Blessed are the Hearts that Bend is the new music moniker of London filmmaker Luke Seomore. Truly cinematic in spirit, his debut album Is My Destroyer is a transportive collection of haunting post-rock portraits and plaintive ambience.
Luke told us his thoughts about online culture, filmmaking, and capturing catharsis; plus, he selects tracks by Ana Roxanne, Steve Reich, Susumu Yokota, and more for his guest mix.
Name: Luke Seomore
Home away from home: Berlin
Last great thing you read: The Disconnect by Roisin Kiberd. It’s a fascinating book about the emotional and social impact of online culture. It’s bold and personal, it’s also pretty funny in parts, while it still illustrates the erosive nature on our mental health of too much time spent online.
How long have you been making music as Blessed are the Hearts that Bend? What was your musical past before this period?
I’ve been doing Blessed for just over a year now. I wrote a lot of soundtracks before, so the music always had a relationship to imagery. I took that idea into this project but now the audience have to imagine the films in their heads rather than on screen!
Can you tell us about your work as a filmmaker?
I’ve been making films with Joseph Bull for nearly 15 years – we started making experimental films and documentaries, and then a feature called Blood Cells, a dark British road movie. It premiered at Venice Film Festival alongside Birdman.
You released your debut album, Is My Destroyer, last year. Your music video for “Palace” was very well received, and was even chosen as music video of the year by A Closer Listen. Tell us about the inspiration and creation of that video, and how it felt to get such praise for something featuring both your music and filmmaking.
My brother Adam is a nurse so that was the main inspiration, Joseph and I had also been writing a script about the life of a paramedic for a while now. With ‘Palace’ we wanted to create a vivid snapshot of a very particular moment; we felt you always saw the intense shift but not the aftermath, the hours after the shift, those moments are just as dramatic. We wanted to capture that sense of catharsis. It was shot over a couple of nights in London, it was such a liberating feeling actually shooting again, we had a great small team. Our DOP David Procter did an amazing job and the lead actor Daniel Ward captured those range of emotions so beautifully.
It was a great surprise to get the A Closer Listen recognition, we were really happy, any time your work connects with people you appreciate it but for the film and the music to be celebrated together was great way to end the year…
I wanted to ask about the album cover for Is My Destroyer. Can you tell us about the image, what it’s depicting, how you came to choose it, etc?
There is still a certain amount of mystery to this image, which I like. I know it’s a religious gathering and I believe it’s in Italy, it was chosen together with Vaagner label owner Oscar, he designs all the covers for the albums. We wanted something that communicated a kind of communal connection and it somehow captured the mood of the album.
Gia Margaret – “Apathy” – Mia Gargaret (2020)
Alice Coltrane – “Spring Rounds From Rite Of Spring” – Eternity (1976)
Ana Roxanne – “Suite Pour L’invisible” – Because of a Flower (2020)
Julianna Barwick – “The Magic Place” – The Magic Place (2011)
Steve Reich – “Music for 18 Musicians” (extract) (1978)
Mary Lattimore – “Hello From the Edge of the Earth” Hundreds of Days (2018)
Mica Levi – “Bedroom” – Under the Skin OST (2014)
Anasisana – “Gone With the Wind” – The Birth of Tragedy comp (2021)
His Name Is Alive – “Lliadin” – A Silver Thread (2021)
Cluster & Eno – “Für Luise” – Cluster & Eno (1977)
Thurston Moore – “Victor and Callie” – Heavy OST (1996)
Papa M – “Arundel” – Live From a Shark Cage (1999)
Blessed are the Hearts that Bend – “Palace” (minimal version) – Is My Destroyer (2020)
Susumu Yokota – “I Imagine” – Grinning Cat (2001)
Aphex Twin – “Stone in Focus” (edit) – Selected Ambient Works Vol. II (1994)
Tim Hecker – “Live Room Out” – Virgins (2013)