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Local music video director making art with a message – SooToday.com

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About a week ago, local music institution Dustin Jones released a music video for the first single Don’t Want To Come Down by his new band, The Conspirators. The group is made up of himself, Darrin Pfeiffer (Goldfinger/The Salads) on drums and Chuck Dailey (I Mother Earth/The Salads) on bass.

Although Brendan Garlick defers the actual meaning of the song to songwriter Dustin Jones, he notes the video concept is an ironic play on the title of the tune. “The video interprets the meaning of ‘Don’t Want to Come Down’ to not wanting to give up a certain lifestyle, or not wanting to grow up.”

According to their social media page, The Conspirators’ high energy songs were built to prove that “rock and roll is still alive and well”. The Garlick-directed accompanying video was clearly directed to capture that same energy.

Garlick notes that Jones first approached him about making a video for the Conspirators back in 2017. Since that time, the duo had bounced around a number of ideas before landing on a concept.

“We came up with the idea for this one in early summer,” said Garlick. “With that concept, we wanted to find an actress with a youthful look, someone who seemed defiant to play the main protagonist.”

The perfect actress turned out to be Hannah Rausch, a local secondary school student. “Hannah was the winner of a high school songwriting contest and she was recording a couple of really great songs with Dustin at Mission Control Studios. Dustin cast her in the video and she was perfect.”

Garlick noted that Rausch’s instinct for the character in the video was spot on. 

“The entire wardrobe was her own. We didn’t ask her to dress in any specific way. She would just show up and Dustin and I would both say, ‘That’s exactly the look we were going for.’ All we added was a leather jacket that we found at Value Village for one scene. She was able to capture that defiant alt teen look with a touch of goth.”

The filming for the video took place through August and September.

“The shots are slowed down and then (we) sped it up to give it a specific effect.”  

In one scene, Rausch stands in front of a wall with multi-coloured paint running down the walls at an unusual pace. In another, she stands passively in front of a flaming lawnmower.

One of Garlick’s friends and former bandmates, Aaron Allessandrini, was essential in helping make some of these scenes happen.

“I pulled him into the shoot and he contributed a lot to this video. The guy is really talented. He was the key grip behind the scenes and was instrumental in it.”

Allessandrini figured out how to make some of the slowed down scenes work.

“We had a piece of plywood clamped on a carpenter’s bench. The idea was to make use of the sped up effect, so Aaron would take a scoop of paint and let it run down the board to great effect.”

For the flaming lawnmower concept that Garlick had come up with earlier, it was Allessandrini who helped make it happen.

“At first we thought, ‘no, that could be a hazard’. But the night before one of the shoots, I found an electric lawnmower on Kijiji. Someone was giving it away. So I talked Dustin into it.”

Allessandrini was off screen and had figured out how to use a squirt bottle to add gasoline to the lawnmower to give it a billowing effect, while ensuring there was no danger or risk.

Filming the video at a lower speed and then increasing he final version meant their actress could not lip-sync to the song in real time.

“We slowed the song down by 300 percent. I like to refer to it as a Cthulhu remix,” he laughs. “We only had to do one take of each scene. Hannah really nailed it.”

After the video was released, Garlick jokingly asked Rausch if she felt like a celebrity. Her response?  “Not quite.”

“Hannah has aspiration to do more in terms of songwriting. So my hope is if she goes on this meteoric rise, I can say I was there at the beginning,” he laughs. 

For the band portion of the video, some clever coordination had to take place.

Drummer Darrin Pfeiffer was in Los Angeles and Chuck Dailey was in Toronto. As luck would have it, both were performing as part of Amy Gabba and the Almost Famous’ CD Release in Toronto.

So taking advantage of Pfeiffer being flown into Toronto for the show, Jones and Garlick hopped in a car and drove down to meet them during their practice session for the CD Release.

“This was the first time the guys have been in the same room together in a couple years. They were in the jam rehearsal space practicing for their CD release. When Amy and the guitarist left after their practice finished, I shot the live segment of the video with Chuck, Darren and Dustin. We did it quickly, within an hour.”

The filming wrapped up by the end of September and editing was done before Halloween. “We’ve been sitting on the video waiting for the album’s release.”

If the Conspirator video wasn’t enough, Garlick also directed a video that was released in those months after the wrap. This one for local songwriter Jay Case.

