In the midst of the sorrow and combustion that has laid claim to the last years/months/weeks, a few of us gathered in a dank former factory on a cloudy afternoon. Over 5 hours, we played and sang, and recited, and a few friends we invited shot the proceedings on iPhones and committed the sounds to tape. Out of that, we sewed together a 45-minute document we called Dead Starling Session, named so after the factory space.

Most working artists have had to make a serious effort at détente with cyberspace, which all at once liberates, then dates, and then pretty much condemns original creative work. It’s a delicate negotiation with a truly heartless thing. Early in the mixing and editing of the film—after the flood of relief that comes with recognizing the raw material as being worthy (not always the case, I can tell you)—the rare sense took hold that the finished thing would simply be given over to the internet, something unfamiliar for a guy like me. I decided that for a short while it would be on offer for the price of a decent coffee and something sweet and then, in the indigenous spirit of giveaway, it would be turned loose. To those who rented or purchased the film, I thank you for supporting the work by voting with a few of your dollars. The film’s new life begins now, as I give it over to the murky water of the internet to be found by whoever is supposed to find it, unimpeded by paywalls and passwords.

I do this now partially to fulfill that deal I made with the work, and partly to mark the fragile return to the dark road, beginning with a tour of the UK and Ireland in late summer, as always, a quixotic endeavour.

If there is a way to honourably ask that you share this film with friends, loved ones and community, I make that ask here. The film seems able to say most of what resists being said about a Night of Grief and Mystery and there are some gems in it – some shards, too – that catch the light and keep good company with the dark.

Gregory Hoskins
July 6th, 2022

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