Thoughts on ‘The Turns’

The Turns is in many ways a summation of the entire Long Lost Story project. I was trying to convey the sense of movement from the almost desperate intensity bound up in the youthful yearning of first love, into the brutal detachment that can accompany the crumbling of such a reality, right through the gaining of perspective, and finally thankfulness that can only come with the passage of time. In this way the narrative outlined in the song covers essentially the full arc of the two albums, turning the song into a sort of thematic “overture” which was one of the reasons it was chosen to be the first song on Story. And since Story is being released first, The Turns becomes in essence an introduction to the whole project.

This is also why the symbol of the river, as a metaphoric depiction not only of the passage of time, including all the bends and changes that come with it, but also as a representation of the inextricable connectedness of all the parts and times of a life (and of all things and all times, really), is such a significant visual and conceptual element in the song, as well as throughout the whole record.

The recording of The Turns also has a special place in my memory because it was one of the two songs on Story that was almost fully recorded with Godfrey Diamond, and features the musical brilliance of my bandmate Robbie ‘Seahag’ Mangano, who composed and played the incredible end guitar solo, as well as played bass on the tune.

The video was the result of an extremely productive and very enjoyable collaboration. I started with the general imagery of the river and the house, both pretty big thematic and iconographic motifs within the larger context of the albums, as well as a general idea I had of wanting to somehow depict “walking through time.” Also the idea of moving into, through, and out of domesticity as a kind of metaphorical setting, or ‘mindset’ was also something that I thought might work very well.

I didn’t have much more than this when I approached Jordan Rathus to direct it, a very old friend whose video art I’ve become a big fan of over the last few years. It all progressed very organically, as she brought in Saro Varjabedian, a regular collaborator of hers to be the video’s DP, and it really started with a brainstorming session between the three of us, where we came up with the ‘bones’ of the whole thing.

From there we had one more meeting at the main shooting location, a house in the country where all the domestic scenes ended up being shot, where we walked through what we wanted to achieve story-wise and ended up coming up with the idea to have a large portion of the video consist of two long continuous shots.

Then it was just a matter of casting, getting the absolute minimum necessary crew, and planning the schedule and logistics, all handled brilliantly by Jordan with help from Saro.

The very small crew (7 people including the two actors) worked incredibly well together, and we spent a few days together living in that house and working nonstop to get the footage. We were dealing with some adverse weather conditions, and absurd (and very inadequate) sleeping schedules, and everyone was absolutely amazing – it really felt like a little team or family for those few days, and we all just had a really great time, which I think comes out in the video in one way or another.

Jordan Rathus, David Bronson, and Saro Varjabedian

Watch The Turns Official Video

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