Words In Motion
Spellbound - Vol III Iss III
© May 1997

From Tricia L., Centreville, VA, USA -
Where was the American version of "No Promises" filmed?
Who directed the "Touch The Fire" video, and what other musicians has this director worked with?
Iva's answer -
"No Promises" was shot in the Blue Mountains. There's a rail line that goes right through and connects all the little mountain towns. My recollection is it was one of those lonely little stations. Up in that same area, the "Crazy" DJ clip that used the historical home was filmed up there, overlooking one of the valleys.
The directors of "Touch The Fire" were a pair from Melbourne who were known as the Rich Kids. They were "flavour of the moment" there for a while. The only other clip that I can recall specifically was a Kate Ceberano clip - I think it might have been for "Bedroom Eyes." But there would be a string of others and I have no idea, I'm afraid. I can't quote any others. They are the same guys who did the "Dusty Pages" clip.

From Berhnard S., Nailsworth, VA, Australia -
I especially enjoyed the "Tales From The Icehouse" segment in the last Spellbound. If this is to be a continuing thing, can I request something from Iva? How does he write songs, step by step? I try mucking around with my guitars, but what ends up on paper is always of an embarrassingly poor standard. Does he begin with a lyric that pops into his head, and then create the remainder and music around it, or does he begin with the music?
Iva's answer -
Usually I just start fooling around with new sounds… keyboard or sampler… quite often a sound will have an atmosphere or evoke a certain mood which will then encourage me to choose a particular set of chords or harmony. Quite often, also, I might start with a particular rhythm "groove"… maybe from a song I've heard or more likely these days a "loop." I do, however, concentrate on establishing a harmonic basis (set of chords) and a format of song parts (blocks and sets of chords) very early in the piece because unless I find these and they are inspiring I know that I will never find a melody to work with and therefore will never complete the song. Over the years there would only have been four or five sketches that got a long way down the line but remain uncompleted. In other words just about everything I have started has been worked into a finished song eventually (and released!!!). Those few exceptions were those which I convinced myself had a satisfying "bed" before they were, in fact, ready. Hence, when it came to the critical stage ("hearing" a melody) nothing would materialise! Somewhere early in the piece I like to find a "title" or at least a subject or "chorus" set of lyrics which I can focus on. Having done that the rest of the lyrics can be "slugged" out later around the final melody.
The outstanding exceptions to this general process are those songs which began as "lyrics first." These occasions are rare, i.e. very seldom have I sat down and written an entire set of lyrics without previously creating the music. This has happened only a handful of times and has probably produced better songs. Some notable examples of this process would be "Great Southern Land" and "Man Of Colours." Unfortunately one has to be really "struck" by inspiration for this to happen and unfortunately also, it doesn't happen very often.