Rumors of war

No Finger Nails – Mc Baco – Ortica (Emanuela Bartolotti)

by Alessandro Trabucco

It is not the first time that musicians, for an own video, place their trust in drawing and animation, finding in them extremely effective means to express the contents treated in their creations.
Some and selected eminent precedents spring to mind, such as the piece of Radiohead (Paranoid Android) and some videos by Steven Wilson (The Raven that Refused to Sing, Drive Home). Perhaps, through drawing and animation it is easier to represent certain feelings, or fears, rather than through more realistic images like dramas, probably not able to return the right poetic and metaphoric measure of the subjects treated.
They become eventually out and out tales, even when themes are not figments of imagination, but painful events that unfortunately occur even daily everywhere in the world.
War, for instance, not easy to treat without falling into the easy traps of rhetoric and propaganda.
Rumors of War is a piece of the collective No Finger Nails referring to the music producer in home-recording Andrea Presicce. The feature of this kind of music productions is just the cooperation, the research of more professional roles that can take part to the accomplishment of multi-disciplinary wide-ranging experiments, as in this specific case.
The soloist voice is of Mc Baco, well-known in the Italian reggae world, and the decisive contribution for the images and the direction of Ortica (translated is Nettle, nickname of Emanuela Bartolotti) with the collaboration of Roberto Mencherini, create a very involving evocative video.
A theme as much delicate as very hard, seen from the side of those who endure the war, not only physically but also, and especially, emotionally.
The technique is the traditional 2D and the drawings are all manually done with pencil by Ortica, a manual workmanship so meticulous as laborious, requiring the realization of a great deal of plates then assembled in stop motion by Ortica herself and, in the final editing, again by Roberto Mencherini.
First of all, the massive presence of common people faces stands out, women and men representative of a Humanity expressing with simple gestures, such as an embrace or a passionate kiss, the experienced feelings of affection, apprehension and anguish.
The artist represents these scenes in black and white, with a nimble and controlled stroke of drawing, all on indefinitely colored backgrounds, emphasizing in this way the contrast between the drawn subjects and the shades of colors below. Armies in state of war, halftracks marching, children playing with small military objects, rifles pointed, politicians in press conference; with the text performed by Mc Baco, the video is a sort of document/denunciation (as in the best style of a certain type of music) against the profiteers of war, at the same time supporters, neither so much hidden (through the market of weapons) as well as with the guise of detractors (for clear electoral and power reasons) of the war.
This video represents therefore a perfect union of sound, words and images, finding in the drawings of Ortica (Emanuela Bartolotti) the utmost expression and visual “translation” of a text not always easy to render and understand through and through.

Photo credits:
Drawing – frame by Ortica, videoclip  “Rumors of War” – No Finger Nails ft. Mc Baco

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