The big wedding broadcast during the Grammy Awards last weekend was a momentous occasion. The cultural significance of the event was deeply felt by all of us in the stadium that night and by the millions who were watching. I was humbled to be a part of it. Music has always been a catalyst for political change and I hope to hear more voices knocking down the remaining barriers to marriage equality.
I had the good fortune of meeting Jocelyn Alice of the Calgary-based songwriting duo jocelyn & lisa at an LA music event last year. Jocelyn asked if I’d like to remix a new song that they had just finished recording called “Open Wide.” Between Jocelyn’s soulful vocals and Lisa’s solid piano work, I thought it was beautiful and intimate. I wanted to create a tightly restrained remix that highlighted Jocelyn’s voice and the lyrics while slowly building up and exploding into something fierce. I held back on adding any unnecessary elements and went for a pure emotional ride.
Right about the time when I was finishing up the remix, I met filmmaker Emmeline Kim and choreographer Ania Catherine through my work with the Downtown Film Festival LA. They told me they were looking for a new song to shoot a short film music video. After listening to my remix, they fell in love with jocelyn & lisa and their inspiration for the video concept soon flowed. You can read Emmeline and Ania’s artist statements for the video here.
The short film music video became an official selection of the 2014 BFI London LGBT Film Festival, the 2014 Ontario London Lesbian Film Festival and the 2014 InsideOut Toronto LGBT Film Festival. We’re developing plans for releasing the “Open Wide” remix to a wider audience. It has been an honor working and collaborating with these four amazingly talented young women on this unique and passionate project. I can’t wait to see what they cook up next.
Here’s the video by Emmeline & Ania set to my remix, as well as the original version of “Open Wide” by jocelyn & lisa:
A friend and Boyfriend Academy fan had taken a few trips to Australia and came home raving about this singer-songwriter she met in Sydney by the name of Anikiko. She heard Anikiko was going to be in LA and Nashville for a few weeks so she put her in touch with me and we immediately clicked. Our first song that we started co-writing together, “Light Years,” flowed effortlessly. We finished writing and recording it at separate studios with her in Sydney and myself in LA. Here’s a studio preview of “Light Years” slated for release in November. Sign up on Anikiko’s mailing list to find out more and to receive a special invite to the release!
The incredible video footage released by NASA always inspires me. During the shuttle missions, NASA mounted cameras to the rocket boosters which provided a vertigo-inducing view of blasting off into space and falling all the way back to Earth. I had just finished my remix of Barry Manilow’s “Everything’s Gonna Be All Right” when I first saw the video footage from one of the Discovery shuttle’s missions. Each rocket booster had two cameras attached, one facing down and one facing up, for a total of four camera angles. I synchronized the videos in a multi-cam FCP project using the yellow timecode burned into the corner of the image and edited it into a music video for my Manilow remix.
I edited another amazing NASA video for my remix of Janis Joplin’s “Move Over.” The Transit of Venus in front of the Sun is one of only two such planetary crossings — the other being the Transit of Mercury — that are visible from Earth. While transits of Mercury occur thirteen times each century, Venus transits the Sun only twice per century. NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory captured the remarkable event on June 5, 2012 with it’s Helioseismic and Magnetic Imager, an instrument designed to study the oscillations and magnetic field of the solar surface. The video images were constructed from several wavelengths of extreme ultraviolet light and a portion of the visible spectrum. The red colored sun is the 304 angstrom ultraviolet, the golden colored sun is 171 angstrom, the magenta sun is 1700 angstrom, and the orange sun is filtered visible light. 304 and 171 show the atmosphere of the sun, which does not appear in the visible part of the spectrum. The small black disc that passes horizontally through the video is our neighboring planet, Venus.