WILD Video Premiere: Live Footage / 1976

by: Blaine Skrainka

October 1, 2012

In a leap for any burgeoning music project, Live Footage have released their debut video: a mosaic of New York City that yields insights into the interconnected lives of its inhabitants.

The NYC-based collaboration of cellist Topu Iyo and percussionist Mike Thies came together six years ago for a gig in a TriBeCa loft. “The performance was based on the premise of limitations and exploring all the ground in between. This has remained a theme for our band throughout the years.” Iyo recounts. To find their sound, the group experimented with different lineups and crossed genres, with “mixtures of drum ‘n’ bass to classical sounding ballads to noise tracks.”

Live Footage video premiere in The WILD magazine

For Live Footage’s first incorporation of the visual arts to their music, the duo commissioned Britt Kubat and Charles Billot, a visionary pair of photographers and filmmakers (the collaborative connection came about after an earlier introduction by mutual friend and multi-instrumentalist, Emily Wells). The track: “1976.”

Iyo explains:

“1976″ is movement one of a three-movement suite; basically it’s kind of a nostalgic piece we wrote about different times, stages, and places growing up.”

The concept of the clip is in line with this theme:

“Everyone is scurrying off somewhere and has a individual story to tell. Sometimes we get so caught up in our own world that we forget there’s another 8.5 million people here who all have their own story.”

The film opens with an aggregation of individual frames into a unified window, a technique minted as the Butcher Block Effect. In speaking with The WILD, Kubat described the origins of the idea:

“The concept developed first from a work that Charles was doing back in the early 2000′s, right when all the first phone cameras arrived on the market.

He was filming spaces but since the lens was not catching everything, he would capture each space slowly and separately by moving the frame to catch more of the room, and then in post-production was putting the space together.”

Throughout “1976,” Iyo and Theis remain in position as the backdrop of New York City transforms. The video was shot on locations throughout the Lower East Side, Fort Tilden, The Financial District, Times Square and Chinatown.

“We really feel that Live Footage are creating such powerful music, while at the same time remain stationary. The music they play inspires such movement, your entire body reacts and evokes stories of life. We wanted to tell these stories and make them move around the duo.” Kubat says.

Following the release of “1976,” Live Footage will go back to work on their upcoming record slated for 2013, along with plans for European and West Coast tours.

You can catch the music come to life Sunday evenings at Apotheke.

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