A tribute – 100% sincere with no trace of sarcasm to the one and only Mark Gormley: An incredibly humble yet outstandingly talented musician, lyricist and singer.
Most of the people who are currently aware of Mark seem to have discovered him after viewing “Music Videos” that were produced by “The Uncharted Zone” – an American public access TV show. The show has a sense of being aware of itself, e.g the lack of budget, tongue in cheek humour.
The shows host, Phil Thomas Katt and Tommy Robinetti, produced the videos and the distinctive production values and style, (which have an obvious sense of humour), have been misinterpreted by the masses as “Tragic Yet Funny”. This has lead viewers to react in a sarcastic, mocking fashion. Many viewers on Youtube leave artificially positive comments about the work without actually realising what they’ve stumbled across.
The videos, (that were only produced a couple of years ago), sample music that Mark originally recorded in the late 70’s / early 80’s. Mark stated in a video interview that his album was produced for fun and the tracks were merely intended as something personally therapeutic.
The videos show mark standing in front of a barrage of camp, crudely filmed backdrops that have been super-imposed during post-production thanks to some entry level green screen work. The imagery often loosely based on the content of his songs which is possibly why the videos have probably grabbed so much attention due to their unique interpretations and visualisations.
Mark Gormley possibly saw the idea of participating in the production of the music videos as fun but it would be safe to presume that he would normally be more comfortable to be a minimalist performer who simply sits on a stool and strums away at his guitar whilst singing into a microphone.
He appears slightly out of his comfort zone when asked to stand up, lip-synch to songs he wrote over two decades ago, in front of a green screen, whilst an enthusiastic enigma by the name of Phil Thomas Katt films him from a variety of mad angles with visions of splicing in stock shots of eagles, rivers, random women and of course arctic tundra.
The videos are fun, as long as they’re not taken seriously but Marks work IS serious. He has produced some beautiful lyrics and melodies – (excellent guitarist by the way). I imagine that the distinctive visual style of ALL the UZ music videos exists due to budget or technological constraints. At the end of the day, regardless of what either myself or any other viewer of the work suggests: Phil Thomas Katt and Mark Gormley have the last laugh because of the reaction their work has received.
NB: Phil and Tommy have a legitimately funny rapport and I insist that you visit their website or their Youtube channel when you have a spare moment.
One of the main focal points of Marks videos is what many have dubbed as “THE GORMLEY POWER STANCE”. This image has been incorporated into my design and presented in the style of the Apple Ipod silhouettes.
The infamous “Music Videos” are found at the website dedicated to Mark. But more importantly his ALBUM IS AVAILABLE TO DOWNLOAD. Think James Taylor with an occasional pinch of Led Zeppelin. (Digital transfer from original vinyl).