The video for Case’s first single Intend to Be from his album foundation came out about a month ago.  

“Jay’s video has a different groove. When I went into it, I definitely did try to match the feeling of the song to the video. Jay’s song is more laid back than the Conspirators’ song which is high tempo.”

Intend to Be was filmed on the shore of Havilland Bay.

“We drove out to this cool house for the shoot. They had a nice little dock with a break wall. We got really lucky and had ducks going by and a mist on the water. So we capitalized on it.”

With this video, Garlick was trying to capture an atmosphere rather than tell a story.

“The more I can do in trying to create an atmosphere, the more successful I am going to be.”

Unlike the Conspirators’ video, the Jay Case shoot was less planned and done quickly. “We shot it in a couple of hours,” says Garlick. “We didn’t plan much out ahead. I listened to the song a couple of times and had this idea about Jay preparing a dinner. We left the ending open ended and we never know who it was on the other side of the door.”

As a filmmaker, Garlick has to live in both worlds and be ready to work in planned and unplanned shoots.

He notes that many clients don’t know exactly what they want, but they know what they don’t want.

“On the creative side, it is really challenging to just trust yourself. You have to know that the client may not see what I am seeing. You have to try to figure out what they need.”

Although Garlick has most recently been working in the directing world, he notes that there is another world: the organization side.

“I started my career in filmmaking on the organization side of things working on a film called All Hallows Eve: October 30th. I went from slate as a volunteer to assistant director in 3 days. I am very time organized and the crew didn’t have anyone in terms of set organization. So, I just slipped into that role.”

Those organizational skills were handy in his role as a band member too. “In Gnaeus, I was the guy who kept track of shows, of when are we practicing, and how are we going to get the gear to the shows. Aaron [Allessandrini] would write the words and melodies and handled things like the art work.”

So for Garlick, his most recent experiences working with Dustin Jones and the Tidal Records artists, was a big shift from the organizational side  to the vision side of the equation.

“Working with Dustin, I was able to supply some of that vision. I would lead shots by default.”

Garlick has come a long way from his early roots working with Shaw Cable to stream City Council meetings, as a wedding videographer or even as part of the All Hallows Eve: October 30th crew. He has learned from his earlier music videos for local band K.I.C.K. and songwriter Brendan Hodgson

“My initial videos were done by trying to get artists together and film performance shots.”

As a fan of the MuchMusic and MTV music era, he has been working to develop his skills to match a video to the song.

“With limited resources, it is often hard to tell a convincing story. You can look really amateurish the more you try to show a consistent A to B to C. So, I like to get into these abstract ideas where you can gain in innovativeness and eye catchiness to make up for what you don’t have in terms of lenses or lighting gear.”

Garlick remembers the impact of videos like Madonna’s Like a Prayer video had on him.

“Even as a 10-year old, I loved those videos. I knew there was an underlying message there but I wasn’t sure what it was. I didn’t totally get it, but knew it was there.

Aside from music and film, Garlick has developed his own comics.

The Spaceman Chronicles he describes as a combination of Star Trek and Magic Schoolbus. 

“It was a six part series that followed a group of six space explorers.” The catch was that at the end of each episode, the explorer died.

He is currently working on another called Detox: A Love Story.

“I have all the pages laid out. I am going panel by panel. My hope is to find a way to finance an outside illustrator.”

The concept stemmed from a placement he had at a withdrawal management centre while he was in school.

“I also have a personal history that involves experiences in that realm. So this comic will be about addiction and the way it overlaps with other aspects of people’s lives. I want it to be for people who actually have that experience, people who are in the middle of it. I want it to be universally accessible.”

Garlick is philosophical about his art. 

“I loved Calvin and Hobbes when I was young. At first I saw it as trivial. Looking back, it has so much philosophical messaging, so much emotional development. It is also so simplistic as a format. If you look at so called ‘low culture’ media, including music videos and comic books.”

Garlick wants to imbue those mediums with the same sort of meaning you would find in Dostoyevsky or Dickens.

“Good art has to have meaning, but that doesn’t have to mean that you need to say things explicitly. That’s the trick. If you say things explicitly people will reject it or they will tune it out. Great art tricks you into emotionally connecting. Afterwards you say, ‘oh shoot, I can see things from a different perspective now.’”

