A Process Note
From the Writer: Sundays is a collection of fifty-two paragraph-length lyric essays, composed over consecutive Sundays in 2016-2017. Each piece begins from some detail in the day and works associatively through bits of reading and memory and the body’s speculations towards what one might call voice’s, or the speaker’s, undoing. With the help of Karl Precoda, in Performing Arts/Cinema at Virginia Tech, we taped my voice and then invited student filmmakers to extend that music in whatever ways seemed fitting. I am especially struck, in these pieces by Alex Hild and JT Faccone, by the way almost-silent textures of my thinking voice are brought to the surface by the freely braiding image and music streams they’ve created, continually touching and then drawing back from my words.
From the Filmmakers: By using found footage and soothing music, we interpreted Tom Gardner’s pieces and turned them into three films. Each film represents different portions of Tom’s work and shares his stories, experiences, and descriptions of the world around him. Through editing and genuine fun, we created these films to compliment Tom’s writing with aesthetic visuals supported with relaxing music.
We tried to match Tom’s speaking tone and rhythm with cuts and the choices of music. This allowed us to really show what Tom was feeling through his speech recordings. As we cut and lengthened the time between spoken sentences, this gave us dramatic opportunities that really created a story for each film.
Alex Hild and JT Faccone are Cinema Film students at Virginia Tech.
Thomas Gardner is the author of Sundays (2020) and Poverty Creek Journal (2014), collections of lyric essays from Tupelo Press. His most recent critical book is Lyric Theology: Milosz, Malick, Robinson, Dillard, forthcoming from Baylor University Press in 2022. He has held Guggenheim, NEA, and Fulbright grants and is Alumni Professor of English at Virginia Tech.