"Upon my deathbed the spirit presents me with ten matchsticks," reads the scrawled text at the beginning of the video for "Book of Matches," a music and film collaboration between Kyle Morton of Typhoon and director Matthew Thomas Ross. "Each match, I am told, will recall a single moment of my life. Watch carefully, she tells me, and strikes the first."
"Book of Matches" is a series of vignettes, snapshots of a life lived, set to minute-long songs written by Morton, whose music seems fixated on the concept of mortality. Morton was stricken with a serious case of Lyme disease as a child that resulted in a kidney transplant and left him feeling like he was living on borrowed time.
Each of the ten short segments in presents a fragment of life with little context — a boy on a slide in a park, a woman hanging laundry in the sun, condensation running in rivulets down a window pane. The music provides an emotional frame for otherwise ordinary moments.
"The project, perhaps because of its inherent simplicity and self-imposed limits — one minute-long, recorded and filmed in one session — is I think some of the best work either of us have ever done," Morton tells us in an email.
Unlike most music videos, Ross created his short films before Morton began writing the songs.
"I told Kyle I had an idea for a video and suggested filming it first so we did that the next day," Ross writes. "That night I picked the best minute of the shot, sent it and 24 hours later Kyle had a finished song. So we decided to do it like that instead. Opposed to the song inspiring the visuals, the visuals inspired the song."