Sea god Ekke Nekkepenn has his eye on Inge van Rantum, a beautiful girl from the German island of Sylt. He dresses up as a sailor and gives Inge a ring and a necklace. When she accepts it, he says, "Now I have you, now you are my bride." Inge is startled and begs to release her. Ekke promises that she can avoid a marriage if she comes back the next evening and can guess his name. Failing that, she will become his wife forever.
The story of Ekke Nekkepenn is reminiscent of the fairy tale Rumplestiltskin. Inge also eventually discovers the name of Ekke Nekkepenn. Furious, Ekke disappears into the sea and stirs up a devastating storm.
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Anne Breymann & Michał Krajczok
Mythological stories often evolved when people were searching for explanations. Many fishermen drowned in the sea, and sometimes the storms even destroyed whole villages.
This folktale is told from the human point of view, where the sea creature has the evil part. It is a rather sad and brutal story of an old merman yearning for a young girl, and destroying the village as he doesn´t get what he wants.
Our approach to the story was that Ekke Nekkepenn represents the sea, whereas Inge von Rantum stands for the land. To visualize this idea Inge is designed in the colors of sand and earth, and Ekke in the colours of the sea. During the course of the story his beard becomes one with the waves.
It was important to us to show Inge not just as the victim of the horny sea god, but as a strong character who finds the courage to resist him. We wanted the sound and music to be more in a dark and desperate mood, when Ekke is approaching Inge and when he learns that Inge found out his name. In contrast to this, in the cave scene where Ekke is singing his upcoming triumph, we tried a rather bizarre sound background to underline the weakness he is hiding behind his evil appearance. Samples of ship horns and whale recordings were used in the melodical elements, giving the music a subtle feeling of the surrounding sea scenery.