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Christine Shields – Photo Credit: Jude Mooney
Growing up in rural Northern California around cowboys, hippies, punks, and bohemians, songwriter and performer Christine Shields was shaped by the various influences of the area. These influences are apparent in her music: a dreamy, melodic sound with a dark, high-lonesome feel, and roots in post-punk, psych, folk, old–time, and experimental music. Shields is not only a musician, but a visual artist as well.
The Big Takeover is pleased to be hosting the premiere of the creative video for one of Shields’ tracks, the gently contemplative and dreamy “Animals Eat The Sky”. For video director Charles Schneider, the video process was about creating a short piece of mind-melting cinematic magic which perfectly balanced the song that inspired it.
Schneider recounts, “I heard Christine’s uncanny, ethereal song… dreamed of making a video of it for, yet it took several years before the right alchemy occurred. I hoped to evoke a feeling of 1970s occult collage-art fused with visions the viewer never dreamed of; surreal images filled with intense beauty. Color choice was greatly calculated and it is hoped the short film enters the pineal gland and results in a sense of childlike wonderment.A filmic evocation of wildlife returning to an explosive cosmic source might serve as a candy-coated hand-grenade, and in some small manner tweak human consciousness. Much credit goes to my editor, Anthony Hays, who thought I was mad at first, but soon entered the trance-like state required and for ten days straight helped me manifest my wildest visions.”
_Schneider started out writing concepts for music videos for the renowned film director David Fincher. He has directed music videos for Charming Disaster (“Sympathetic Magic,” “Snakebit”) , Mariee Sioux (“Swimming Through Stone”) among many others, and hopes people discover a classic black and white short he directed ages past for fondly-remembered, should-be-rediscovered L.A. band The Centimeters (Help is On the Way). He also acts, writes, and illustrates weird stories and is excitedly developing several feature-length horror and fantasy films.
About the song “Animals Eat The Sky, Christine Shields comments, ““Animals Eat the Sky” is a song I wrote many years ago for a wonderful but short-lived band I was in called Steeplechase in San Francisco, with filmmaker/musicians Donal Mosher and Michael Palmieri, and Micheal Olivares (the Mantles). A while later I recorded a solo album with the amazing Tim Mooney (American Music Club, the Sleepers, Toiling Midgets, Sun Kil Moon) who had teamed up with John Murry (“the Gracesless Age”) to record and produce music at Closer Studios in SF. Tim also played drums on the album. I am so grateful to everyone who added their talent and magic to the songs. Appearing on “Animals Eat the Sky” are: Myself and Tim Mooney, William Winant (John Cage, Terry Riley, Sonic Youth, Abel/Steinberg/Winant Trio), Sheila Bosco ( Dire Wolves, Autobody, Thomas Carnacki), Jaina Davis, Dixie Mooney, and John Murry join the chorus at the end of the song.”
Shields concluded, “This is one of those songs that just came out of me, fully formed. It was composed on an old baritone Martin Ukulele given to me by my cowgirl aunt up in the High Desert of Oregon. I have never tried to analyze the lyrics, but I can say It is a dreamlike communication for and about our exquisite and fragile planet, the creatures that dwell here, and the deep human desire for life, beauty, mystery, and love. Charles’s video is a perfect visual analogue for the song, and I just love it.”
Charles Schneider link:
Anthony Hays link:
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