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harp and soul
I hav'nt told my garden yet

a pin screen film by Diek Grobler
of a poem by Emily Dickinson
with music by Anne Vanschothorst


I hav’nt told my garden yet –
Lest that should conquer me.
I hav’nt quite the strength now
To break it to the Bee – 

I will not name it in the street
For shops w’d stare at me –
That one so shy – so ignorant
Should have the face to die.


The hillsides must not know it –
Where I have rambled so –
Nor tell the loving forests
The day that I shall go –


Nor lisp it at the table –
Nor heedless by the way
Hint that within the Riddle
One will walk today –

~ Emily Dickinson

Drawing with light and shadow

The pinscreen is a unique and enigmatic device. Conceived almost a 100 years ago by animators Alexandre Alexeieff and Claire Parker, the instrument is very complicated to construct and requires a wide set of skills to use. The device consists of a screen fitted with thousands of pins that can be pushed in and pulled out. When lit from the side at a precise angle the pins cast shadows which, depending on the degree of retraction, gives the artist a wide range of tones to play with. The artist draws with light and shadow by subtly manipulating thousands of pins.

The pinscreen was considered a dinosaur of animation. It is a challenge to master and very time consuming. There were only 2 working pinscreens on the planet when French artist Alexandre Noyer decided to reinvent the device in 2015. He has built 8 since then, and slowly new animated films on Noyer pinscreens are coming to light.

Working on the pinscreen is like playing a delicate instrument which, at the slightest vibration will make a noise. It is sensual to the touch, and can be a bit temperamental. Some days the images just flow, while on others, one would spend an entire day and only take 5 or 6 shots. That is a quarter of a second in film terms.


To work with a pinscreen you must be able to draw with anything – from kitchen spatulas to glass tubes - with both hands, and on both the positive and the negative side of an image. It is not a device for drawing cartoons, but one for drawing poetry.

Diek Grobler



Emily Dickinson is remarkable! The life of Emily Dickinson makes me reflect on women’s rights and freedom from then and now — the freedom of speech and creative expression in particular. Dickinson’s poems were not allowed to be published. Her exceptional gifts, her flowers to the world were withheld and denied. Despite that, she felt such a strong force and desire to express herself, through a very vital and progressive language about the wonders of nature, the identity of the self, death and immortality, and love. Her extraordinary poetry is of such great value and inspiration for many.

From Emily Dickinson's rich repertoire, I have picked the poems that immediately touched my soul by the poet’s choice of words that also resonated with me on a sound-level in order to place my harp in a soundscape. From the most evocative spoken word tracks, visual artist Diek Grobler felt immediately inspired by 'I hav’nt told my garden yet'. In this composition my harp blends particular well with the voice of Annie Einan and the singing birds that I recorded in my garden. The meaning of the music and the elegance of the text are amplified with the light and shadow of the poetical pin screen film. We gracefully receive a glimpse of the hauntingly beautiful Emily Dickinson; Diek has created an unique and soulful language that brings the poet to life for a precious moment. How wonderful! 

Anne Vanschothorst



Diek Grobler - pin screen film

Alexandre Noyer - acacia pinscreen


Emily Dickinson - poetry

Annie Einan - voice


Anne Vanschothorst - music & production


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