I really never planned on this song or video. I especially didn’t plan on it being a part of the “Dust of the American Pixel” release. But here we are, a month from the official release of my long awaited, long worked on epic work of self-indulgence, and this video is now an integral part of the whole project.
Sometimes, this is how art works. Afterthoughts become forethoughts.
Part of what I wanted to do with “Dust…” was to make an alternate version of the album. Being that part of the album’s concept has to do with humans and technology, I thought it would be neat to make a series of mixes, treatments really, of the songs that were bare bones, inversely produced. In other words, take a song like “Hands of Child”, which is really constructed out of hand drums and djimbes and make it electronic. And vice verse. Make ’em quick, on the sly and hide them in a internet puzzle of sorts. This is really happening. There is a puzzle, it is hard to decipher and there are clues throughout the album and its artwork.
It was in this process, in making an alternate version for “The American Pixel”, a largely instrumental piece, that the song this video rests upon was born. I thought it would be neat to write some lyrics for the song. I wanted it bare bones, just electric piano. I gotta say, it took nearly 50 takes to get that perfect track, with all the proper velocities and breaths. The vocals were much easier. When it was done musically, I thought WTF, let’s shoot a video.
I called up my good friend Birago Jones and he agreed to help me shoot the thing. I scouted some sites with my wife, prepared the kids and ordered a 48 star American flag off of eBay. My son Jeremy painted all the signs and shoo’ed the cat away before he ruined everything.
So there we were, on a perfect Sunday afternoon at Markham Park in Ft. Lauderdale, in a deserted lot across from the dog park, running around, stringing up clothes lines and creating the video – and the CD cover. Birago did a great job on all accounts, and his help was vital not only for this particular video, but for look and feel of the CD itself.
I was so excited to get the footage that I spent most of the following weekend in iMovie editing the thing. I learned a bunch about this kind of production for future videos, should there be any. I have a feeling that if I had planned this out more, it wouldn’t have worked as well. There is something magical about artistic afterthoughts.