Haiti Harvest Moon
Haiti Harvest Moon – Music
Produced by Central Elements Productions
Shot and edited -Alexx Thompson
A music video was once defined as a commercial videotape featuring a performance of a popular song, often through a stylized dramatization by the performers with lip synching and special effects. Today it is so much more and the commercial success or failure of many pops songs depend heavily on the video produced to represent the song visually.
That is where experienced and creative videographers like Alexx Thompson come into the picture (so to speak!). Alexx who handles both Photography and Cinematography, is the founder of the 12 year running LA based artist collective Central Elements that he recently turned into CentralElementsProductions.com a Los Angeles Production Company, specializing in Music Videos, Video Art and Independent Films.
Alexx has just finished shooting an unofficial music video for the band Poolside, performing a cover of Neil Young’s hit song Harvest Moon. To shoot the video, Alexx went down to Haiti with an organization called letsgotohaiti.com run by Tara Phillips. All footage was shot in Jacmel, Haiti with the dance group Dance Explosion, while some of the kids seen playing in the video, were from the ACFFC : Art Creation Foundation For Children.
Music has always been a form of expression. The artist is able to convey their feelings through song, getting their listener engaged and sensing the same emotion. In today’s world, there are less and less songs that people can connect with. Songs try to be catchier and promote good times that people should be feeling, instead of the sensations that they actually feel.
One such man that has yet to succumb to this is Alexx Thompson. He has given Neil Young’s Harvest Moon (interpreted here by Poolside),a languid, peaceful, yet rhythmic ebb and flow; the colors, the delicate fade-ins and fade-outs of the dancers as well as the endless journey of the motor scooters along the streets of Haiti is almost intoxicating.
Though the pictures depict scenery of constant movement, Alexx keeps the atmosphere almost hypnotically calm alongside the restrained flowing rhythms of the song – as everything, from dancers to playful children and a parade of motor scooters converging across a street-filled city, move in synchronized, uplifting harmony. Every bustling scene is beautifully contrasted with visuals of the purifying Haitian waters.
Jacmel which was rebuilt, using prefabricated cast-iron pillars and balconies shipped over from France after a fire destroyed it in 1896, has influenced the home structure of much of New Orleans. It is a city that structurally, has not changed much in 100 years, and Alexx Thompson seems to have perfectly captured that timeless magic within his moving frames.
In fact nearly at the beginning of the video there is a dance scene where Alexx uses a sort of back and forth repeat sequence, where all the dancers are in sweet synchronized movement, without really moving in any new direction at all. I felt a strong analogy with the city of Jacmel come through on those frames, as did the almost sepia color tones or scratched film effects used in the video.
The Alexx Thompson Video together with the Poolside version of Harvest Moon has beautifully captured a fraction of the soul of Jacmel which has been accepted as a World Heritage site by UNESCO.
A part of the Harvest Moon lyric goes:
“When we were strangers
I watched you from afar
When we were lovers
I loved you with all my heart.”
Alexx Thompson brings that same warm, uplifting and passionate intimacy to this music video!
Reprinted from article at Reviewindie
Purchase Poolside music.
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Poolside are Los Angeles based duo Filip Nikolic and Jeffrey Paradise—their sound is described as “Daytime Disco.” Poolside’s debut single “Do You Believe” was positively received by peers, Todd Terje, Dimitri From Paris, and The Magician, and Dazed & Confused praised the song for its “pop-tinged disco, brimming with optimistic vocals and retro acid synths,” while NME lauded its “supremely casual decadence.”
