Last weekend when I got Shane Cooper on the phone (yes, responsible social distancing) we spoke about the effects of COVID-19 on the entertainment industry and about all the creative energy he was putting into making money despite the crisis.
First he dropped his solo album, Small Songs for Big Times, on BandCamp, then he dropped two of ten music-meets-dance remote video collaborations called Quarantine Collabs.
And then Cooper filmed a music video for “Learn to Levitate”, one of the twelve tracks on the album. “We shot a music video [on Saturday], which we’re gonna edit up and release on Wednesday the 25th of March. The whole video is shot in my place in sort of a few locations [he means rooms] to give a good idea of where I am in self-isolation,” he explains.
The video (filmed and edited by Julia Ramsay) opens up in Cooper’s kitchen, him anxiously fiddling with a whiteboard marker, having just khoki-ed a list of post-corona to-dos: hugs, 2am tequilas, music festivals, sharing nachos…
He puts his back into with a home workout (excellent form) before playing a sad solo game of backgammon. His blank, unchanging facial expression is priceless as the first couple of lyrics appear on the screen, “You can tell me all the things that’s on your mind/And I can teach you games that you can play inside/Just another day for us to isolate for now”.
It’s Bonobo-like ambient goodness with Cooper’s groove all over it, breaking into a burning blank-faced bass solo that takes the two-minute track and video home.
At its core this video is a delightfully comical and colourful depiction of these dark times, a limited scene-swapping of the space, both figurative and literal, that we are all currently confined to.
Video co-written and co-directed by Julia Ramsay and Shane Cooper.