The Artist Explains: moon:and:6 - 'Apollo-Soyuz'

Canadian multi-instrumentalist and producer moon:and:6 talks us through the ideas behind his space-themed music video and single 'Apollo-Soyuz'.
moon:and:6 is the project of Michael Chambers whose new solo album 'A Brief History of American Space Travel' is out now and available here! At 29 minutes in length, 'A Brief History of American Space Travel' is a mini concept album that tells the story of the American Space program from 1958 to 2011. The music is infused with French downtempo, 1990s post-rock and the experimental nature of mad men like Brian Eno and Steve Reich.

moon:and:6 Explains:
How was the video created?
I created this video with Creative Commons and public domain footage.

It was important for me to use found footage to tell this particular story. First of all, I’m grateful to the artists and creators who choose to make their work available in the public domain, or via a Creative Commons license. I use a lot of samples in my work and it’s great that there’s a structure in place to do it legally and give credit to the original artists.

I like using audio samples and found footage in my work because it forces me to make decisions based on the materials available. It also frames my creative process as more of a discovery process.

How does the footage compliment the song?
The song is about the Americans and Soviets working together on a joint space mission during the Cold War. Conceptually, it’s about opposing forces working together. I brought together slow and fast footage as a visual portrayal of this theme. I used the fast video in the intro and the choruses to illustrate the frantic and chaotic nature of the space race, and the slow motion to represent the peace, quiet and weightlessness of being in space.

Any behind the scenes stories?
I grew up in the 1980s while the Cold War was still on, and yet I wasn’t aware of the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project until I started making this album! I think it’s a shame that this mission isn’t more celebrated. It surprised me to learn that this level of cooperation existed between these two adversaries in the 1970s. I think this a very timely piece now. As we watch some of the world’s governments adopting isolationist and protectionist policies, we can look back in history and see a moment of international cooperation.

Tell us about the ideas/ themes/ imagery used?
I used the classical elements of earth, wind, fire, and water to symbolise opposing forces working together. The disorienting footage at the start suggests images of planetary rings and alien landscapes, but it’s actually stop-motion footage of a tree being cut away. Overlaid on that is aerial footage of the sky and clouds. For the verses, I chose underwater imagery to mimic the weightlessness of space and the slow, deliberate movements needed to dock two space craft together.

What do you hope people take away from watching the video?
The takeaway message of the song and video is that collaboration is beautiful – that two seemingly disjointed things can work together to create something extraordinary.

Interview feature by Karla Harris

Stream 'A Brief History of American History' on Spotify, here