Wanderer Session #30: Communipaw
Filmed in New Brunswick, New Jersey
Spring 2010

This is the 30th Wanderer Session since we started back in September. 30 bands filmed. 30 lessons learned. So much has changed since I first filmed Dan Rauchwerk at Buccleuch Park for the first ever session. Back then, I was satisfied with shooting acoustic videos of songs, trying to capture those three minutes of musical greatness in one bubble along with whatever sirens blaring off, cars passing by, street walkers dancing, everything really that just happened to be witnesses to these musicians playing in the most random places. Interacting with them. But as I learn more and more things about this new medium, I start to think and learn and experiment more with what can be done with the music I record; what can be done with the world around it at that second; what can be done with the random people clapping, the gentle whisper of the tress at the right times, the distinct bite of the lip of the musician at specific lyrics. Suddenly, moments become stories; shows become films. At least in my head. All for the sake of keeping up with my favorite Frenchman whose work with music videography continues to mesmerize me.

I emailed Brian Bond about doing a session and he of course brought along his mates that formed the New Brunswick band, "Communipaw." They were doubtful, uneasy, and skeptical of my thoughts and ways. But that was natural. There were a lot of questions bouncing around about sound mixing, location, and all these technical things. I mentioned to Keith, the drummer, during some moment of respite while the others were setting up that I rarely think about all those things. I told him I just kind of let things happen around like I was a curious fly on the wall. He smiled a baffled smile.

They spent a great deal of time pacing around the creek, pointing out to each other spots where specific pieces of equipment will go. They spoke to me a great deal about how they wanted the angles to look or what to avoid, not really knowing that I was pretty much going to ignore everything. They were nervous. There were some passerbys too that decided to eat their lunch close to the band after hearing their music. The musicians were slightly ticked off. At the end of each song, they froze as if waiting for me to yell out "cut!" They were a little too worried about how this would all turn out.

But having noticed all their concerns during the filming, Communipaw really delivered with their music. The brilliant lyrics coupled with Brian's serenading voice really meshed well with the bands slow melodies and the swaying of the peaceful bamboo garden around us. They complement each other well. There's a very calming and contemplative feel to their sound. Or perhaps it was the garden itself. Or perhaps they wrapped the serenity from their music around the garden.

Another lesson learned. Not everyone out there will fall perfectly in the puzzle piece of a Wanderer Session we're guilty of making so specific of an experience. At least for me. But great music will always be great music and Communipaw is certainly a great band that kept my dissenting spirits at bay.

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