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Local music in Heavy Weather

Aug 24, 2011

A lot of neat things are created during Art Marathon weekend each year: novels, paintings, even photo collections of marathoners’ smiles.

This year, the output was a little extra special, thanks to Justin Davis, Ian Vardy and Adam Penney. The three have joined forces to form HEAVYWEATHER.ca, a website that — so far — showcases their gorgeous videos of local songwriters singing a tune in a uniquely St. John’s location. Their five newest videos, all recorder over the weekend — Danielle Trouble in the CBTG’s stairwell, Jody Richardson upstairs in the Rock House, Katie Baggs in the St. Michael’s Printshop, Benjamin Rigby in a gnarly old basement, and Sherman Downey in the Harbourside studio — were just uploaded. Like the four previous videos they’ve done, each one is one continuous take of the artist, alone with their instrument, singing one song.

“Basically, we will approach a musician and try to see what kind of song they want to do,” says Justin Davis. “Then we start thinking about what kind of location will relate to the song, and go from there. There are other times where special things happen where there’s not enough correct lighting outside, so we have to find spontaneous indoor spots, too.”

Inspired by similar projects like Ontario’s Southern Souls and France’s La Blogothèque, Davis says that their ultimate goal with the site is to showcase the city and the artistic talent within. “Our whole goal is to have it as a big support system for arts and culture in St. John’s,” he says. “We’re just so inspired by all the talent and the nature and the culture and the beautiful essence that the city offers. We believe what we have can be far superior than what Southern Souls and Blogothèque do, just because this place is so special.”

They’re hoping that the website will grow into a hub for local culture and that it will also help promote local business and tourism. Eventually, says Davis, they might include album reviews, interviews and articles focusing on the music and art here in the city.

At the rate they’re going, that goal isn’t far off. They started just three weeks ago and already have nine videos up on the site. From Danielle Bailey singing about whiskey and women in the City Hall pedway to Joanna Barker on a floating dock in the harbour, each one is surprising, intimate and perfectly quirky. And they look fantastic.

“We have a really good camera,” says Davis. “It’s waterproof, so we can shoot in the rain and the snow.”

Keep an eye on www.heavyweather.ca for more (especially after snow days.)

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5 Responses

  1. avatar
    calvardy Says:

    These videos are professional …created by professional young people…I am very proud …I can’t say it exceeds my expectations but it again confirms them.

  2. avatar
    A Says:

    Love the site, fantastic job by the producers and artists alike, just the type of showcase this city’s talent needs.

    ps: Jody Richardson is my musical hero.

  3. avatar
    Aroo Says:

    Love the videos, and I think it’s awesome for the local scene, but there’s one little thing that I’d like to suggest..

    In a lot of the videos by female artists, Heavyweather uses descriptions like “lovely”, “adorable”, “beautiful” etc as the descriptor for the artist…If you’re not going to say the “handsome” Jody Richardson or the “bedeviling” Sherman Downey, then maybe think about describing the women based on their wicked talents, not their looks.

    Once again, I’m not hating here- I really like the videos, and this is just a small suggestion.

  4. avatar
    patrickm Says:

    agreed. it’s not a huge thing, but it’s just kind of boring because you hear it all the time. just about every single female singer on the cbc is “an enchanting chanteuse”.

    love the videos though, it’s a really cool thing they got going on.

    ps. jody richardson is “an enchanting chantuese”.

  5. avatar
    HEAVYWEATHER Says:

    Hey there!

    We would like to thank you all for commenting on this web post that the wonderful people at The Scope did on Heavyweather. After reading your comments , especially the comment about how we have been describing the videos, I went back over the descriptions and I agree with you. Since I did not think of the fact that there are people viewing these videos who do not know me (Justin Davis) and also do not know that all of these musicians are very good friends of mine. When I was describing the girls as lovely and beautiful my soul intentions are in the meaning that they are lovely and beautiful on every level, and the last level being how attractive they are. I just wanted to clarify that my intentions were not to judge the wonderful girls on only their looks, and not on their incredible talents. Solely a force of habit because I tell them they are lovely and beautiful every time I see them.

    Thank you very much for helping me realize that what I was writing could come off like you were saying.

    Thanks everybody for all the support!
    We plan to keep these beautiful videos coming to you!


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