22 August 2022

The Ballad of Holland Island House

This is quite an extraordinary meeting of talents, brought together to tell the true story of the last house standing on a sinking island in the Chesapeake Bay, the northern part of which is within Maryland, the southern portion within Virginia.  Animator Lynn Tomlinson uses a truly inventive animation technique using just a thin layer of oil-based clay.

The music is by Anna Roberts-Gevalt and Elizabeth LaPrelle – a perfect companion to the animation which produces a soulful and haunting view of the impact of sea-level rise.  The words, told from the perspective of the house are reminiscent of Longfellow’s The Windmill (to me, anyway!) but the tone here is much more elegiac. Altogether it is a mesmerizing experience: moreover, it’s wonderful to hear an authentic if somewhat melancholic American voice come through the sound and visuals so strongly.