“Take Me Home,” Poolside’s second single was released in November 2011 and was used as the first song on Aeroplane‘s In Flight Entertainment compilation. Their debut album, Pacific Standard Time, was released on July 9, 2012 on Day & Night Records
Buy Neil Young Music
Neil Young whose original song Harvest Moon this is remixed from
Neil Percival Young, OC OM (born November 12, 1945) is a Canadian singer-songwriter and musician. He began performing in a group covering Shadows instrumentals in Canada in 1960, before moving to California in 1966, where he co-founded the band Buffalo Springfield along with Stephen Stills and Richie Furay, later joining Crosby, Stills & Nash as a fourth member in 1969. He forged a successful and acclaimed solo career, releasing his first album in 1968; his career has since spanned over 45 years and 35 studio albums, with a continual and uncompromising exploration of musical styles. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame website describes Young as “one of rock and roll’s greatest songwriters and performers”. He has been inducted into the Hall of Fame twice: first as a solo artist in 1995, and second as a member of Buffalo Springfield in 1997.
Young’s work is characterized by his distinctive guitar work, deeply personal lyrics and signature alto or high tenor singing voice. Although he accompanies himself on several different instruments, including piano and harmonica, his idiosyncratic electric and clawhammer acoustic guitar playing are the defining characteristics of a varyingly ragged and melodic sound.
While Young has experimented with differing music styles, including swing and electronic music throughout a varied career, his best known work usually falls into two primary styles: acoustic (folk and country rock) and electric (amplified hard rock, very often in collaboration with the band Crazy Horse). Young has also adopted elements from newer styles such as alternative rock and grunge. His influence on the latter caused some to dub him the “Godfather of Grunge“.
Young has directed (or co-directed) a number of films using the pseudonym Bernard Shakey, including Journey Through the Past (1973), Rust Never Sleeps (1979), Human Highway (1982), Greendale (2003), and CSNY/Déjà Vu (2008). He has also contributed to the soundtracks of films including Philadelphia (1993) and Dead Man (1995).
Young is an environmentalist and outspoken advocate for the welfare of small farmers, having co-founded in 1985 the benefit concert Farm Aid. He is currently working on a documentary about electric car technology, tentatively titled LincVolt. The project involves his 1959 Lincoln Continental converted to hybrid technology as an environmentalist statement. In 1986, Young helped found The Bridge School, an educational organization for children with severe verbal and physical disabilities, and its annual supporting Bridge School Benefit concerts, together with his ex-wife Pegi Young (née Morton). Young has three children: sons Zeke (born during his relationship with actress Carrie Snodgress) and Ben, who were diagnosed with cerebral palsy, and daughter Amber Jean who, like Young, has epilepsy. Young lives on his ranch in La Honda, California. Although he has lived in northern California since the 1970s and sings as frequently about U.S. themes and subjects as he does about his native country, he has retained his Canadian citizenship. On July 14, 2006, Young was awarded the Order of Manitoba, and on December 30, 2009, was made an Officer of the Order of Canada.
The town was founded by “Compagnie de Saint-Domingue” in 1698 as the capital of the south eastern part of the French colony Saint-Domingue. The area now called Jacmel was Taíno territory of the Xaragua chiefdom ruled by cacique Bohechio. With the arrival of the French, and the later establishment of the town, the French renamed Yaquimel as Jacmel.
City was developed to boost the sugar production and trade but soon it evolved as coffee trading centre. In 1896 it suffered in a major fire, which destroyed most buildings in the city. Soon after Jacmel was rebuilt, often using prefabricated cast-iron pillars and balconies shipped over from France. Many ornate mansions of wealthy coffee merchants from this time have been preserved up to this day without much change and the whole central part of the city has little changed over the last 100 years.
The mansions of Jacmel with their cast-iron furnishings would later come to influence the home structure of much of New Orleans. Today, many of these homes are now artisan shops that sell vibrant handicrafts, papier-mâché masks and carved-wood animal figures. In recent years, efforts have been made to revitalize the once flourishing cigar and coffee industries. The town is a popular tourist destination in Haiti due to its relative tranquility and distance from the political turmoil that plagues Port-au-Prince.
