Dr. Martens recently turned 50, and what better way to celebrate a company that has been a cult favorite across the alternative music spectrum than with a musical extravaganza? When the company set out to launch a site featuring 10 contemporary artists covering 10 alternative music tracks from the last 50 years, they sought out Blind Director Vanessa Marzaroli to be one of 10 directors creating the accompanying music videos, assigning her Lilac Wine, a Cinematic Orchestra cover of the Jeff Buckley hit.
Lilac Wine is a black-and-white marriage of music and graphics that flows from the concept of a heartbroken lover writing a letter. A single, delicate Spencarian script line forming the lyrics echoes the song's simple opening chords. As the piece progresses, the words blossom into intricate lines that separate and conjoin to paint pictures illustrating the story. Lines spiral into and out of frame, seamlessly creating new environments through shifting spacial relationships: The lines of script evolve into the outline of a delicate bird; a fallen teardrop transforms into an ocean teaming with life, as a looping line-drawn fish launches over the surface of the sea. Throughout the narrative, we catch glimpses of the writer's lost lover as lines intersect to form her silhouette in 2D and 3D, just out of reach. As the song resolves, these many threads of the writer's unconscious mind and memory separate and dissipate, trailing the single line that began the song.
"We wanted something that beautifully captured the poetry and nuance of this incredible song," noted Marzaroli. "We presented several options to the agency and worked closely with them throughout the process to make sure that the video meshed with Dr. Martens' vision for the site and matched thematically with the 50th-anniversary celebratory messaging and the other videos."
Other artists and songs included Buraka Som Sistema performing Buffalo Stance, the Noisettes doing a rendition of Ever Fallen in Love with Someone You Shouldn't've, and The Duke Spirit playing If the Kids Are United. Marzaroli's fellow directors included Ace Norton, Anthony Burrill, Matt Dilmore, Klaus Thymann and Jamie Morgan.
"Dr. Martens has been almost as much a part of the culture surrounding the evolution of music over the past 50 years as the music itself, and so we were pretty excited to be a part of their celebration," noted Blind EP Dave Kleinman. "Vanessa, with her unique talent as both an artist and a director, is perfect for a project like this. She created a video that really stood out even among the battery of incredible work on the site."