Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Summer Hours

What was once a weekly deadline, a busy summer slowed it to a steady every two weeks or so, we make an Instant Video. And I'm okay with it, for now. There's good reason. And for this idea, yes, it's totally my fault. Put the chain-cuffs on me. I made Tammy do it! I just really thought she needed to do a cover song. Maybe even do a few cover songs. Let them take it down.

So, download it while you can. The Head of State has called for me by name.

Last year, around this time, Tammy and I were lucky enough to see Radiohead perform in Parc Jean Drapeau in Montréal with a huge crowd. It was an unbelievably blissful concert, hearing the rain-soaked chorus of 35,000 people sing with "The Best You Can is Good Enough," complete with unexpected lightning, rainbows and fireworks in the backdrop. This was our first time seeing Radiohead perform live and we quickly became even bigger fans from before. And we were already really big fans.

This video is our love letter to to Radiohead. We love you! Thanks to our friends Jeremy and Jacquie, we are able to execute this "simple canoe idea" to interpret the song "Lucky" - a ukulele variation, complete with Hawaiian get-up. Tammy has also been heard elsewhere singing other Radiohead songs Karma Police and Bulletproof. We've been trying to shoot this video for weeks. Jeremy told us about the bridge down yonder and how going under it might give the audio an interesting effect.

It turns out: it really does. (Listen with headphones. No post-production treatment was done to the audio. This is a completely live take recorded with a wireless microphone.)

And I have to just plonk the camera on the tripod and "guide the shot" with a canoe paddle. We do five takes going under the bridge each time either too fast or too slow. On the sixth take we decide to come under and go back under to maximize the audio effect. I've never quite controlled the camera like this before. Row, row, row, your boat. Life is but a dream.

The lucky seventh take is the one that gets uploaded.

by Radiohead

I'm on a roll, I'm on a roll
This time, I feel my luck could change
Kill me Sarah, kill me again with love
It's gonna be a glorious day

Pull me out of the air crash
Pull me out of the lake
I'm your superhero
We are standing on the edge

The Head of State calls for me by name
But I don't have time for him
It's gonna be a glorious day
I feel my luck, it could change

Pull me out of the air crash
Pull me out of the lake
I'm your superhero
We are standing on the edge

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Waiting for the End of the World

Not like instant coffee but "instantaneous coffee." Our first date with collaborators. Rushing as usual. Tammy packs up the instruments. I pack up the video gear. Five minutes. We drive up the street and see the house.

Later, it will occur to me to write up a grant proposal to document live performances on heritage sites, produced for distribution on the world wide web. Use the video for support material. To foster awareness and collaborate and you know. The John Britton house in Peterborough, Ontario was built around 1850 and it represents the style of a Simple Gothic Classic. I don't have clean shorts so I'm wearing my swimming trunks today.

I have seen Jenn Cole and Ryan Kerr dance a few times in various Peterborough presentations and just marveled at their brilliant minds for choreography and their effortless embodiment of these ideas that provoke unexpected emotions. Such natural talent. Of course, I also saw "In the Parlour" by Brian Mitolo (guythehood) who used Esther Vincent's photos to create a beautiful piece that will stand the test of time.

I recently caught a Fleshy Thud live presentation of Ryan Kerr's "Mindful" performed by Kerr and Cole and was completely stunned by its genius. And I couldn't help but think that more people needed to see this kind of talent. Freeze it. Save it for generations to come later.

How about a guest appearance on an Instant Video? Ryan was already glimpsed in Instant Video #14. He could be a recurring character. The possibilities are endless. After the show, I set up a date with Jenn and Ryan. That is the only way we can make sure to meet in one place and one time and just play for a couple of hours. I'm sure we can come up with something. Tuesday at 2pm.

Jenn Cole is gracious enough to offer chocolate and let us film there. Last minute style, Tammy starts singing an old song about the End of Time. And it agrees with their genre, Jenn says. Waiting out the End of the World in a heritage home is some kind of perfect goth fantasy. Ryan Kerr choreographs quickly. Esther is holding the door open and handling the light disc. With Tammy in the mix performing live with the others as if there was a "studio audience." This intimate two-person team has suddenly gained stars and a crew.

Heck. This is top notch video busking. Instant Video maintains its corner on the sidewalk just off the ramp to the information super highway. Reaching new unexpected heights with a little help from our friends.

by Tammy Lin Foreman

c'mon love give me a twirl
waiting for the end of the world
c'mon put your hand in mine
'til the end of time

destination: i don't know
still i'm anxious to go
as long as my view
includes you
charlie, i don't mind

waiting for the end of the world