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Black Lives Matter street art installations coming to Dartmouth, Halifax – CBC.ca

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The Halifax Regional Municipality will be painting the words “Black Lives Matter” in Halifax and Dartmouth this weekend.

The municipality said it was doing it to show support for the movement.

“This public solidarity augments several measures being taken by the municipality corporately to help address anti-Black racism and continue to build [a] better relationship with the municipality’s communities of African descent,” the municipality said in a news release on Friday.

Work on the first installation at Alderney Drive in Dartmouth will begin at 7 p.m. on Saturday.

Work on the second installation at Brunswick Street in Halifax will begin at 7 p.m. on Sunday.

The municipality said sidewalks will be open and access to businesses will be maintained and that at least one lane of vehicle traffic in each direction will be maintained while work is underway.

The bicycle lane on Brunswick Street will be closed while work is happening and cyclists and vehicles will share one single file lane around the work area.

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Oxygen Art Centre launches new adult classes – Nelson Star

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Submitted by Oxygen Art Centre

After much planning Oxygen is excited to launch their fall lineup of adult education opportunities, combining a fine array of online and small in-person classes.

Oxygen conducted a student survey earlier in June to find out how people were feeling (with COVID in mind) in regards to participating in arts education this fall. The response was very positive and clear — students want to be creative! Oxygen then got to work with their talented team of instructors and volunteers to re-vision how the educational offerings could be delivered in an innovative and safe way.

“Oxygen will be offering seven online courses and three small in-person courses this fall,” says education co-ordinator Natasha Smith.

“Many of our instructors have specifically created classes that can be taught online, utilizing the many tools that we now have available to make this learning experience rewarding, interactive and convenient for our students. Another benefit of online programming is that we are removing the barrier of travel for students that live outside of Nelson.”

The three in-person classes include Resurrecting the Lost Art of Letter Writing with Rayya Liebich, Eco-Printing on Textiles with Seathra Bell, and Painting on Another Level with Natasha Smith. The class sizes will be limited to a maximum of five students and all COVID-19 safety protocols at the centre will be in place.

Oxygen is also offering two online professional development courses for creatives this fall. Starting with Art Shack with artist Ian Johnston.

“It’s a visual arts professional development free-for-all!” says Johnston. “Over four evenings of group conversation we will harness the hive mind and the experience of the participants to explore a self-identified group of professional development issues such as proposals, statements, audience, networks and researching opportunities.”

This is an opportunity to share, develop your skills, and meet other artists in a supportive, collaborative space. The second professional development course is How to Submit to Commercial Galleries with artist Kristy Gordon, who will unveil the practical steps you can take to develop a connection with a commercial gallery. The one-session course includes a lecture, discussions and individual feedback.

Deborah Thompson has designed an online drawing course: Drawing with the World in Mind. This course will run twice a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays for the month of October.

“The COVID-19 Global Pandemic has highlighted a long list of global problems; climate change, homelessness, opioid crisis, racism, classism and more. Leaning into a creative practice during these times is helpful in developing meaningful insights and in cultivating imaginative ways to give constructive shape to the future,” says Thompson.

Many students will be excited that Bessie Wapp is offering Singing the Blues Goes Virtual this Fall. In this seven-week course you will explore the rich swamp of the human voice in a relaxed and supportive environment through online group and one-on-one sessions. In November, Rayya Liebich will be offering an online Poetry Immersion course. From the comfort of your home immerse yourself in the language of poetry. Weekly online classes will focus on studying the craft of poetry (image, form, feeling) and allow time for a series of guided writing prompts to help hone your writing skills.

Also running in November and over five classes Natasha Smith will be offering Moving into Abstraction as an online course. Through a series of hands-on projects, students will explore various techniques and alternative ways to develop ideas and images that will encourage a more abstract way of working.

Interdisciplinary artist, prOphecy sun will be offering an innovative course this Fall: Sonic Imaginaries: An Introduction to Creating Electronic Compositions. This online beginner level studio course explores a wide range of methods and conceptual approaches to creating electronic sound. prOphecy explains: “Each week will explore how sound emerges and will survey conceptual and methodological techniques used in music, video, sound art, and other artistic production.”

