The Band Explains: Pretend Collective - 'Higher Than A Flying Cloud Castle Made of White Light'
Pretend Collective gets philosophical with us about his David Lynch inspired visuals for, Higher Than A Flying Cloud Castle Made of White Light’, which combines the wonder of the natural world with the routine of urban living.
Where was the video for 'Higher Than A Flying Cloud Castle Made of White Light' filmed?
James Adams developed the concept and directed the 'Higher’ video. We met for the first time at the Giving Groove headquarters in Philadelphia, where we both presently live. He was about to take a long trip into the White Mountains in New Hampshire. James shot the urban footage in Philly and the nature imagery comes from his recent travels in the American northeast.
How does the video connect with the song?
This song is not typical, lyrically or compositionally. It's more of a meditation than a song, and within its unique parameters, it breaks a few rules and bursts into new dimensions a couple of times. I like it. James dug it too and after we discussed a shared love of David Lynch and long, artfully framed shots, I turned it over to him and waited with great anticipation to see the realization of his vision, itself a reaction to a vision of my own. His creation puts scenery to the band's soundscape. The images are familiar—juxtaposing the fantastical, natural world with a sometimes mundane but nonetheless colourful urban experience. In his depiction of the cracks in the reality we think we're seeing, Adams identifies the light shining through them.
Do you have any behind the scenes stories you can share with us?
I wrote this piece of music more than ten years ago, as the sun came up, alone. The record took two years to record. This was the first moment in a long creative process wherein I gladly stepped back and handed someone else the reins. I said to James, I can't wait to see what you do with this. He knocked it out of the park.
Could you tell us about the ideas/ themes/ imagery used?
I put this one to James directly:
”People tend to think of things chronologically and tend to think that is how beauty is formed. In the video, the themes of urban structure and nature are colliding with one another with no chronology indicated whatsoever. There is an emotional understanding to be gained when you're guided through abstraction; you can love what you're seeing because you don't understand it. You can take it for what it is and be present with it”.
Is there a message the video is trying to convey?
Whether it's music, video, or any creative medium—we want to transport you. We want to remind you, as we want to remember, that the world is big, and fascinating, and awe-inspiring, and that wide-eyed and dancing is the highest state we can aspire to. What does the song mean? Nothing you don't hear or see in it. But then, we each find meaning where we look for it. Thanks for looking here.
Words of Karla Harris