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Premiere: “forget-me-not” by jph

Last updated on April 22, 2022

I’m a firm believer in community, collaboration, and spreading the work around. My all-time favorite joke meme created by all-time great “goofy internet thing” is a picture of a man holding a sparkler in the air on a grassy space with the overlay caption “Following your heart is impossible, unless you ignore everyone around you.” I printed it out and now it graces the door to my office.

With that in mind, I do feel a little bad taking another JPH premiere from A Holy Hour off of someone else’s hands. (Y’all, everyone should get to premiere JPH work!) But not that bad. The video is very good and salves my minor concern.

The video for JPH’s “forget-me-not” is a beautiful, meditative, complex 9:15. The concept is simple but rich: on a background of gently waving trees, a video detailing the slowly turned pages of a vintage yearbook plays. The background of the trees represents solidity and stability. The action of turning the yearbook pages and the focus on the pictures of faded youth within the pages juxtaposes a sense of time passing quickly against the longevity of tall trees. I like looking at vintage yearbooks, so this concept was appealing to me in and of itself, but the work accentuates themes in the song as well.

The song points out tensions as well: the first 6:30 of the track consists of a field recording of birds and what sounds like a slowly looping harmonium drone. The vibe feels meditative, like a space of time carved out to be timeless. Shortly after 6:30, a vintage a cappella recording of the Irish folk tune “Sweet Forget-me-nots” layers over the piece, bringing a sense of vitality (through the human voice) but also age (through the clearly very old recording, of a seemingly old man) to the piece.

The video culminates in two shifts, which I’ll let you discover for yourself. “forget-me-not” is a great example of packing a lot of meaning into minimalist approaches, both sonically and visually. A Holy Hour is out now.