When Dan Knobler and Jon Seale landed on an island in British Columbia, they knew they'd found one of their most exquisite, and most challenging, work spaces. Founders of the guerrilla music production collective Mason Jar Music, Knobler and Seale are well-acquainted with urban environments, having staged and filmed dozens of performances in abandoned spaces around their base in Brooklyn (not always successfully, as witnessed by their recent pile of court summons for breaking into a deserted power factory in Yonkers).
But when the Mason Jar team arrived in rural Mayne Island, BC, there to film a series of commissioned music videos for the folk singer and songwriter Josh Garrels, they faced a new problem. How do you make an outdoor concert sound good on film?
"In a very literal way, recording in [an abandoned] church is much different from performing in the middle of the woods, because the church is designed for acoustic purposes," Knobler told The Huffington Post. "The church that we've worked in has a beautiful reverberance that carries the music in a way that’s very different from an outdoor place that just absorbs the sounds."
In the exclusive clip below from "The Sea In Between," a documentary about the Mayne Island project produced by Mason Jar, and released today, Garrels performs his song "Pilot Me" with a group of Mason Jar musicians, on a private residence perched at the highest point of one of the island's mountains, Mount Parke. The session was recorded live, over the course of a handful of takes. Seale explained to The Huffington Post how the team stumbled on the setting: "We just asked everyone we could find, 'What's the most beautiful place on this island?'" Et voila:
Well? Reviews/sudden travel plans all welcome in the comments.