Published Oct 23, 2019Polaris Music Prize winner Jeremy Dutcher released his first-ever music video earlier this month, giving his Wolastoqiyik Lintuwakonawa song "Mehcinut" its very own set of visuals. And now we have another video for a behind-the-scenes look at everything that went into the elaborately choreographed and diversely-cast shoot.
In the newly shared mini-documentary, Dutcher appears alongside director Chandler Levack, choreographer Brian Solomon, set designer Emily Jan, and producers Joshua Howe and Julie Baldassi to talk about making the video. Each collaborator details their contributions to the video shot at Toronto's Aga Khan Museum.
Watch the behind-the-scenes film below.
Dutcher's video for "Mehcinut" comes from the support of RBCxMusic, Prism Prize and the MVP Project, an initiative that awards grants to emerging artists for video-based projects just like this one.
Of the behind-the-scenes video, Dutcher said the following:
Music videos are such an important and lasting visual representation for the sounds they accompany. They help to deepen our understandings of the world in which a given music springs from. I'm so unendingly grateful for the team which made this video as impactful as i knew it could it be. Your tireless work humbles me.
The 'Table of Indigenous Excellence' was my opportunity to highlight some bright lights within indigenous artistic communities from coast to coast-to-coast — artists who are making an impact and dreaming us into a resplendent, new future. Diverse representations of who we are as indigenous peoples are critically important in this moment. Thank you all for your time and care in realizing this vision. Canada, know these artists and their brilliant works!
Lastly, thank you for those who offered financial support to aid in its creation — things like MVP Project are crucial infrastructure for creating large scale projects like this. Woliwon.
Co-director Levack, meanwhile, has offered an additional statement.
Co-directing this video with Jeremy Dutcher was a highly transformative experience for me as a filmmaker. I was so honoured to be asked to help support his staggeringly beautiful vision for his first-ever music video and to be able to work with this incredible team of collaborators across so many disciplines, from sculpture to installation art to fashion design to dance. Working on this project challenged me and helped me grow immensely as an artist and a collaborator; I am forever changed from being a part of it. The funding provided by the MVP Project was invaluable to realizing Jeremy's unique vision and the level of consideration and detail he brings to everything that he creates. It was very important to all of us to represent his community with a feeling of Indigenous joy in the images we created. Music videos hold great potential to dramatically shift modes of storytelling and representation in society. Jeremy is my favourite musician and storyteller, and we are so grateful to our team of collaborators and all the incredible artists behind this project who put so much of themselves into this work, and to the Aga Khan Museum and MVP Project for their involvement.
Below, watch the original music video, which features Dutcher playing piano on stage at the Aga Khan, with dancers choreographed by Brian Solomon, as well as Indigenous figures and activists, such as filmmaker Alanis Obomsawin, A Tribe Called Red, fellow Polaris winner Lido Pimienta and more.
To see "Jeremy's Table of Indigenous Excellence," head here.
The MVP Project is currently taking applications for new projects on its website.