Darlingside's God of Loss Papercut Music Video by Andrew Benincasa

It's happened again... I have another new favorite band. Birds Say, an album by Darlingside, a Massachusetts group that originated when its four singer-songwriter-instrumentalists were students at Williams College, played on repeat at my house most of the weekend. One of the tracks, The God of Loss, is a hauntingly harmonious tune... the kind that stays with you for days. Have a listen/look:

The song was inspired by Arundhati Roy's tragic book The God of Small Things. It tells the story of Velutha, a character who, as the band explains, "is tangled in a web of familial, cultural, and romantic loyalties. The lyrics were inspired by Velutha's attempts to preserve his humanity in the face of those competing forces."

Making of God Of Loss Video

Darlingside reached out to Brooklyn paper cutter, illustrator and filmmaker Andrew Benincasa to create a video for a Birds Say song... his choice as to which one. He mulled over a few possibilities before coming up with the thoughtfully produced shadow puppetry animation for God of Loss, a song named by NPR Music as a 2015 favorite in its Folk and Americana category.

God of Loss Papercut Music Video Production - Scene 2

Andrew's explanation of the video's story board:

"The song is about loss and the flow of time, and asks the question about what are the things we can take with us as we continue to lose so much. I thought this song was thematically perfect for a paper-cutting, because paper-cutting is the process of creating by taking away. You take a blank piece of paper and make an image by removing pieces, and shape and story are formed by what is lost. This seemed like a potentially potent metaphor for human experience, and that's the seed I grow this video out of."

God of Loss Papercut Music Video Production - Scene

Andrew explains that he built a light table with a translucent cutting mat on top and a camera mounted above. He would complete about a scene each day, cutting a spooled ream of black paper, coordinating the figures with hand puppetry and editing to perfect the timing.

Paper Cutter Andrew Benincasa

He says, ..."the work is always absorbing and never boring; laborious and bone-wearying and a lot of hours, yes, but never boring, because you know you're building up a beautiful piece, and you'll be able to share that piece with a lot of people."

Andrew Benincasa on Instagram and Facebook
Darlingside on Instagram and Facebook
Previous posts about fave music combined with paper art: Spinto Band - Oh Mandy, Lisa Hannigan - I Don't Know and Beck's Song Reader.

Ann Martin
Ann Martin

This is a short biography of the post author and you can replace it with your own biography.