A poetry film on the excavation of an Iron Age horsewoman’s grave in the steppes of Siberia, intertwined with the narrator’s memories of her former lover’s death by suicide.
Music by Hazel Fairbairn.
Montage and words by Kim Trainor.
Excerpted from the long poem Ledi (Book*hug, 2018) by Kim Trainor.
Kim Trainor is the granddaughter of an Irish banjo player and a Polish faller who worked in the logging camps around Port Alberni in the 1930s. Her second book, Ledi, a finalist for the 2019 Raymond Souster Award, describes the excavation of an Iron Age horsewoman’s grave in the steppes of Siberia. Her next book, Bluegrass, will appear with Icehouse Press (Gooselane Editions) in 2022. Her poetry has won the Gustafson Prize, the Malahat Review Long Poem Prize, and the Great Blue Heron Prize. In addition to working with the musician Hazel Fairbairn on a series of poetry films based on Ledi, she has recently completed an art song of her poem “Blackmud” with the composer Yi Ning for Art Song 2020. “Integument,” her first poetry film, will be screened at the ZEBRA Poetry Film Festival in November 2020 in Berlin. Poems are forthcoming with Women and Environments International, Anthropocenes, and ISLE. She teaches in the English Department at Douglas College and lives in Vancouver, unceded homelands of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm, Skwxwú7mesh, and Tsleil-Waututh Nations.
Hazel Fairbairn grew up in and around London, UK, and studied music at The City University and viola at The Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Whilst in London, she played with the London Musicians Collective, various avant-garde ensembles, an African jazz band, and in a lot of Irish pubs. Following this, studying Ethnomusicology at University College Cork and the University of Cambridge provided the opportunity to pursue a growing fascination with traditional Irish music and her PhD ‘Anarchy and Heterophony in the Traditional Music Session’ was the first in its field.
In 1993, Hazel co-formed ‘Horace X’ with producer/drummer Mark Russell. They spent almost a decade running this collective out of their own UK based studio and independent label, being too weird and electronic for folkies and too folky for everyone else. Eventually, labels in Minneapolis and Berlin picked up the project, and they spent the next five years touring a live show around Europe and North America, including coast-to-coast tours of Canadian festivals in 2002–2005. During these years Hazel also studied Carnatic Violin Playing, played with Laurie Anderson at her South Bank Meltdown series, and worked as a session string player/arranger and music leader for folk and improvised acoustic workshops.
When ‘Musical Futures’ a UK education initiative pioneering informal, project-based learning in the music classroom, recruited professional musicians to work alongside classroom teachers, Hazel discovered that teaching can actually be as much fun as being in a band. She went back to school in 2009 studying music pedagogy at the Institute of Education in London. Currently teaching music, art and audio in Vancouver, Hazel is also exploring the manipulation of violin-generated sounds, recently collaborating with UK based Moff Skellington to produce the radio people by the sleeping ducks, and working with Mark Russell on a new studio-based electronic-acoustic project.
“Ghost” is the second of a series of poetry films I am creating, based on my book Ledi (Book*hug, 2018) which attempts to piece together and honour with ritual a former lover who took his own life. “Ghost” is set in memory, in the heart of the Mojave.