New Video Release: “Broken Thing”

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The new website design features a screen shot from this video, conceived of and created by Gabriel Beaudoin, the amazing Québecois guitarist (and human) I work with here in China. This was Gabriel’s first video project and — holy crap! He really went to work on learning special effects, which included the complicated insertion of slowed down (and later reversed) images of dinnerware being smashed against a wall.

The song, “Broken Thing,” is a piece about being brokenhearted, but more than anything is a larger call out for tenacity, optimism, belief in healing, etc. It’s meant as a dirge to hope.

When others hear this song, they tell me that it saddens them and they worry about me. I’m surprised. When I wrote it, I was in pain–that’s true–but I was also filled with a belief that all the brokenness I felt could certainly be repaired. I was so utterly convinced of this that it inspired a song!

The piece eventually became a co-write with Gabriel Beaudoin, (perhaps another reason he was very keen on putting this video together,) as Gabriel is the ultimate “chord doctor” and he assisted with the song’s final arrangement. One of his specialties, (besides his new skill as a producer of kick-ass videos!), is his ability to “trim the fat” on a song. He can hear where the song should transition sooner–such as in the third verse where the song omits the B section of the original verse and jumps right to the chorus. In the end, Gabriel always makes my songs better and I feel very gifted to have met him as a fellow ‘songsmith.’

When we were discussing how to make this video, however, the main idea was to do the “simple” technique of a lyric video that included smashing plates and glasses against a brick wall and then reversing the effect to simulate the idea that brokenness can be repaired. In the end, the footage we got from the night of smashing dinnerware (against a brick wall in an industrial building connected to a local ice rink–very cathartic!) simply wasn’t complete enough to become the central part of the video. We decided to build more of a story around it. We had already filmed the table scenes in the plate smashing room and then later filmed the red and black footage in my apartment. The extra effects added later speak to the brokenness theme so perfectly that, honestly, I feel that….

…it’s a masterpiece. I absolutely this video.

I wish algorithms were such that quality of production and creativity might be the thing that recommends it to people on YouTube (or other platforms) rather than simply the number of views it has already received. Alas, I struggle with algorithms in this era of music business, but I will continue to promote this to the best of my ability. Please feel free to help by sharing!

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