A team led by Andy Hill from new Totnes-based PR firm The Agency has shot an atmospheric music video for local artist Mae Karthauser in an abandoned Buckfastleigh church.
Totnes artist Mae Karthauser recorded her new single Army Dreamers, set for release January 12, in the autumn of 2023. The track – a haunting cover of the Kate Bush anti-war anthem – serves as a timely artistic commentary on the mad futility of war.
“Originally we planned to do the shoot on the Dartington Estate,” producer and freelance journalist Andy Hill told D&CFilm. “Mae attended the college, as a student, and of course Dartington is a gorgeous setting – appropriately romantic and rustic in a way that really lends itself to Kate Bush’s material.”
However, the best laid plans so often go wrong. And with the present financial uncertainty surrounding the Dartington Estate – and related issues around getting signoff in time – the team was forced to improvise.
“After the disappointment of not being able to secure Dartington, we considered quite a few alternative locations,” says Andy. “Until somebody had the bright idea of finding a local ruin.”
A post went up on the Totnesians Facebook group asking around for suitable local ruins. “A few great ideas were suggested – but Holy Trinity, Buckfastleigh quickly emerged as a firm favourite.”
The church, which burned down in 1992, supposedly at the hands of local Satanists, serves as an ideal backdrop with its moody stone arches and creeping vines. “When I think of Kate Bush, I often think of 19th century fiction,” says Andy. “Romantic follies, gothic piles. Holy Trinity was absolutely perfect.”
Thanks to South Brent piano dealer Magic Pianos, the team moved an upright piano onto the site, and commenced shooting under the expert eye of Simon Congdon, a Dartington-based photographer and cinematographer and founder of Peakk, a film and photography production company.
With the track – produced by Rowland O’Connor at Sorting Room Studios – playing on Mae’s bluetooth speaker, the team, including stylist Tallula Bentley, managed to wrap the shoot just in time for Simon and Andy to pick up their kids from school.
“I think the video really captures the beautiful sadness inherent in the song,” says Andy.
“Kate Bush was writing about the horrific loss of a child to the horrors war. Standing there in that church on the day, surrounded by graves, a war memorial, amid a once beautiful building destroyed in a senseless act of vandalism, it wasn’t hard to inhabit Kate Bush’s poetic universe.”
Follow Mae Karthauser: @maekarthauser
Get in touch with Andy Hill at The Agency: email@example.com
top image: Simon Congdon | styling: Willow de la Roche
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