Djerassi Creek, video still, 2015 (TRT: 4:14)

I have been preoccupied with massed choirs and collective singing for longer than I can remember. This experimental film short was based on footage I gathered as research while I was on a residency at the Djerassi Resident Artists Program in Woodside, California in 2010—but I didn’t end up working on it further for another five years in lieu of other projects. In 2015, I circled back and made this short experimental film of myself conducting a Welsh massed choir of 8,000 men as best I can from atop a creekside podium.

I’ve only shown this work once before as it felt like it was still emerging and I wasn’t sure what it was yet. Now I realize this work was critical research and following this thread has led me to the focus of recent work exploring the role of collective singing in civic engagement. It’s fascinating to me how our work is pre-lingual and often ‘knows’ the future direction of our work before we consciously do—and is just trying to tell us!


Directed and edited by Mel Day
Director of Cinematography by Sade Heron
Sound by Sade Heron
Production Assistant: Skip Gianocca, Jr (1952-2014)Sound by The World Choir of over 8,000 strong sing “Jacobs Ladder” and “Soldier’s Chorus” (Faust) from the old Cardiff Park Arms Stadium (1993)
Credit: 2havago /

Thanks to the support of the Djerassi Resident Artist Program.