NEW VIDEO: ESMERINE TRACK “The Neighbourhoods Rise” FROM LOST VOICES GETS STOP-MOTION ANIMATION TREATMENT BY AWARD-WINNING CLYDE HENRY PRODUCTIONS
Esmerine’s acclaimed Lost Voices album now has a video.
Lead-off track “The Neighbourhoods Rise” unfolds from the distinctive interplay of the instrumental ensemble’s co-founders: the cello of Rebecca Foon (Saltland, Silver Mt. Zion) paints languorous lines around the spacious marimba motifs of Bruce Cawdron (Godspeed You! Black Emperor), like a music box being wound by a steady but expressively human hand. Bassist Jérémi Roi roots these introductory passages of the piece, before the quintet’s drummer Jamie Thompson (The Unicorns, Islands) and multi-instrumentalist Brian Sanderson join the fray and propel the song towards inexorable waves of crescendo and intensity driven by additive melodic variations and timbral distortions. No group sounds quite like Esmerine – even with the inclusion on this piece (though not in the video) of Godspeed violinist Sophie Trudeau and her similarly inimitable sound as a guest player.
“An immediate and arresting expedition into new wilds for Esmerine. Lost Voices is a burning lament, a hopeful swing at the void, bright moments of clarity wrenched from the impenetrable.”
– Pop Matters
“The fifth album from the Montreal chamber rock collective is a beguiling mass of dialed-down post-rock, classical figures and exploratory soundscapes…Beyond words, beyond beautiful.”
– The Skinny
Album Of The Week – Loud and Quiet
#4 Album Of 2015 – A Closer Listen
Lost Voices was recently nominated for two 2016 Juno Awards (the Canadian version of the Grammys): Instrumental Album Of The Year (the band’s previous album Dalmak won the award in this category in 2014) and Recording Package Of The Year – the latter thanks to art direction by Chris Lavis and Maciek Szczerbowski of Montréal-based Clyde Henry Productions. Best known as Oscar-nominated animators for their NFB-sponsored short film Madame Tutli Putli, their collaboration with Spike Jonze and Maurice Sendak in creating an additional stop-motion animated story for “Higgelty Piggelty Pop!” to accompany the video release of Where The Wild Things Are, and for their film and visual design work with Arcade Fire and Patrick Watson among others.
Chris and Maciek at Clyde Henry have also created the new Esmerine video for “The Neighborhoods Rise”, executing a wonderful and highly original concept:
The group members were individually filmed in performance, with the footage then edited into a linear “locked” video projected onto simple constructivist-inspired sculptures representing each band member and instrument. These puppets were then animated by hand to synch, frame for frame, with the live performance video projected upon the sculptural objects. This blending of animation, projection and sculpture is a distinctively imaginative approach and results in a unique take on the musical performance film. The video captures in miniaturized and essentially analog/hand-made terms what modern 3-D surface-mapping digital projections have been doing in other, highly technical applications – with the additional dimension of painstaking stop-motion animation of course!
The video for “The Neighbourhoods Rise” looks like it could have been made at just about any point in the past century – and in many ways, it could have. Though the source video and frame capture were digital (and some basic digital tools were used to composite and adjust/invert contrast on the initial performance segments), there were no digital techniques or software programs used during or after the animation. What you see is the entirely natural, unprocessed effect of light projected onto three-dimensional shapes, manual frame-by-frame adjustment of the objects, and the resulting distortion, grain and patina that this entails.
Esmerine and Constellation are thrilled to have collaborated with Chris and Maciek from Clyde Henry Productions on this unique and treasured little video.
We also congratulate them on the Lost Voices album artwork nomination for which they have been rightly recognized!