Photos: Geneviève Ringuet
It takes a rare talent to blur the lines between poetry and music. Yes, both are brilliant, often highly-empathic forms of expression, but it takes a true genius to make the two mediums indistinguishable. Matt Holubowski is shaping up to be one of those very, rare talents.
The Canadian artist crafts folk music that feels as ancient as the musical tradition itself. Holubowski’s latest offering is the deeply moving visual accompaniment to “Dawn, She Woke Me.” The song in and of itself is a sonic journey. Holubowski’s arresting voice, as well as his intricate and delicate fingerpicking, are nothing short of captivating. Then there’s the undulating orchestra that enters and departs at a moment’s notice, which only adds to the grand sense of it all. Thematically, “Dawn, She Woke Me” hints at the poetically melancholic less because the actual content is dejected or forlorn, but rather because moving one’s soul is an innate quality of a truly beautiful creation.
Holubowski was kind enough to share a few words with us on what inspired “Dawn, She Woke Me,”
“‘Dawn, She Woke Me’ is about a nightmare from which Dawn - a character inspired by Homer’s ‘Odyssey’ - wakes you with her rosy fingers. I was reading ‘The Odyssey’ at a time where my girlfriend was having pretty bad night terrors, and I would gently stroke her head in order to calm her down.”
The video for “Dawn, She Woke Me,” premiering here today, is an all-too-fitting accompaniment for a piece inspired by The Odyssey. Self-directed by Holubowski, the video captures years of traversing across various countries and continents. It’s a shockingly beautiful complement to its sonic counterpart. Despite, the striking magnificence of the travels, the underlying sense of isolation cannot be shaken. As Holubowski travels across Serbia, Iceland, Egypt, and the world at large, the video’s strongest moment comes from an unexpected place–Holubowski sitting alone, enjoying breakfast and gazing out towards the eternal. The artist and poet expanded further on putting together his self-directed video,
“The images are selected from a huge amount of footage I collected while backpacking across over a dozen or so countries over the course of 4-5 years. It seemed appropriate to juxtapose the song with actual video of experiences that sometimes seemed to me a dream, so far-fetched and beautifully out of reach.”
“Dawn, She Woke Me” is the lead single from the US release of Holubowski’s forthcoming album, Solitudes (Epilogue), due out August 31 via Audiogram.
Watch the video for “Dawn, She Woke Me” below: