Seeing Rotterdam Central Station during rush hour, in March 2020, changed everything for me. Nearly every day the station connects me with my students in Eindhoven and Amsterdam. Suddenly, everything stopped. The constantly packed station has stopped. There is no chatter, no one running to their platform and the shops are all closed. I was looking at something so familiar and yet unrecognisable. It made me feel uncomfortable.
What would be the best instrument to capture this feeling? It felt like a feedback-loop made by a microphone and the speakers. Unsettling. Modular synth seemed like the right narrator for this moment. I filmed quickly and made sure to keep a safe distance from a few people around me.
When my partner watched this film it reminded her about The Power of Moments. In the book, the authors talk about how our lives are measured in moments and what are these defining moments we look back on when we are older. March 2020 feels like one of these defining moments in my life. COVID-19 pandemic is one of these meaningful experiences that will probably stand out in my memory.
Can we shape our memory of this period? Research has found that in recalling an experience, we ignore most of what happened and focus instead on a few particular moments. I wanted to capture a specific moment, by film and by music, to express how I felt when the pandemic was first announced.
This film marks a moment of transition from a reality I was accustomed to, to a new world order I had to accept. In times of transition, we feel anxious because we don’t know how to act or what rules to apply. To overcome this struggle I wanted to create a defining moment that drew a divide between Old Me and New Me. Once the movie was complete, I felt more comfortable in creating a new routine for my family and myself.
Hopefully, this project will inspire my students to create their own moment or share their artistic expression to bring our community closer. As we can’t connect physically, we can connect on another level. Help one another heal and find the strength to create our own moment to remember this period by.