THE CALLANISH SESSIONS | Experimental Short Film | Project Synopsis
— ‘DUSK’ is the second instalment of the Callanish Sessions project. This moving image sequence contains abstracted film painting which serves to represent geological debris and weather movement over expanded time. Forces which buried the stones for millennia. These storm like abstractions are then followed by an intimate communion with the stone circle as the sun slowly sets.

Julian Hand - The Callanish Sessions - Stills
Project Introduction Notes:


The Callanish Sessions (working project title) is an experimental short documenting a journey Demian and myself took together to the Island of Lewis located in the Outer Hebrides, Scotland.

Our final destination was the ancient site of Callanish by the waters of Loch Roag on the island’s western edge.

Our intention was to spend a duration of time in the presence of the Callanish Standing Stones and to explore the immediate terrain circumferencing them.

Beyond our personal communion with the stones and landscape, we ventured to capture and record the experience through our preferred mediums of sound & image.

Our goal was to gather recorded material in order to create an experimental documentation of our exploration of the Callanish Stones and the island.

We hope to convey to the audience a sense of the islands remote and barren beauty or otherworldliness and the Stones mysterious and stoic presence.

We also intend to weave a sence of magic or the unknown throughout the peice.

Myself bringing a single Super 8mm film camera, various lenses, film stock and tripod.

Demian bringing an acoustic guitar and Zoom field-recording device.

As long-standing collaborators and close friends, Demian & I have worked together on multiple video instalments for his band and music project The Oscillation.

Our work has always inferred allusion to realms forgotten, places distant or abandoned, psychological zones in which to transcend from one perception to another.

Further notes on the projects sound and image components and production:


Shot entirely on Super 8mm film using varied film stocks and developing processes. The processed film has been scanned at high resolution and is currently being edited using digital post-production methods.

I have also included hand painted film sequences to represent the weathers continual flux and earth layering which occurred deep over time in the region.

Out there the weather system seemed to be in constant flux, shifting from one extreme to another. Locals enjoy describing it as if it were ”four seasons in a day”.

Peat makes up much of the Island, a black earthen mass which is continually blown across the land shifting its shape and character.

Lewis is predominantly flat with little woodland to obstruct the course of the wind, which consequently shapes its terrain over expanded time.

Since their abandonment some 3 thousand years ago the stones, over the millennia were slowly covered by peat and other geographical debris to near obscurity.

Rediscovery and excavation of the stones only took place some 150 years ago.


Julian Hand - The Callanish Sessions - Stills

Julian Hand - The Callanish Sessions - Stills

Demian has recorded on Goya classical guitar using a Zoom WAV recorder. The guitar was played either picked conventionally or in a percussive way using objects to drum on the strings. These simple compositions or drones were recorded on location within and around the stone circle site and formed the basis of each track.

In another experiment, the guitar was left in an open tuning to be played by the wind like and Aeolian Harp.

In the studio, these recordings were processed using effects pedals and outboard rack effects such as phaser, flanger, reverb and delay. Additional percussion and synthesisers were also overdubbed.


Julian Hand - The Callanish Sessions - Stills

Julian Hand - The Callanish Sessions - Stills

‘The CALLANISH SESSIONS’ will eventually be released as a very limited edition box set containing a 12” LP of the final recordings and sound track, a DVD with the experimental short and a set of Giclee art prints.


‘The CALLANISH SESSIONS’ will be submitted to various festivals and organiSations.


‘The CALLANISH SESSIONS’ will act as a forerunner or test bed project to promote our ideas and future wish to continue recording and documenting in this manner places of cultural significance in the UK and beyond.


Julian Hand - The Callanish Sessions - Stills