Proudly presenting: Refraction – Plainsong

Refraction is one of the most consistent, creative and determined modern jazz trios in Melbourne. Their music oozes lyricism and serenity, although don’t be mistaken: under the calm surface, things are boiling. The trio continues their ‘contemplative adventure journey‘ with the same energy and empathy that was present since their first album.

Now they have a new album out, ‘Reimagined’, but most importantly, they have a video for ‘Plainsong’. Directed by Bethany Hamburg, the video was launched in the most appropriate way, with a gig at one of Melbourne’s most intimate performance spaces, Long Play. “It went well”, says Refraction’s leader, drummer and main composer, Chris Broomhead(the other two members are pianist Brenton Foster and bassist Jordan Tarento). “Full house! Although it was a lot of friends!”

Here is the video:

Plainsong Film Clip from AustralianJazzNet on Vimeo.


Why did you do a video?

I’ve always had an interest in different types of media to showcase the kind of artistic ideas I have in my mind. Thus, doing a short video clips seemed like the natural way to do that. I also like the concept of collaborating with other artists, both for artistic sake and also for a different way of getting our music out there.

What do you hope to achieve with it?

Well, firstly the experience of being involved in creating a film clip was instructive. Although Bethany was the primary producer of the clip, it was still good to be involved from the inception and see how the idea progressed to the final cut. Hopefully the experience will help next time I do something like this.

Second, I do want to reach other/new audiences for our music and creating this video was an attempt to do that. The ice being that people who might not discover the music simply by coming to a ‘jazz gig’ might see the clip and be intrigued that way.

How did you work on it?

Beth and I both attend the same church, so we exchanged ideas about doing something like this there. She wrote out a storyboard based on some of the concepts I had, although she had to work those ideas up a bit because I was fairly sketchy with them! Not having done this sort of thing before, I wasn’t sure how to express the ideas properly. We used, as a starting point, the mood evoked from the Esbjorn Svennson Trio clip ‘From Gagarin’s Point of View‘, and if you watch our clip you’ll see what I mean. From there, I let Beth run with the ideas she had and she edited up the results. The clip has a narrative, but is certainly open to interpretation. Make of it what you will!