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.)