The song Nightshade is a conversation between an older self, appearing to divulge one bit of insight from the future to a younger self, who then responds and explodes in revelation.

This film begins as Super 8mm, on a very windy night out on a pier on Chicago’s north shoreline. Eryka Dellenbach, a (brand new at the time) friend, now close friend, was in town the day of my book signing, and we decided to lope off after and make a video for one of my songs… Nightshade.

I’ll have to post the whole story later as a video, but basically, I shot one roll of the film and did the rest in digital, which ended up not getting backed up somehow on a wonky external hard drive and having to go through so many avenues to get anything recovered — the footage I was able to recover (with help from Aaron Delani) I had to actually re-film as it played on my laptop because it was too corrupted to directly edit. The most stunning shot in the film, when Eryka plants her feet and receives the force of a GIANT wave was actually a phone video of the original that I had taken out of sheer excitement before tragedy struck… thankfully!!

I was so determined out of sheer heartbreak and shame that I would not take no for an answer — and frankly, in the end, got a film that fits the song more perfectly than I ever could have planned. It was a good reminder in many ways, both pragmatic and in the sense that chaos will come into your plans and your life no matter how prepared you think you are - you may as well invite it and make a space for it. Which, is, essentially what this record is all about. AND! Now I know how to make this kind of footage ON PURPOSE for future projects, heh!

"Today @marencelest released a time capsule charged with powerful healing energy. Last Fall, she invited me to a northerly beach pier in Chicago to dance under the moon and through some fast chilly air to her song Nightshade. I was just getting to know Maren then and since we’ve cultivated a close friendship through magical, transformative encounters often involving creative, collaborative endeavors. For this piece I donned a red, monochrome outfit of hers (see image 2) that we left to dry in the morning sun. She gave me a beautiful quilted blanket to warm myself that lays over my red couch at home. I do believe that deliberate, creative work has the power to heal us, and others. The night this film was shot, my heart was breaking and my gums had stitches in them ♥️ Our work also has the power to sever & crack us open!" ~ Eryka Dellenbach on making Nightshade

Big thank you to Eryka, Corey, Kate, Dan, Daniel, Dave, Kyle, Lag and Aaron. of the new album from Maren Celest, I SAW THE SUN ~ with movement by Eryka Dellenbach.

(download code for full digital album comes with book+7"vinyl):

(shot on Kodak Vision 50d Super 8mm film developed at cinelab - up til 3:15)

For more on how this film was made:

@marencelest / @erykadellenbach on instagram.


Original Song (baritone uke) and lyrics written by Maren Celest,

cello & cello parts by Kate Barutha,

bass & bass parts by Dan Haefs,

drums & drum parts by Daniel Villarreal-Carrillo,

guitar & zither parts by Corey Allbritten,

recorded & mixed by Corey Allbritten,

final mix by David Vettraino,

mastered by Kyle Vegter.