Thursday, May 16, 2013
A “ground level” video production featuring a cast of Ottawa’s cultural all-stars was released May 16 to help hype Guerilla magazine’s 10 Year Anniversary celebrations slated for March of next year.
Directed by Darren Holmes and shot at the School of Photographic Arts Ottawa, the lively 3-minute production features songstress Keturah Johnson, photographer Rémi Thériault, art impresario Jonathan Browns, dancer Amelia Griffin, and vocalists from the pop sensation The PepTides. Thanks go to photographer Randy Smith and all volunteers who took part.
The video is a rallying cry for support and participation in Guerilla’s 10-year celebrations that will include a blockbuster quarterly edition online and in print and a mammoth GuerillaLIVE launch event held at a location to be determined.
Since debuting online in March of 2004, Guerilla has been a community-driven publication. The video calls for further community input and suggests three main ways to participate:
- Make a kind donation to the 10 year print edition crowdfunding drive. Watch for details in the near future.
- Purchase advertising space in the blockbuster 10 year print edition. Visit getguerilla.com and click on “advertise” for details.
Monday, January 14, 2013
This video clip is from the Eraserheads live music performance at Ottawa's Pressed Cafe, January 5, 2013.
Exhibited with the music were slides from Carousel 007: the Peep Show. The slides mixed pinhole images of neighbours’ private property with found images from Apollo 11—private and public spheres overlapping.
Carousel is an ongoing collaboration between Jennifer Stewart and Omar Rivero. A series of shows in which a Kodak Carousel projector featuring slides is triggered by original music. Carousel has been exhibited as a part of Nuit Blanche and shows with Rivero’s musical project Eraserheads.
The merge of photo and sound create a unique environment which brings the viewer in. Our next project is an installation in which the audience can change the slides/music and alter the atmosphere of the room. The work in progress is titled Carousel 008: Interactive Environments. And will be exhibited as a part of Nature Nocturne, at the Museum of Nature, February 2013.
Friday, December 14, 2012
A few months ago, musician Claude Munson approached videographer Craig Allen Conoley between sets at one of his shows and whispered confirmation of what the two had been probing for about a year: “I want to make a video.”
But not just any video. The ever-meticulous Munson envisioned a production of enough quality and substance to herald the release of his eponymous debut CD, Claude Munson & The Storm Outside.
The result is the ambitious, five-minute-long “Driftwood” video released Friday, December 14.
Unlike many of the spontaneously shot music videos currently on offer, this one was a labour of love. To get the project rolling, Munson provided rough cuts from the album and Conoley listened to each track while wandering visually though the lyrics and themes.
“Initially we discussed a concept for ‘Dreamdance,’ the album finale,” recalls Conoley, “but Claude eventually decided on something much more adventurous, much more in tune with the album’s overarching feel and tone; a stop-motion animation for the album’s entre-vous, ‘Driftwood’.”
Conoley notes how the a story depicted in the video is riddled with literal and very symbolic elements. “The boy, the town, the sea and the conflict, have multiple readings—your own readings and cues that point to very universal ideas, but also to local and personal experiences for the artist.”
Conoley credits the evolution of the project from idea to finished video to Ariane Beauchamp, the visual artist behind the visual aesthetic and the album art that inspired the video.
“Beauchamp created every asset you see in the video,” Conoley says. “She combined Claude’s lyrics with our visual treatment to birth a world that undoubtedly had been tucked away in her mind long before our meeting.”
Shot and produced in Beauchamp’s studio in Ottawa, the stop-motion production involves some 15,000 still images. This despite the fact that no one involved hard worked with stop-motion previously.
“I feel the end result reflects an experimental process in which three artists dared to do something outside of their comfort zones,” says Conoloy, “something that succeeds on many levels.”
Directed and edited by Craig Allen Conoley, owner and head of productions at Partus Films.
Video produced by Claude Munson and Craig Allen Conoley
Art by Ariane Beauchamp
Animation by Ariane Beauchamp and Claude Munson
Music by Claude Munson and The Storm Outside,
Produced by Philippe Lafreniere and Claude Munson
Distributed by UP & UP MUSIC
Tuesday, October 2, 2012
Post by Tony Martins
Mehdi Hamdad is popping up all over the place—literally and artistically.
The newly released video for the tune O Canada from his 2011 album Luminata illustrates the cultural and sonic blends that this guitar-wielding vocalist has distilled through experiences in Algeria (his homeland), Montreal, Moncton, and Ottawa.
Hamdad explained to Guerilla how he has seen everything from “Salvation Army clothes and Laughing Cow cheese to being the only off-white kid in school, from cross-country skiing with disabled people to spitting poems with homeless youth …”
Hamdad started his band, Mehdi Cayenne Club, with Usman Ali Khan (bass) and Olivier Fairfield (drums) three years ago and began recording Luminata soon after.
“This whole catalog of previous experiences is really the backdrop of the album,” Hamdad explains, “and the first step in an artistic process that has kept evolving by massive leaps and bounds.”
And in every way, the journey continues. In cyberspace, Cayenne Club is on Facebook, Flickr, MySpace, and Bandcamp. In the real world, Hamdad recently moved to Brooklyn.
Hamdad’s interest in paradoxical extremes rings loud and clear when he discusses the Cayenne Club band name:
“It's from a classic French novel, Papillon,” Hamdad explains. “True story of a guy, wrongfully accused of a crime, who spends his life escaping prisons—including one in Cayenne, Guyana. So we're talking about escaping the prison of our own minds—an all-inclusive club, an ode to the unfettered, if you will. Aside from this cerebral-poetic interpretation, I love that it's off-kilter, dissonant. A cute name for a bomb.”
In keeping with that bomb theme, Hamdad describes his band’s music as a potent fusion of “Post Punk Rock Funk Folk Alt.”
“I'd say it's dark and light-hearted, peaceful and angry, candid and cheeky,” Hamdad muses. “Something for the worst day of your life, and for the best day as well. But of course, sometimes when people ask me I just say it's weird pop-rock. Who's to say, really?”
Sung mostly in French, the track O Canada is yet another impassioned blend of the songwriter’s experiences.
“It was a song borne of necessity, honestly, from things I've seen growing up, things I still see every day—things that make me howl, that pinch my heart, or that light me up,” explains Hamdad. “The lyrics are quite painful, as well as very literal and straightforward, which is actually just one modus operandi, out of many, in my songwriting.”
The decidedly voodoo-esque video was directed by bass player Khan, while Craig Allen Conoley worked the camera and did the editing.
“It was shot in a big old house in Ottawa's Chinatown that we lived in along with a bunch of musician friends,” says Hamdad. “I really got into Usman's concept because of the mix of freaky and sincere, funny and scary, joy and sadness, light and dark.”
The shooting took place immediately before the house was torn down, fitting for a guy like Hamdad who always seems on the move.
“The response so far has been absolutely great,” says Hamdad of the video. “It's always nice to link up all the communities that we're part of: the Francophone and Anglophone spoken-word families, the underground music scenes, the theater folks, and all the great artists, non-conformists and music-lovers not just in Canada, but all over the world.”
To celebrate, Hamdad and his collaborators will host a video release party at Le Temporaire (75 St-Redempteur in Hull) on Friday, October 12. The event will recreate the surreal feel from the video: “The concept is to celebrate the Day of the Dead in a post-voodoo rock ceremony of sorts,” Hamdad explains. “Face painting and video projections will also be part of the fun.”
For more on Hamdad and Cayenne Club, you could start here.