Even without its accompanying psychotropic video, a mixed-media crazed cacophony masterminded by Davide Di Saro, the song “Faith” by Ronley Teper and The Lipliners is a very curious creature. It has a magical fairy princess vocal that innocently winds its way into the subconscious — “here comes faith, like a river to the soul,” while the music slowly builds into an ‘everything-but-the-kitchen-sink circus tent orchestra with a choral accompaniment of woodland hippies. The video itself, comprised of pencil and water color drawings, flash animation and 3D graphics, has a kind of Beatles ‘Yellow Submarine’ vibe, though perhaps with just a tinge of madness.
The message is of hope and faith in the face of unavoidable change toward the unknown. Here is the story of this fantastic voyage:
“The adventure unfolds among a living landscape representing the paradoxical friction of force between our real world and dreams to achieve. Within this world we gracefully follow a fantastical character roaming with his soul, toward an unalloyed river which streams silver shimmers of faith and optimistic peace. Ultimately the adventurous soul, embarks on a floating mountain disappearing in the distance while we learn how to respectfully pose an eternal farewell to what we have left behind.”
The video is part of an 8-year collaboration between Di Saro and Ronley Teper, performance artist turned musician. Their trilogy of animated films (this is the first) came out of massive upheaval in her life — a time when she got rid of everything from her clothes and belonging to her nostalgia and memories. The song “Faith” was a reminder to herself to accept the changes that ushered in a new chapter in her life and to overcome them.
Originally from South Africa and raised in Toronto, Ronley began playing guitar in high school to accompany her poems and monologues. She released her debut Stories From The Tray in 2001, which told the story of a naive waitress serving unsavory customers. Her follow-up, Cornered In The Alley, explored both universal love and everyday love, with all its ugly and beauful experiences. In her work with her many collaborators, she experiments with music as performance art.
Teper collaborates with a revolving cast of Canada’s finest artists in the indie music scene (in addition to puppets) to create art that combines poetry, comedy, magic, theatrics and good old-fashioned storytelling. In her new album, 20 short musical monologues are featured that were workshopped during improvisational shows where she and her musicians create startling new musical worlds.