On the ride in, with my ipod on shuffle, a bird song came on which I proceeded to repeat until walking through the door of the studio moments ago.
Back when I worked at The Ink Tank I would get a little jealous when I'd see something like this. Why didn't they call us? I could've done that better. Back then I got paid the same whether the budget was $200,000 or $20,000 so it didn't matter to me.
Now, with age and financial responsibility I'm happy to see other people making good work. Neko Case's "Maybe Sparrow" video was made by Paul Morstad and his sister Julie and we couldn't have done it as well as them.
Because I'm not all that smart, I've never been shy to call up or to write brilliant people. Once at The Ink Tank we were giving a first English edition Brecht's Die Hauspostille as a wedding gift to a German and American couple. "We should get it signed, let's call up Eric Bentley." Sure enough, R. O. Blechman pulls out his mammoth rolodex and there he was under "B" in individuals and under "translators" in categories. I called him, he was more than happy to inscribe the book. We sent an intern up with the book (for some reason I couldn't go) who returned with the impression that Mr. Bentley was a little too fond of him. I suggested he give up animation entirely and see where this new life path took him.
After seeing this video, I dropped a note to the director, Paul Morstad. He's a nice guy, and I hope to work with him some day (note to lurking ad executives- you can make this happen!).
At Christmas 2006 I gave my father a copy of Fox Confessor Brings the Flood for which this song was recorded (and The Handsome Family's Last Days of Wonder). He had begun treatment for Lymphoma earlier that month and would succumb to it nine months later. Hearing this song on the subway, on my walk down 28th Street I can only think of him lying there in the hospital slowly fighting for every breath while this song spun on the CD player. What images projected through his mind? Did he exit life in a dream with little birds flying over his shoulders as beautiful voices beckoned him into darkness?