Video Voyageur: 3Qs with Marcus Lowry

Since earning his bachelor’s degree in jazz performance from the University of Montreal in 2017, Canadian singer-songwriter, guitarist and producer Marcus Lowry has worked with a wide array of Canadian and international jazz, folk and pop artists. His debut solo album, Time, Time, Time, produced by JUNO-nominated musician Joe Grass, is set to be released this coming fall.

Like the morning haze that recedes to reveal a calm and clear day, Lowry‘s intimate folk musings on “Leaving the Shore” drift and buoy through waves of delicate chamber music, subtle electronics and nautical field recordings. “Leaving the Shore” offers calm and serenity to the inevitability of change and the challenges that often come with it.

To really enhance this feeling of a sea voyage, the song incorporated actual nautical field recordings from the personal collection of his producer, the great Joe Grass. In the song’s climax you can hear seaport bells and the sounds of rolling tides, which were recorded by Grass near his hometown in New Brunswick.

“I struggle with anxiety and Hurry Sickness, so the feeling of time always slipping away is a recurring fear of mine,” says Lowry. “The whole album, really, speaks to this feeling. Each song depicts a type of journey that grapples with similar anxieties and choices, and each one has become a personal reminder that my own fear of change can threaten my ability to explore all of life’s richness and beauty.”

We caught up with Marcus below!

1. Tell us the story of this song, why did you choose to visualize this song specifically?

The story behind “Leaving the Shore” is all about choices and hardships that can surface in making them. Life is full of choices, some more obvious, but others can sometimes steer us onto a completely different course. In this quiet and delicate song, the character is caught in-between two worlds and ultimately chooses to embrace the inevitable shift. 

2. What was the inspiration behind this video(visuals, storyline, etc.)?

All of the videos that we made for this album, including “Leaving the Shore”, are live-off-the-floor acoustic performances. I’ve always loved La Blogothèque’s series, “take away shows”, so we were definitely inspired by that format of capturing real musical moments. No editing tricks or overdubs, just the raw performances and the sounds of the spaces around us, allowing the unexpected to become part of the performance.

The storyline for this video is very close to the lyrics. We wanted to capture the nautical theme and the idea of the boat, and also knew from early on that these series of videos would all be acoustic performances, often placed in unusual environments, so the idea of actually performing the song in the rowboat came up pretty fast.

3. What was the process of making this video?

We knew this video had to feel like autumn for it to tie in with the overarching narrative of “loss” and “change” of this record. Once we had the general idea and concept for this video, the first step for me was to rearrange the song for a smaller ensemble that could fit in a row boat and ended up settling on this wonderful quartet with two-violas (Vincent Delorme and Sebastian Gonzalez Mora) and shruti box (Belle Grand Fille). 

On October 5th, 2022, we all drove out together bright and early to Zacharie’s place in Cowansville (rower and photographer in the video) and tried to get out on the lake as soon as possible, hoping for a foggy and misty atmosphere – which we did not get.

A few fishermen were out on the lake when we got there, which I believe even made it in the video somewhere. You can also hear the train passing right before the song starts, and someone yelling near the end.

On the boat, we each wore a Lavalier microphone with a battery powered transmitter being picked up by William Régnier, our sound engineer, who was operating on this small 8 track battery powered console and Émilou Johnson and Zacharie Bachand were the two ro


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