Working on this video was interesting: I recently found that one of my cameras has an audio glitch, delaying the audio in the clips by eight seconds. Normally, syncing is a breeze since I’ve gotten really good at matching waveforms and documenting my recording start times, but it took me a few tries to figure out what was actually happening. I’m doing a reset on the thing and we’ll see if it behaves when I go and do some tests.
If you’re already longing for Oyster Ridge 2020, check out this lovely performance from Escaping Pavement to get you by! This band was slick and soulful and their sound was so inviting! Escaping Pavement have a new album out and you should check it out on their website below. They came to Wyoming this summer to offer some of their trademark southern rock-inclined, neo-country sound. I’m starting an ORMF playlist of all the awesome bands we got to enjoy in Kemmerer, can’t wait for next year!
I wanted to share this on Throwback Thursday but work took me out of town. So here you have a weird #flashbackfriday moment, some words and music made by my friend Ahren and I long ago: When we were in a synth pop long-distance band called For The Benefit. Much love to you all and happy Friday!
Sick to my stomach Sick to mySELF Sick to my surrounding Sick to lesser grace
Oh, this daddy long legs on the wall So watchful, pondering the fall—
Sick to my stomach As the autumn leaves Descend in rows Descend finality
Oh, this daddy long legs on the wall Flies out the window with the baggage Into the fall
Out the window, treading by A suited man Resembles many things— Among them, walrus head A bushy paintbrush under nose And shaven head Who knows? Who knows? Perhaps he’s all alone; Searches for the proper Walrus-lady mate.
Oh, this daddy long legs on the wall Comes close, unlatching ruminating hearts Into the fall
Out the window, treading by A redhead woman Gliding paths surveyed by animals Cyan still hides in her soul I heard she was the dog Who knows? Who knows? Perhaps she’s all alone; Searches for the proper Collar-wielding mate
Oh, this daddy long legs on the wall Comes close, unlatching ruminating hearts Into the fall
Sick to my stomach Sick, the hopeless life-wheel Sick, the window frost: indecency Sick, the lifeless Autumn renovator
Oh, this daddy long legs on the wall Comes close, unlatching condescending farce Into the fall
Who knows? Who knows? This may be all the bliss received Before the fall
The formula to something ritualistic and guttural? I don’t know for sure, but I’ve had these phrases stuck in my head for a while. I used to record and experiment plenty with sound, but I haven’t had the chance recently. I do want to lay some tracks down for a few song ideas which are going to become a narrative. I should add, most of the work I do recording demos revolves around creating a story-based songs. I love that feeling of telling a tale that unfolds like rain drops collecting as a puddle; constant, rhythmic and somewhat unfiltered. This concept I’m tinkering with may be an offshoot of a demo album I recorded long ago, called Headphone Music for Nowhere People. It feels similar, perhaps it’s because I hear electric guitar and noise which feels like it belongs in a post-apocalypse, like in that old album.
I’ve thought about recording it on my lunch hour, since I have to go home and see how the cats are doing. Recording demos is really the last thing I should be doing so it doesn’t help to try to cram it in right now. I should probably reserve my lunch time for self care and time to pause momentarily. I’m troubled by my inability to slow down. I can’t blame the coffee either. The mind just wants to race and commit every spare thought to developing a story. Perhaps I need to convince myself once again, that writing and recording is my therapy, and one that yields continuous joy.
Looking forward to one of my favorite video projects coming fast at the end of July: The Oyster Ridge Music Festival!
Truly Wyoming’s Premier Music Festival event, the great folks in Kemmerer, WY host some of the best talent from the folk and bluegrass scene nationwide, and bring them to us FREE! This will be my third year providing videography for the festival and I am just overjoyed to know such a tremendous group of people. This festival, top to bottom, is a complete labor of love. Many of the musicians I have interviewed attest it’s one of the most well-run festivals they’ve played, and time and again, I have heard them say everyone is just so nice around here. I can’t imagine a better message to send out to the rest of the country about what we’re all about in Wyoming.
This will be the 25th anniversary of the festival and I, for one, can’t wait to see this lineup live! Here’s our recap from last year which included the Grammy Award-winning Steeldrivers! Bluegrass is not my default setting, but coming to this festival and surrounding myself in the genre has really made me fall in love with it. There is an earnest quality about the music and undoubtedly an insane amount of talent.
