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There is much to be said of Jack Mantis’s latest, pivotal release. Shot in seven countries and featuring twenty musicians on the six-minute track, ‘Radiate’ – even simply on a production level – is something striking.
The production itself was taken on by the Sailing Conductors: a music-loving duo who undertake a yearly sailing trip from Sydney to Berlin, while recording local musicians they meet along their way to produce an album at the conclusion of their trip. With 30 000 nautical miles beneath their belts, over 200 musicians worked with in 31 countries, Ben Bart and Hannes Hafenklang met Mantis in Trinidad and Tobago – where the initial recording of the track took place.
Almost every musical aspect of the song was recorded separately on location all over the globe – combined only when the video was compiled. Germany, the USA, Netherlands, South Africa, France and Jamaica all boast their streets, sweeping landscapes, churches and cafes within the collage of moments in the film. A testament to the ease in which a wealth of global connections can be brought together, this is not just a musical and visual mosaic, but a story of the cohesive effect music has in bringing people from all walks of life together.
Which brings us to the matter of the cause behind which ‘Radiate’ stands: dedicated to those standing in solidarity at the Dakota Access Pipeline – a cause which has had an astounding ripple effect throughout the world in the last year – Mantis has pledged that all proceeds from the song go directly to Standing Rock and its water protectors.
Bright-eyed, tattooed and frank, Mantis spearheads the video with a brief, yet arresting address, outlining in a few short sentences the motives behind the project. “Standing rock is not a protest – it’s a ceremony in a sacred place and a need to protect nature and peaceful unity,” he says, his eyebrow ring glinting at the camera. “Now is the time to radiate and cherish the things we hold sacred.”
A heavily bearded, almost indistinguishable Mantis then proceeds to climb halfway up the steps of an old army base and settle down, guitar in hand, to perform the song he wrote en voyage across the Atlantic aboard a sailboat.
In a way, one can struggle to fathom the time and creative effort taken to put this particular project together. Mantis has never been one to shy away from the unusual in the name of music – but with keys performed on a French dock, bass in a city corner splashed with street art, cello recorded atop a mountain, a Native American man speaking of the trials and tribulations of the human race, and musicians in legalized squats, Mantis has succeeded in capturing and utilizing an astonishing variety of artistic scope to bring ‘Radiate’ together.
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Watch “Radiate” below.