Monday, 23 February 2009

Tobias Stretch "Spider" (Oh, Rabbit)

I do not know Oh, Rabbit though their melodic if saturnine Spiders is destined for my iPod when I get the download sorted - echoes of the British band Suede in the music, a favourite of mine in the early 1990s. I do know Tobias Stretch though. His contribution to my forthcoming book has been immense and I am amazed how he fits so much into his day. The animated music video Spider is typical of his work. That means it is distinctive. The lyrics are of a relationship at risk, the spider crawling out of the dark, a metaphor for aimlessness and lack of communication. Tobias has his two characters travelling in desultory fashion through a wintry landscape, partly urban, partly field. Their hair is yellow, straw, gold, flowered. They travel in a vehicle of straw. This may sound eccentric, and Tobias' work is most certainly of that ilk, but here the mood is established in flickering, fading light, streets that are empty of people or traffic, the cold red of street lamps. References to angel and Christ in the wings and ring of thorns throw a perspective on their suffering and the extended Moog synthesizer finale is accompanied by a blurring of imagery at the close that suggests no reconciliation rather like the facial rigidity of the puppets themselves. This excellent example of stop motion and puppetry may also be viewed on Tobias' website.

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