Video Premiere: Doug Burr, “When The Arrow Meets The Sparrow”
If you’re familiar with the work of Doug Burr, then you know the categories that hold his music also hold a weight to them. His music is certainly classifiable yet there’s a substantive approach rarely seen with most artists, a concern with weightier matters than the typical song cycles about love and loss. It’s not that Doug doesn’t explore such matters; rather he writes about them in ways that graciously reframes your worldview.
We’re proud to officially premiere the brand new video from Doug Burr for his new single “When The Arrow Meets the Sparrow.” The song is a perfect example of the depth of Doug’s creative well, a tune inspired by French philosopher Rene Girard, the father of mimetic theory, who has much to say about the cycles of violence in our world.
“The phrase “when the arrow hits the sparrow” describes a sort of violence to the innocent, pre-meditated,” says Burr. “The idea that there are those always watching, seeing, waiting to prey on others. The other part of the phrase, “the poison gonna run into the water tonight,” names a cyclical and uncontrolled spreading nature of a sickness or the violence.
“This song took a long time in writing. I had been toying with the phrase “when the arrow hits the sparrow” since around 2009-ish. But after reading [Rene] Girard’s “I See Satan Fall Like Lightning” then the phrase took on a fuller meaning and new importance, and it gave the song its final shape, and of course is key to the record.”
Steve Elkins developed the perfect visual to match Doug’s lyrics and tone, a move that Burr says the director “automatically intuited.”
“[Director] Steve Elkins sent this video to us without us really knowing anything about what direction he would take on it,” he continues. “And I had never worked with Steve before, but just had heard from my label of his filmmaking bona fides. It’s different from the character-based interpretations we’ve used in past videos, but Steve and Chantal nailed the feeling of an abiding and ancient discomfort with his great imagery and how everything is just kind of coming from the water. I love it. It’s exciting when an artist just automatically intuits what you’re saying, and answers your call with a response in another art form, taking the artifact even higher.”
“My choice of imagery was half-consciously rooted in Burr’s repeated expressed interest, in interviews and lyrics, in the theory of violence put forward by Rene Girard,” says Elkins. “I aimed to explore this idea visually and subliminally. I also tried to mirror Burr’s move into new musical territory by giving the feeling of discovering things in the dark, by the light of discovery. Some of the images were achieved by back lighting medieval images with projectors or film strips covered by leaves or other objects that created a dialogue with Burr’s lyrics.”
Check out the full video below and make sure to order Doug’s new album on iTunes.