Sight + Sound: Switzerland [1/31/17-3/2/17] by a zugunruhe

The Trip

In late 2016, I left my position at a healthcare startup and started thinking about what I wanted to do with my life. At the time I was also working a lot at the gallery in Greenpoint so I started researching what to do in the art world. I applied for a residency in Iceland and was accepted. 

While planning, I tacked on a month long stay in Switzerland, because why not?

Staying with friends in Zurich, I bought a $500 USD Travel Pass that allowed me to use nearly every railway in in the country for free. I used this to my fullest advantage, taking trips on scenic railways and to explore the other large cities in Switzerland. I probably pulled $2000 USD of value out of it.

This is the fruit of those daily trips, which often had me back in Zurich by nightfall.

The Video

A few weeks before I left the country, I was able to duck and dodge my way around Sundance Film Festival in Park City. 

One of the films I caught was World Without End (No Reported Incidents) by Jem Cohen. The film centered around a small town in England with beautiful, static shots of daily life along with interviews of a handful of residents. The framing of shots and the blending of audio throughout truly hit me as something I could incorporate into the travel videos I have always loved shooting.

Once in Switzerland, I began taking video whenever I took a photograph that I liked. I framed these shots not only around basic composition and movement, but with the audio happening in the environment as well.

My aim was to build a sense of what it is like to be standing in these places. Too often are parts of the world portrayed through over-processed photos taken over long exposures and through filters. I wanted to add in the noise of tourists, the screeching of vehicles, and the ever present wind. These come together to offer sense of humor and realism that I love.

While editing, I composed the music after setting a timeline of video and edited from there. After establishing a flow of video, the most important thing for me was joint audio and video syncopation. the main trigger I used was the pass of melody without a descending note at the end. I timed the lack of note with a swan cleaning itself, a watch ticking, and a train gaining speed. I made sure everything matched as well as possible.

The Music

I had a lot of thoughts about what to do for the music. At the center was the yodel. I did my best to use the traditional vocal technique in the score for the video. but my synthesizer simply could not replicate the unique break that occurs when pushing the human voice to a falsetto that quickly.

Beyond that idea, I decided to replicate Swiss precision in machinery. I thought of a toy music box that unraveled the wonder of the country, starting with a simple melody that unwinds slowly, leading toward the bass and percussive elements of the mountains.

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All Good Travels Come to an India [India - Nov 2016] by a zugunruhe

The Video

The Trip

The first day in India, Delhi had an Air Purity index number that was off the charts.

Second day, the government decided to demonetize the two largest bills in the country

On the third, Donald Trump was elected president.

Besides the above mentioned hiccups, everything seemed to work out.

The pieces of India that I saw ranged from the views on the cusp of the Himalayas in Mcloedganj, the beautiful bridges of Udaipur, the colorful alleyways of Jodhpur, the splendor of the Amer Fort outside of Jaipur, the majesty of the Taj at Agra, and the history and urban center of Delhi. From the mountains to the desert, northern India had a range of beauty that I had yet to encounter in a single country besides the USA.

I hadn't intend to shoot a video on this trip as I thought 22,316 Miles would be my last travel based visuals. After grabbing a few clips early on and after having Die!Die!Die!'s Harmony stuck in my head, I decided to see what I could put together. While a lot of shots didn't turn out great due to the strong light and smog, I finally managed to bring everything together in this video.


1:11 - Hundreds of birds launching in front of statue of Swami Sraddhanand




1:32 - Tempo change to small lantern floating in Lake Pichola





2:57 - A father playing with his child in Jama Masjid


The Music

The music used is the song Harmony by the incredible New Zealand band Die Die Die from their record Harmony. You can find more info about them here

The music used is the song Harmony by the incredible New Zealand band Die Die Die from their record Harmony. You can find more info about them here

22,316 Miles [USA, Canada - July/September 2015] by a zugunruhe

From July 4th until September 28th, I drove from El Paso to Alaska and back. I Shot the experience from the moment I woke up until I went to sleep. 

The Trip

I finished school on July 2nd and left El Paso two days later. This was a week ahead of schedule and fittingly my own Independence Day. I had a loose plan of hitting up a good chunk of the country on my way to Alaska and no clear plan on how to get back. Because of this, the trip lasted five weeks longer than I had intended. Like every trip I have taken, I was terrified and doubted even going through with everything. I'm glad I did as this was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.

Not only did I do this trip for the experience, I did this to hone my camera skills a little more. once I arrived back home and started going through photos, there was a definite positive curve of quality present as the trip went on. That's what happens when you shoot from the time you wake up until you go to sleep for three months.

I was incredibly fortunate to meet incredible people and visit friends I hadn't seen in years. As I roamed the country, sleeping in my car and adjusting to have very few set plans, I discovered exactly how beautiful this land is. The national parks are gorgeous, each city has it's own story, and people are chill. 


0:18 - Phase One



0:47 - Phase Two



1:15 - Phase Three



1:55 - Phase Four
(pictures/Canadian Parks)




2:41 - Phase Five



The Video

One of the critiques that I usually receive about my videos are that they are too fast. In response, this is the fastest video I have put together. While I had been using fast moving cuts of still photos for a while, I've never used them to this degree. The project file for this video was so large (~19,000 items) that Premiere Pro crashed non stop.

I originally wanted to shoot a completely different type of video but realized I wasn't quite where I needed to be to execute effectively.

The idea for this video came to me while driving from Nashville to St Louis. The basic concept here is that after we travel, we don't necessarily retain a vivid memory of everything that happened. We tend to forget the dull moments and have only flashes of memories from the things that we did. This video is my representation of a memory of a trip. The beginning is quick while I'm soaking everything in and eventually slows once I get into the groove of realizing what's around me.

The Music