Perdre la Tramontane

4k Video

I use 4k video capture and processing to create layered, cinematic excerpts exploring my own emotional response to nature through periods of isolation, doubt, pleasure and contemplation of mortality and afterlife while walking through the landscape and its constants winds in the South of France. 

There are over 13 various wind patterns in the South, however the most famous have Provençal names including the Tramontane, Mistral, Ponente, Libeccio, Ostro, Sirocco, Levante and Gregale. The Tramontane and Mistral winds blow together over Southern France and onto the Gulf of Lion and to the northwest of the western Mediterranean Sea. They can also be felt east of the Balearic Islands, in Sardinia, and sometimes as far as the coast of Africa. 

The word “tramontane” means "North Star" and also "the guide". In 1636 the French expression "perdre la tramontane" was coined and translates as "to be disorientated." The continuous howling noise of the Tramontane is noted in history and novels to have had a disturbing effect on the psyche. In his poem "Gastibelza", Victor Hugo’s protagonist says , "Le vent qui vient à travers la montagne me rendra fou..." The wind coming over the mountain will drive me mad. 

The name Mistral comes from the Languedoc dialect of the Occitan and means "masterly". It is a strong, cold, northwesterly wind that blows from Southern France into the Gulf of Lion in the northern Mediterranean. It can be a violent, cold, north or northwest wind that accelerates when it passes through the valleys of the Rhône and the Durance Rivers to the coast of the Mediterranean around the Camargue region. It has a major influence all along the Mediterranean coast of France, and often causes sudden storms in the Mediterranean between Corsica and the Balearic Islands.

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