization of an artist who’s humble but possesses far-reaching vision.
Piers Faccini: “I come from immigrant roots, my grandparents and great grandparents were Italians, Irish, Polish Jews and Romany gypsies. They were either economic migrants or refugees who eventually found a home and a new life in Britain.
Today the walls have gone up across the world, times are harder for those of us most in need. I wrote “Bring Down The Wall” because of who I am and where I come from; to do otherwise would be to dishonor their memory and their struggle. Brexit and the US election have only made the nature of the song more relevant.
I made the video for “Bring Down The Wall” with the Swiss director and animator Cyril Gfeller, I wrote the script and Cyril animated and cut out all of the sequences and we directed it together. We had the idea of combining animated sequences of photo collage with filmed video of me that would then be printed out frame by frame and re photographed. Stylistically the video was inspired by collages of the Dadaist and Surrealist movements and by artists like Raoul Haussman or Joseph Cornwell.
One of the most important themes along with different representations of walls or borders was the migrant boat that drifts through the length of the video.
I filled the boat with cut out photographs of people taken mostly from old family archives along with some vintage portrait photographs that I came across.
The men and monsters in the bowler hats who try to eat the migrants were initially modeled on Donald Trump but in the we decided to transform that figure into a more symbolic one, almost like an old fashioned British banker in his bowler hat, making and spewing arms and money.
All the animated sequences of photo collage as well as the filmed video of me were printed out frame by frame and cut out by hand, captured and then animated.”