‘Gale’ is a new art form created with the elements of splitboarding, snowboarding, skiing, images, painting, music and poetry. The mesh of media to capture the feeling and joy of the mountains and those who play and take risks in them.
Gale – the Project:
Gale is an audiovisual splitboard experience and leads through forests, faces in the Aletsch area and follows a rope team up the Uri Traverse. Levi Luggen and Gregor Betschon show the different sides of touring using dynamic, artistic images and together with sound artist Andreas Achermann paint a unique mountain world. The British Joshua Truscott combines image and sounds with his lyrical texts so that the emotions and the feeling of the mountains reach the audience. Immerse yourself in this special atmosphere and let yourself drift.
Originally the plan was to document the UrnerTraverse, a 4 day high tour through the Urner Alps and to present it as a short film. This is a classic spring tour. With meters of snow in Valais in January and more to come we started trying out experimental filming. From then on we worked as a team and with each snowfall produced more footage. By the middle of the season it was obvious we would make a short film about splitboarding and put the traverse in it. With this we had the optimal basis to show different facets of spitboarding in one film.
Gale’s visual language is one as close to action as possible. The follow shots are the main element and the POV shots are complementary. We have been on the road together and have thus filmed each other. The challenge was clearly to use the climbed altitude as efficiently as possible and to be filmer and rider on each descent. The film is not a high-end produced film but one with which you can identify.
The inspirations and ideas around the music and lyrics came from the conversations during the filming. We were looking for ways to retell our experiences in a subtle form of film. We understand music in a film as a hub for emotions. It is the carrier and transmitter of feelings and allows us to perceive images more intensely and subjectively. We wanted to share these elements with the audience while watching “Gale” and so it was clear that the live performance was the key to a special experience.
With Andreas we found the musician who had excellent musical skills, enough technical knowledge and motivation for such a project. Since Andreas does the soundtrack with his Synthesizer, the realization was also realistic. In a long process over a year with re-edits, new tracks, further cuts and a mastering, Gale has been able to develop as a piece. After the first rough cut was done and we found the music with Andreas, the film wasn’t complete. It lacked a unifying element that made the film accessible to less snow enthusiasts.
A classical narrator would have been out of the question for us. We wanted the off voice to comment the film from his own perspective instead of being given a text by us.
The poet should – if possible – never have stood on a snowboard before and therefore create texts that can paint a mountain world even for laymen. Andreas has worked with Joshua several times before and thought he would be a perfect fit, as he is from England and has never snowboarded before.
We showed Josh the rough cut, to which he freely wrote and recorded poetry. That means we gave him absolute artistic freedom and he didn’t revise the texts anymore. So the narrative perspective is the same as that of the audience. Through the poems, images are stimulated in the viewers that are not even visible on the screen. This makes “Gale” a real experience
Ciné Concert Tour:
Since 2021 we have performed Gale fifteen times as a Ciné Concert and that from Anncey to Andermatt, Munich to Vienna. For a Ciné-Concert you need musicians who like to take risks. Because in a classical concert, mistakes are not as obvious as in a film music performance. Synchronizing image and sound is demanding and always holds new challenges. He is always on the side of the screen and the audience can watch him making music during the whole film. Andreas creates a discreet stage set with his instrument and it is definitely an incredible artistic achievement as he reshapes the sounds with every performance.
Full list of riders: Levi Luggen, Gregor Betschon, Matthias Schwestermann
Complete list of sponsors: K2 Snowboarding, doodah, Exped, Hä? Wear, Pow Gloves
Full list of filmmakers: Gregor Betschon, Levi Luggen,
Full list of additional credits:
Music: Andreas Achermann
Poems: Joshua Truscott,
Photo: Phil Bucher, Simon Ricklin
Colors: Oli Schmocker,
Special Thanks: Vera Rijks, David Bertschinger Karg, Kuno Egli, Ahriel Povich, Thomas Landolt, Markus Stoffel
More Infos: www.galefilm.com