Handbird Productions

~ Dream Within a Dream ~
All that we see or seem, is but a dream within a dream. ~Edgar Allen Poe
Meet Handbird artist Felicity Rogers
RECOLLECTIONS ~ Richard Gannaway, October 2003
My first encounter with Felicity Rogers was a memorable one. We were both working at a theme park. She was performing her Magic Butterfly Act, myself a 'mime and dance' show. I discovered her interest in surreal photography, and found her themes of time and enchantment something I could relate to.

A couple of years later a very talented performer by the name of Paul Romhany, who was performing his amazing 'Charlie Chaplin' show on the same circuit, suggested that I might be the person Felicity was looking for to create the music soundtrack to her animated show-reel.

After a quick phone call, a time was arranged to meet. I lugged my 'Peavey Scorpion' amplifier, four track recorder and keyboard to her studio. I already had a lot of respect for Felicity's photography she had shown me, and after watching her animated show-reel I knew straight away this was something special.

Richard in his studio playing "Swan Lake"

Richard Gannaway acting in Dream Within a Dream

Richard playing the role of the "Magician"
in Dream Within a Dream

We proceeded to dissect each aspect of sound and visual, that first session lasted twelve hours, and was only one of many that drifted into the late hours of the night. I believe in that first session we found a strong balance in which we could collaborate together, while having a few good laughs along the way.

More time passed and the idea that I would create the soundtrack and play the part of the 'Magician' in Felicity's short film "Dream Within a Dream" became a reality. Truth is, I very much wanted to do it!

A big thank you and debt of gratitude to John Flower who was cameraman and provided much technical help with various aspects of the film, and to Wayne Rogers whose invaluable help and assistance aided to make many areas of the film shoot more manageable.

Tammy Peters who played the character of 'Odette' in the film, was so much fun to work with, a very naturally gifted and talented individual. Our scenes together were great fun, particularly during the film's 'struggle' sequence around 5am in the morning, where we all had a good laugh. Actually, as I recall during the 21-hour film shoot, Tammy did get to sneak in a couple of hours of sleep. I think we were all feeling pretty envious watching her sleeping peacefully right next to the film set!


Felicity, Richard, Tammy & John
at the end of the final film shoot

The guitar, much to my approval, provided a vital role, becoming the voice and cries of the 'Swans'/ 'Handbirds', the sound of the 'Moonstone', the 'roar' of 'Odette's' dramatic emergence from the water, as well as being the main leading and backing instrument throughout the film. I have always felt drawn to the 'ethereal' sound, in composing my own music, I use a wide range of instrumentation, and utilize my voice as an instrument unto itself, singing, breathing, sound effects…

Playing the character of the Magician was a natural extension to the music for me, which was breathing life into the film on a literal level. I still remember the gleam of delight in Felicity's eyes when she saw the 'mouth of the cave' open up with the sound of an 'exhaling breath'. Another moment was the 'Handbirds', as they flew together to the sound of resonating bending guitar notes. There were many moments, when something just clicked beautifully first time, and of course there were many that took a good deal of work.

Looking at the film today, I feel it was a very special collaboration between myself and Felicity. I appreciate that Felicity must have put a lot of faith and trust in me, as we were both treading new and exciting territory.

Thank you 'Tchaikovsky', for the privilege of recreating some of the most beautiful music ever written. In years to come, I know I will look back on this experience with a smile and great fondness.

Handbird Productions © Copyright Felicity Rogers 2006