Avalanche. is inspired by the lyrics, vocals, unique chop, syncopated classical guitar pattern, string movements, vibrations and spirit of Leonard Cohen’s masterpiece ‘Avalanche’ - the opening track of his 1971 album “Songs of Love and Hate”. 

‘Avalanche’, writes Cohen’s biographer Sylvie Simmons, “is sung in the character of a hunchback, a grotesque creature with a mountain of gold lusting over a woman - a Nazi caricature of a Jew. Or from the depths of hell by a tormented man who longs for connection with the Divine. Or by a man who already has the woman but does not want her or the domesticity she offers. And/or it is sung by God - a gentle, New Testament Jesus, with the crumbs of the Last Supper on the table and a wound on his side, who turns out to be as hard and demanding as an Old Testament Jehovah. In these six verses, sung in a minor key, untempered by women's voices, there are layers upon layers, a whole house of mirrors, but the constants are a sense of loneliness and longing, depression and despair.”

Cohen’s song inspired the creation of photographs that are placed together, forming long strips. These then led to the development of original audio and video elements that deconstruct the song, presenting a fresh multilayered interpretation, and capturing its emotional essence. 

The project is constantly developing; different shapes and forms are emerging, growing, and then collapsing back into the core elements of Cohen’s ‘Avalanche’ in an endless search to decipher it. 

The gallery page includes a number of stations in this journey - photographic compositions. You are invited to scroll, stop, look, feel, and think: Avalanche. Gallery. 

Leonard Cohen's 'Avalanche' - Lyrics

Well I stepped into an avalanche,

It covered up my soul;

When I am not this hunchback that you see,

I sleep beneath the golden hill.

You who wish to conquer pain,

You must learn, learn to serve me well.

You strike my side by accident

As you go down for your gold.

The cripple here that you clothe and feed

Is neither starved nor cold;

He does not ask for your company,

Not at the centre, the centre of the world.

When I am on a pedestal,

You did not raise me there.

Your laws do not compel me

To kneel grotesque and bare.

I myself am the pedestal

For this ugly hump at which you stare.

You who wish to conquer pain,

You must learn what makes me kind;

The crumbs of love that you offer me,

They're the crumbs I've left behind.

Your pain is no credential here,

It's just the shadow, shadow of my wound.

I have begun to long for you,

I who have no greed;

I have begun to ask for you,

I who have no need.

You say you've gone away from me,

But I can feel you when you breathe.

Do not dress in those rags for me,

I know you are not poor;

You don't love me quite so fiercely now

When you know that you are not sure,

It is your turn, beloved,

It is your flesh that I wear.

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