The prep begins!
To me, Oyster Ridge is a one man band videographer’s dream. There is so much happening that without a game plan, it is bound to overwhelm. Lucky for me, I was able to pick up a few tricks from my first trip that now I can simply enjoy the process, the friendly atmosphere, as well as the incredible talent onstage.
When in doubt, I always refer to two of my great inspirations for concert films: The Santana performance in the Woodstock documentary, and Queen’s 1985 performance in Live Aid. I liken that electricity they captured to something perennial and ritualistic and ultimately so gratifying. I’m fortunate this was my introduction to their music and my cassette tape sensibility, which still guides me when it comes to video work. It’s incredibly appealing to hold the camera in my hands as I record the details around me. The imperfections of an un-cinematic zoom, or a panning shot that slightly jitters, are there to remind you there is actually someone behind the camera. I was so hesitant to give up that organic, imperfect feeling that I didn’t feel the need to own a stabilizer until recently. Maybe it’s refusing to adapt, or being honest about what works and doesn’t work for me, but no matter the project, I choose to go handheld most of the time. It’s more immediate to me. More human. That’s what I love about those live broadcasts and now hallowed concert recordings: It really felt like the folks framing the shots really were immersed and invested in what was transpiring right in front of them. I know it’s a tall order to aspire to produce a work like those epic concert films, but it’s fun to revere them and emulate them. In my own way, I want to continue to create videos that highlight the pure joy and freedom of an expertly executed performance. I don’t mean to say great artists who craft technically superb projects using stabilizers can’t connect with their subjects. As artists, we all have an approach that rings uniquely true to each of us. The tools are there for us to create an aesthetic that makes sense to us, and hopefully, will make sense to a viewer. As long as we’re pursuing to deliver something honest.
I’ve been so eager to get back to Kemmerer, I’ve gone back to last year’s footage to remind myself what I’m in for. I like to do a multi-cam setup and work the cuts to amplify the intensity of the performances. I’m moving away from Premiere as well, so I thought this would be a good opportunity to play around with DaVinci Resolve and the other alternatives. The biggest difficulty so far is getting comfortable with the color correction “nodes” in DaVinci, but in due time, I think it will get the job done for me.
Of the many performances we got last year, this closing number from Mike Mangione & the Kin was amazing. Hope you enjoy! More to come,
Please check out the Oyster Ridge site for more information! Did I mention it’s free?!
Momentum swells and recedes at a moment’s notice. So much has changed in the last month that I’ve had to recalibrate my commitment to the blog and the Idlewind collective endeavors. Today I started a full time position working as an office assistant– It’s a really wonderful thing for my family and I, and you know what? It’s also a wonderful thing for my creativity:
If I really want to stay creative, I will make it happen. If I don’t care for it, something else will take its place. But I can’t let that happen, I consider this a great challenge. The time is now to put my beliefs about creativity and storytelling and willpower to the test. And I couldn’t be more excited!
As you know we have the Addendum podcast, now streaming everywhere! I find this super exciting because I’m lining up some great interviews with great friends who are working class creatives striving to make great work. And of course, contact me if you’re a creative with a day job making art!
I’ll be sharing some daily commentary on my Anchor account as well, which will be more on the fly recordings about my creative progress to complement the Addendum interviews.
Oh, and there will be more bite sized content coming your way. Stay tuned, and if you have any tips on how I’m gonna get through it, please pass them on. The next chapter begins now…
Been thinking a lot about Elliott Smith lately, how he has been a tremendous influence on my writings and how he has been the soundtrack to most of my teenage and adult life. I’m working up some notes for the next Addendum segment, and found this video link. I find it so beneficial to see what the creators from other mediums are doing and how they arrange their ideas into a cohesive expression. No matter how he did it, Elliott was an incredible talent that we lost much too soon.
This performance is a great example of just how insane his playing was. Yes, he was a phenomenal songwriter, but his guitar playing was just as good. Tomorrow Tomorrow, the first track was super influential when I was writing some movies in college.
These tracks always filled me with profound sadness, and by the time the song ends, I am left with awe. This is the gold standard for me. Thank you Elliott.