Little Song Films & Why Firegiver

If you look on whois domain name search it will tell you that was created in 2008. That’s bollocks. It was first registered in 2000. 2008 is the most recent renewal date. Back around the turn of the century I was mulling over setting up a website. I had the idea of creating some sort of arts channel and back then spent a lot of effort preparing content. I needed a domain name and every name that I felt suitable was already taken. I don’t know how many searches I made but it was a lot. Eventually firegiver occurred to me as an option and miraculously it wasn’t already taken. I bagged it and continued developing the concept I had. At the moment I can’t be bothered to explain exactly why firegiver was appropriate. But in the words of Franz Kafka

There are four legends concerning Prometheus.

According to the first he was clamped to a rock in the Caucasus for betraying the secrets of the gods to men, and the gods sent eagles to feed on his liver, which was perpetually renewed.

According to the second Prometheus, goaded by the pain of the tearing beaks, pressed himself deeper and deeper into the rock until he became one with it.

According to the third his treachery was forgotten in the course of thousands of years, forgotten by the gods, the eagles, forgotten by himself.

According to the fourth everyone grew weary of the meaningless affair. The gods grew weary, the eagles grew weary, the wound closed wearily.

There remained the inexplicable mountain of rock. The legend tried to explain the inexplicable. As it came out of a substratum of truth it had in turn to end in the inexplicable.

A little while afterwards, I met Roger Thorp at a dinner party and we got to talk about films and things. He told me of his website idea which he had a name for, Little Song Films. Later we pinned down the essence of the site as being dedicated to the poetics of the moving image. Roger and I got on well and his concept seemed to be much more achievable than the rather broad and vague aims of my proposed website, plus it’s easier to do things in collaboration than by yourself, so I dropped my Firegiver efforts and we registered the Little Song Films domain and produced a first version of this in 2001.

Ten years or so later Little Song Films is in a state of hibernation. It got to the point where we needed to rethink and redevelop the website. We had a few discussions with ideas of how this could be done, but further progress also meant further commitment of time and money which neither of us felt capable of providing. The website still exists as an archive and gets over 100 visits a day, though what proportion of those are genuine individuals watching films as opposed to miscellaneous robotic search engine activity I couldn’t say. Actually when I think about it, it wouldn’t be too hard to find out, but I would have to search through logs for .mov files and look at each one to be sure that it actually had been watched. Another time maybe.

Although was not used for its original purpose I retained the domain name and in 2004 I started to use it for a rudimentary blog which consisted of short films that I made with accompanying music and some explanatory text. They are all still there although nothing links to them so the only way they can be found is via a search engine, so some of them are still accessed from time to time.

I will write a bit more about Little Song Films now and again, but for now here’s one of the first films that we got from a major videoartist, Éder Santos who we fortunately met in Amsterdam in 2003. It’s something he did as a video for the American singer/songwriter, Mark Mulcahy, which was never used. It’s a beautiful song and Éder’s video is brilliant. Thanks to Mezzotint Records for letting us screen the track.

The Way She Really Is

By the way, translation of Kafka’s Prometheus by the mighty Willa & Edwin Muir.