Brendon John Warner’s music video for his song, Coffee Cup Lady & Raincoat Man ventures through evolving plains of modern human connection.
Brendon John Warner explores the ever-changing concept of human connection through his latest music video for his experimental soundscape, Coffee Cup Lady & Raincoat Man. The sounds and visuals intertwine perfectly, depicting the evolution of human interaction, as abstract connection makes itself grounded in our advanced modern world.
Brendon’s track is inspired by Kazuo Ishiguro’s Klara and the Sun, a book that serves as a cluster of ideas around modernity and humanity. The following quote sheds light on how the book interrelates with Brendon’s creative mind during the process of this project: “The heart you speak of,’ I said. ‘It might indeed be the hardest part of Josie to learn. It might be like a house with many rooms. Even so, a devoted AF, given time, could walk through each of those rooms, studying them carefully in turn, until they became like her own home.”
Brendon shares that the title for Coffee Cup Lady & Raincoat Man is stripped from two peripheral characters in Klara and the Sun, as they portray raw and intimate human emotions that are observed by the protagonist, Klara, who has artificial intelligence. Riddled with complexity and oddity, Klara tries to digest these human experiences and represent a potent analogy for the strange, uncomforting feelings that come with connecting with people.
After the social separation and trauma that has been at the centre of the world today, distance and detachment are so obviously lingering when people connect to each other through screens and artificial hugs. It is something we have been leaning into as the world has progressed and during a time of such distance, it highlighted that these forms of connection can’t be enough.
Alex Botton, the visual director of the music video, dives into this concept by exposing strange behaviours that occur between random individuals within public spheres, much like Edward Hopper, who was an American realist painter and printmaker in the 1920s. Edward Hopper was one of the forefathers of encapsulating city life in a melancholic romantic lens as he recorded and oozed out the vast possibilities within these spaces, portraying moods of detachment, disconnection and lonely existence.
The video for Coffee Cup Lady & Raincoat Man was shot throughout 2022 across Seattle & Portugal. It begins with eerie, windy distorted sounds and snapshots of people alone in various environments such as city streets, sandy beaches and these people are engaging in day-to-day atmospheres and activities. Through this lens, it follows people into vulnerable spaces of solitude and loneliness, allowing viewers to observe and think about the difference between the two.
The expansive sounds warp through shots of narrow alleyways, following people who enter and exit into spaces and possibilities and shows the lack of intimate connection people have towards these environments and those around them, it revels in this detachment. In contrasting grim shades of city streets and ferries travelling across blue and bright water, nods to the urge for freedom and escapism flood through.
Botton draws his influence from Ryan Booth’s Street Photography in motion. Below is a video where Botton explores his epiphany of the beauty of strangers who pass you by and live their complex and vivid lives. He dives into how this project opened him up to streams of empathy and how it increased his filmmaking skills.
For the intricate composition process of the track, the soundscape itself is composed of a Basimilus Iteritas Alter from Noise Engineering, a pair of 2hp VCOs (with their Curtis CEM3340 inspired voice chips) and a 2hp Switch operating as an arpeggiator from 2hp Modular. As well as the I-ō47 Multimode Resonator/Filter (inspired by the classic 1047 module of the ARP2500) from Instruō Modular, a Harmonàig (also from Instruō Modular), and, perhaps most apparent, an effects patchwork created with the Mimeophon from MakeNoise Music, the POG2 from Electro-Harmonix, the MOOD from ChaseBliss Audio, and the BlueSky reverb from Strymon.
Within Coffee Cup Lady & Raincoat Man, visual and sound elements come together so perfectly to project the introspective and expansive components of human connection within a growing modern world. Both Brendon and Botton intertwine their talents in a way that allows viewers to perceive the spaces of loneliness that are wrapped around spaces that don’t first appear to be lonely and open up awareness of how we are connecting to others in this world.
Have a view of the video below! Get lost in it and then go explore the spaces of your own world and observe the settings that spew loneliness and those that ooze pure human connection. Get amongst it!