"The song is the lullaby and the video is the dream state." That's musician Miya Folick describing her song and choreographed dance for this song, "Oceans." Miya was an artist I became fascinated with when I heard her EP Strange Darling and then saw her captivate a crowd in NYC this past fall. Her words and songs are personal and passionate.
Miya told me via email the this song is about "fighting off the fear and panic that can haunt you when you're flirting with potential and desire. It's about feeling like a loser/imposter/phony/fraud/fake — all those terrible conversations you have with yourself. But, it's also a lullaby — a salve — meant to help carry you off into a dream."
Miya told me she is obsessed with dancer and choreographer Yvonne Rainer. Rainer's dance work in the '60s and beyond was less about drama and entertainment than we traditionally think of dance being. Along with filmmaker Matthew Anderson and choreographer Caitlin Adams, Miya Folick developed what she calls "a physical language through improvisation, which we used to tell the story of the song."
Matthew Anderson notes his moment of inspiration came when he first heard the song:
"When I heard 'Oceans,' it captivated and mesmerized me. I knew very quickly that it was the song that I thought I could help elicit a cinematic counterpart. I have listened to it well over a hundred times, and I still love it.
"We approached the video as if her movements were that of her subconscious, in a dream — because that's how I understood the lyrics. The music has a very subdued dreamy nature and the lyrics seem to be calling out some kind of negative force within her, and the singer gains a power to assert herself through movement towards some kind of balance.
"When it's just you and the performer, the song and a camera, you can focus on more subtle movements and private expressions. The experience felt very intimate and collaborative and Caitlin and Miya and I would all jump in with our thoughts and sudden flashes of inspiration. It was really exciting, three similar and different minds bubbling around this concept."
Miya Folick is a charismatic artist with a vision. Go see her when she comes to your town.