Over the years, this rather small town experienced a number of noted historical events. Some of these occurrences are:
War of Knives
Toussaint Louverture fought over Jacmel in the so-called War of Knives between him and his fellow countryman André Rigaud, who wished to maintain authority over the city. This war began in June 1799. By November the rebels were pushed back to this strategic southern port, the defence of which was commanded by Alexandre Pétion. Jacmel fell to Toussaint’s troops in February 1800, during which the American warship USS General Greene bombarded the city. After which the rebellion was effectively over. Pétion and other mulatto leaders subsequently went into exile in France.
Creation of the Venezuelan flag
A Venezuelan predecessor of Simón Bolívar in the liberation struggle against colonialism in Venezuelan and much of Spanish-ruled South America, Francisco de Miranda, created the first Venezuelan flag near Jacmel. Anchored in the Bay of Jacmel (Baie de Jacmel), he first raised the flag on March 12, 1806, on the corvette Leander. This day is still celebrated as Venezuelan Flag Day. The flag created by De Miranda is often referred to as the “bandera madre” (mother flag) due to its role as inspiration and resemblance to the flags of Colombia and Ecuador.
Ramón Emeterio Betances
Puerto Rican pro-independence leader Ramón Emeterio Betances spent a short interval in Jacmel in 1870, from where he channelled support for an uprising in the Dominican Republic, seeking to install a liberal government there. Then-president of Haiti Nissage Saget supported Betances’s ideals of a pan-Antillean union, and gave the uprising his support.
Modern Jacmel prior to the 12 January 2010 earthquake
The port town is internationally known for its very vibrant art scene and elegant townhouses dating from the 19th century. Among the wealth of art and crafts available in Jacmel are the papier-mâché, done by nearly 200 artisans and the reknow Atelier created by Moro Baruk. In recent years Jacmel has been host to a large film festival, the ‘Festival Film Jakmèl’, started in 2004, and in 2007 the international music festival ‘Festival Mizik Jakmèl’ was successfully launched. Its carnival, the nearby Bassins Bleus (Haiti’s most famous natural deep water pools), and the scenic white sand (Timouillage, Cabic, Raymond-les-bains located in Cayes-Jacmel mostly) beaches attract many visitors. The town is regarded as one of the safest in the country and foreign visitors that enter the country in hope of a tranquil time often head for Jacmel. Its urbanization has been increasing in large part due to the income generated by tourism. Royal Caribbean, the leading tourism company whose cruise ships regularly dock at Labadee, plans to add stopovers at Jacmel. In February 2007, Edwin Zenny became the town’s newly elected mayor. In addition, the Jacmel Film Festival is held there annually. On January 11, 2010, Choice Hotels announced they would open a 120-room Comfort Inn in Jacmel, the first chain hotel to be opened there in a decade.
2010 Haiti Earthquake
Main article: 2010_Earthquake_in_Jacmel
On 12 January 2010, Haiti experienced a magnitude 7.0 earthquake that caused heavy damage and casualties in Jacmel. The first tremblor rocked the city at 4:40pm, but the later tremblor at 5:37pm stopped the cathedral’s clock. A Jacmel radio station estimated that at least 5000 were dead from the quake itself, although mayor Zennie Edwin later reported that the figure was closer to 300-500 deaths and 4,000 injured. In the earthquake, around 70 per cent of the homes were damaged, with most of the heavier damage being suffered in the poorer neighbourhoods. Town Hall was so severely damaged that, though it survived, it had to be demolished. A small tsunami hit Jacmel Bay, with the ocean receding, leaving fish high and dry on the seabed, and rushing back in, four times.
In December 2010, the Capponi Construction Group, a Miami based construction company, decided to help with the revitalization of Jacmel. This initiative was created to help stimulate a self-sustaining tourism economy for Haiti. Michael Capponi, founder of the Capponi Group, formed the Jacmel Advisory Council, to help revitalize Jacmel, while preserving its arts, culture and traditions. The board promotes best practices to provide a socio-economic system for thousands of Haitians living in the southeast region. Capponi Group Haiti is also restoring a 200-year-old coffee sorting house at the port of Jacmel. The project hopes to re-establish the historical relevance of Jacmel as a commercial and tourist center.