Ian Ethan • The Comforter

It excites me greatly to unveil the new music video for Ian Ethan's new song, "The Comforter" from his upcoming double-disc album.

Please do yourself a favor and watch this in 1080p high definition - the best and  only way to really enjoy it (along with your speakers turned up!)

After filming Ian's last video last summer at Studio101A, Ian contacted me about the idea of a new video for a new composition that would be on his forthcoming album.  Where the previous video was an example of his overall prowess with double-neck, fretless bass and looping ability, this new song was a bare bones double-neck composition and he wanted to showcase that.  When I first heard "The Comforter" a while back at one of his concerts, I absolutely fell in love with the melody and the gentleness of the song.  It's beautiful.  I immediately had some ideas on what we could do to help make a video for him.

We decided to film the video here at my studio.  After rearranging the studio a while back, we had the perfect spot for him to setup and play in.  I knew that I wanted the video to be shot in black and white.  It fit the theme and the feel of the song.  Color would be to distracting and visually take away from getting enveloped by the warm melody.  I wanted something light and airy and in monotone so that you could really just focus on the song.

I think it was a hard sell to Ian at first.  He had brought some colored LED lights, and he was really happy with the look of the last video, "Infinite Race", and he was seeing basically the same style of video.  I massaged him a little about feeling it should be in black & white, and then really started to push on him that monotone was the way to go.  I was convinced it was necessary and that color would really detract from the song.  I filmed a few takes in color, but there rest of the 11 takes I filmed in black and white.  I was committed.  I knew when Ian saw the rough footage he'd agree with me.

And, sure enough, when Ian looked at the rough footage once he got home, he was in love with the monotone look.  He was ecstatic.

We took about 11 takes that day of "The Comforter" and then we did another song with as many takes.  "The Comforter" clocks in at about 9 and 1/2 minutes, and the second song was longer, so we spent an entire day and evening filming and getting raw footage.

The next step was for Ian to master the recording.  Ian is meticulous when it comes to his compositions and sound.  He took those 11 takes and assembled one master take from all of those - adding one section here, another section there, and so on and so forth until he had the best version of the song assembled from all 11 takes.  It's very laborious and time consuming, but Ian is a perfectionist which is one of the reasons why I enjoy being around him.  He takes immeasurable pride in his craft and wants nothing but the absolute best.

After taking a few months to assemble the track, Ian finally contacted me a few weeks ago so we could start editing the video.  We blocked off a few Tuesdays and met at Studio 101A in Amherst NH.  Tom, owner of Studio 101A was more than happy to let us use the mastering room and his equipment to cut the video.  Thanks, Tom.

It took us two full Tuesdays to edit the song.  Ian had his master track of the song and had it color coded into sections.  Each section of the song matched up with one of our takes.  This helped give us a starting point for editing.  We would take a look at the coded audio, match it up with the corresponding numbered video footage and start from there.  If it was something we liked visually we'd use it.  If it wasn't we then started culling other takes.  I think we figured out it took on average about 1  to 1 & 1/2 hours to get a minute of cut footage.

Allow me to say right now what an absolute pain in the ass Final Cut Pro is when it comes to adding text to projects.  It took us longer to find out how to change a font color and add the titles than it did to edit clips together for this project.  Totally unintuitive.

We finished the edit of the video yesterday.  It was a fantastic co-editingexperience with Ian; we were able to bounce ideas and thoughts with no issues at all.  Plus, it's great to just be able to talk with him about music.  He has the perspective of a composer who speaks with audio.  I have the perspective of a craftsmen who speaks with visuals.  Perfect marriage, and I'm very happy to not only be working with him, but to also personally consider him a good friend.

I hope you enjoy the video.  Watch it full high def resolution at 1080p and make sure you have some good speakers hooked up to get the beautiful range of sounds coming from his song.  We're both pretty darn proud and excited by this project, and aside from a few novice learning steps (um, hello sensor dust on the camera.  Ack!!!) we both think it's a really beautiful project.

Please give Ian your love.  Check out his website and please see him live if you ever get the chance.  His unique style of composing and performing needs to be supported and championed.

The Comforter

Composed and Performed by Ian Ethan

Filmed by Sid Ceaser

Edited by Ian Ethan & Sid Ceaser

Edited at Studio101A, Amherst NH

Copyright 2014 Ian Ethan & Sid Ceaser Photography