Chris Garneau - Winter Song One
Written and Performed by Chris Garneau
Directed & Edited by Sam Stonefield
Produced by Kahlea Baldwin
Summer Camera by Miles Joris-Peyrafitte
Assistant Camera by Kyle Osher
Winter Camera by Sam Stonefield
Actors: Marine Penvern, Raoul Silver, Chris Garneau
In many ways, Winter Games is the music Garneau's been trying to make since he was a lonesome kid who competed in Parisian piano competitions and happened to be on a last name basis with Beethoven, Debussy and Brahms. Garneau had to endure years of personal and creative growth first, however, as he found his voice as a songwriter and expanded his record collection well past the familiar environs of classical and jazz. That includes everything from the otherworldly pop songs of Tori Amos and the alien harmonies of the Cocteau Twins to the devastating confessionals of Cat Power, Nick Drake and Elliott Smith. Not to mention one of Garneau's biggest influences, Nina Simone, whose music he fondly remembers figure skating to ― in his socks, mind you ― around the family living room.
When Chris Garneau started working on Winter Games five years ago, he had a simple premise in mind: exploring the frostbitten season through secondhand story lines. Not long-forgotten memories of merriment and myrrh so much as the many ways smothered sunrises and blanketed windowsills manipulate our moods and tighten -- or in some cases, altogether undo -- our family ties. "This record isn't about trivial shit," explains Garneau. "It's about why love doesn't happen right, how your person is shaped in the early stages of life. It's about defeating parental abandonment, sexual abuse, or family rejection. It's about people who struggle well, what it means to have these things happen to you as a child and play out later in life."
And yet Winter Games isn't a downer. In its own twisted way, it's triumphant, bursting at the seams with Garneau's barebones melodies and the richly woven arrangements of CJ Camerieri and Rob Moose -- perfectly paced orchestrations that parallel their work on Bon Iver's GRAMMY-winning debut as a full-blooded group.