About 3 months ago, Claude Munson approached me between sets at one of his shows. He pulled me close and whispered in my ear, “I want to make a video”.
We had been loosely discussing the possibility of collaborating on a video for about a year. Claude wanted the timing to be right, he wanted a video to pave the way for his Self Titled Debut “Claude Munson & The Storm Outside”. The time came and Driftwood is that video.
Claude provided the rough stems from the album and I listened to each track and wandered visually though the lyrics and themes. Initially we discussed a concept for Dreamdance, the album finale, but Claude eventually decided on something much more adventurous, much more in tune with the albums overarching feel and tone; a stop motion animation for the album’s entre-vous; Driftwood.
Once we decided on the song and medium, the fun was to create the story, something conceptually in tune with Claude’s lyrics and the underlying emotions inherent in the song.
What you see in the video is just that; a story riddled with literal and very symbolic elements. The boy, the town, the sea and the conflict, have multiple readings, your own, and cues that point to very universal ideas, but also to local and personal experiences for the artist.
The act of creating this story was extremely synchronistic; testaments to the unspoken understandings artists have with one other. It was amazing how much my own reading of the song and the resulting ideas, reflected an abstraction and affirmation of Claude’s inner-creative universe. When that happens you feel a special artistic bond with someone. This is also a testament to the song and songs on the album; stories that connect inner and outer worlds spun by a very talented singer-storyteller-songwriter.
The evolution of the song from an idea, to its tangible mappings, has to be attributed to Ariane Beauchamp, the visual artist and creative force behind the videos visual aesthetic and the album art that inspired it. Beauchamp created every asset you see in the video. 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.
The settings, characters and decorative elements kept coming each time we met throughout pre-production. The speed and detail of Ariane’s work is a marvel, unrestrained and seemingly in the-moment. I believe her uninhibited artistry reflects something we should all strive for in our art; a spontaneous and honest expulsion of ideas that keep things moving rather than slow things down.
The video was shot and produced in Ariane’s art studio in Ottawa Canada; a meca of craft supplies, paintings and knick-knacks. If we needed crab claws all we had to do was ask.
The production of the video consisted of taking approximately 15,000 images resulting in a 5min video. With each image taken, Ariane, Claude and myself would assign sections of the frame and begin moving elements. None of us had done stop motion before and there was a fair amount of trial and error involved in the process. I feel the end result reflects an experimental process in which three artists dared to do something outside of the comfort zone of their respective art forms; something that succeeds on many levels. We shot the video over the course of 4 days, spending about 4-6 hours each day moving art across large scale versions of Ariane’s vistas.
Like most videos these days, Driftwood will find itself online. It’s journey begins this Friday December 14th @ claudemunson.com and then we hope it stows away to the many lands our digital village has to offer.
- Craig Allen Conoley / Director of Driftwood
Owner and Head of Productions @ Partus Films