Keeping Time with Royal Forest
Experimental local rockers use Vine for new video
By Kevin Curtin, 11:25AM, Mon. Feb. 17, 2014
Previous recording experiments, which include songs tracked inside submarines, propeller airplanes, and on West Texas sand dunes, proves Royal Forest not only capable of creating ambitious recording scenarios, but that they have the dedication and talent to successfully execute them.
For their latest project, the local experimental indie rockers wrote, recorded, and filmed a song using Vine – a mobile app that allows users to create seven-second loops of video on their smart phones. Sticking to the medium, they recorded everything from Blake Lange’s syncopated beats to Cody Ground’s nostalgic vocals on iPhones at a drainage ditch near Balcones Park in North Austin.
The footage, taken over four days in September, involved the band lugging their instruments, including a drum kit and an acoustic piano, down a steep hill and perching on a high ledge sans railing to get the desired angles. The majority of the clips were taken within the cement storms drains running underneath the road that were then used for their distinct natural echo properties.
Royal Forest recorded “Keeping Time” from the ground up, which meant a lot of musical improvisation and technical jerry-rigging. Of the four iPhones used, only one came away with a cracked screen. All told, many dozens of clips were recorded and uploaded onto Vine then patched together into a music video that proves you can take a simple, portable technology intended to feed our culturally short attention span, and use it to create something artistically viable.