Register today for online and in-person art classes taking place throughout October and November with Oxygen’s incredible artist instructors. Don’t wait — spaces are limited. Learn more about the upcoming classes below and on our website at https://oxygenartcentre.org/classes/adult/.

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Hot air balloons, drive-in concerts and highway art: What's on this weekend in Calgary – CBC.ca

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Organizations are continuing to come out with fresh and creative ways to entertain Calgarians, and this weekend is no different.

There’s good eats, concerts and multiple art shows that highlight local talent.

Ellis Choe from The Homestretch on CBC Radio has compiled some of those offerings, so check out the events below! 

Food

There’s a pop-up marketplace celebrating prairie food this weekend that also ensures gathering people safely.

The Prairie Grid Market will have over 50 local food and drink vendors at the Carter Cadillac car dealership on Heritage Drive in southeast Calgary.

Dan Clapsen, the organizer of the event, says a majority of the stalls are operated by local restaurant and bar owners.

 “There’s a really interesting build-your-own-cocktail kit booth setup by Cannibale, which is a popular cocktail bar in Bridgeland. Bridgette Bar has made a line of dried pastas,” he said.

On Saturday and Sunday, there will be music and art for patrons to enjoy.

It’s recommend you pre-book your visit online, given the limited capacity and physical distancing required.

Balloon Festival

The festival will feature 17 Canadian hot air balloons. ((CBC))

The 8th Heritage Inn International Balloon Festival is underway in High River, but due to COVID-19, only Canadian balloons are participating.

The festival was scheduled to take place from Wednesday through Sunday, although high winds have forced cancellations. As of 2 p.m. on Friday, it was unclear whether they’d be able to take off at 5 p.m. Friday. If not, there are three more chances depending on the weather: Saturday and Sunday at 7:30 a.m. and Saturday at 5 p.m. Check the festival’s Facebook feed to see if it’s a go.

The committee says that while no passengers or spectators will be allowed at the launch site, you can volunteer to be part of the field crew and get a front row seat. 

Karen Williamson, the committee vice-chair, says that while there’s no guarantee, the pilot may let you be a passenger on board as well.

And for those who don’t volunteer, head to the northwest corner of High River to see them launch. 

Arts

If you like road trips and art, you can catch the Most Beautiful Art Tour in Alberta, which is a part of Alberta Culture Days.

Along Highway 22 and Highway 2A, otherwise known as “Cowboy Trail,” there is a community of artists opening their studios and galleries to the public.

Catch artwork in Millarville, Turner Valley, Black Diamond and Okotoks to learn more about the diverse group of artists working outside of Calgary.

The open studio events will be on from Friday to Sunday, but each gallery has different operating hours.

And if you like your art paired with a movie, the Indefinite Arts Centre is holding an open house/movie night. 

You can check out the artwork of artists with disabilities, as well as the screening of Infinity — a documentary about the world-renowned Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama, famous for her polka dot installations.

The free event is on Saturday from 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., but make sure to reserve a spot.

Music

From the comfort of your car, you get to enjoy six concerts over the weekend. (Antoine Saito)

And finally, some concerts in the Calgary area! Grab your social circle and attend the drive-in concert at Telus Spark.

“Rise Up Weekend” is brought to you by local organizations, including Calgary ReggaeFest, Folk Fest and Stampede.

Patti Pon, one of the organizers as well as president of Calgary Arts Development, says the event is all about the coming together of six organizations presenting six concerts.

“We wanted to find a way to create some amazing art experiences, albeit smaller settings with fewer people,” she said.

Tickets are $25 per car for up to four guests.

The first show is Friday at 6:15 p.m., when Calgary Folk Fest presents Sargeant X Comrade and the Blake Read Band.

For something more contemporary, the National Music Centre is continuing its hybrid live music and virtual concert series, RBC Live, from the King Eddy.

You can attend the free event in-person or stream from the comfort of your home.

The first show is Friday at 8:30 p.m. and features Lucette, an alt-pop artist from Edmonton.

And then for another virtual concert experience, you can stream Early Music Voices, a local group that presents music from the medieval, Renaissance and baroque periods.

The group is kicking off its season with a virtual concert featuring Calgary musician Benjamin Narvey, who plays the lute.

Enjoy the music this Sunday at 7:30 p.m., and listen to a pre-concert talk at 7 p.m.


With files from The Homestretch

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