"We used the animation to bring to life the joyful energy of the music and to show a kind of story arc that we felt was already present in the music," explain Taktus Duo's Greg Harrison and Jonny Smith via email. The percussion ensemble has just released its new video for Ann Southam's Glass Houses No. 5, shot by Endless Films and animated by multimedia artist pair Catshrine.
It's a brilliant enhancement of track 1 from Taktus Duo's critically acclaimed debut album, 2015's Glass Houses for Marimba, a collection of six of Ann Southam's minimalist solo piano works, arranged for marimba duo.
"Initially, Catshrine had the idea of using animation in the video, but we all worked on developing the concept for the video together," they continue. "However, we didn’t want the video to be purely animation; we still wanted a kind of live-action performance of the work, which is in itself visually interesting."
They launched their new video on July 15 at Toronto's Burdock brewery/music hall. Watch below and scroll down for more background on the project.
"We chose to produce a music video for Glass Houses No. 5 because this music has always struck us as being very well-suited to film," reflect Harrison and Smith. "Often, people who have heard our album tell us that we should look into getting the music licensed or paired with some visual element, so a music video seemed like it would be a good option to explore."
Taktus Duo partnered with Catshrine because of their familiarity with Harrison and Smith's work and appreciation for their artistry, and Catshrine brought Endless Films into the picture.
All parties agreed to do something different from a typical classical music performance video. "We didn’t want the focus to be on the performers so much as on the music itself and on the interactions between the visual and auditory elements. Animation seemed like the perfect way to highlight this since it would allow us to do virtually whatever we wanted, visually."
"Southam’s Glass Houses can evoke so many different images and feelings for different people," they add. "We didn’t want to make a particular story line too obvious, but rather to propel the character and spirit of the music."