Lonesome Goldmine by Annie Ellicott
For this week’s Creator Conversation Q&A session, Annie Ellicott talks about her latest album, Lonesome Goldmine. She also shares the story her challenge of making the album while caring for her mother who had cancer, the creative process for her title track’s music video, how to stay positive, and more. Annie Ellicott’s album was recently featured by Evan Jarvicks of Cellar Door Music Group as one of his Top Albums of 2016.
Let’s begin by getting to know you. How do you describe yourself and your music?
I describe myself and my music as highly sensitive and eclectic with an almost obsessive longing to express the ineffable.
What pushed you to share your music with the world?
My obsessive longing to express the ineffable. Also, it’s a rare joy to hear music that is truly original and I knew I could make something truly original.
Use only seven words to describe your album, Lonesome Goldmine?
A loving guide into deep inner worlds.
What was the greatest challenge you had when making the album?
Money was a big challenge. Also, My mother was diagnosed with cancer and died during the time that I was making this album. There was a period of about 6 months when my life consisted almost exclusively of caregiving or advocating for my mom, or working on some aspect of the album. In retrospect, this was an incredible gift but it was quite an emotional meat grinder.
Let’s talk about your music video for Lonesome Goldmine. What was the creative process like for that video? Where was it filmed? What challenges did you face during the shoot?
The outdoor shots were filmed in West Tulsa at Ahava, a homeschool co-op with a lot of surrounding land where my producer Mark Kuykendall went when as a kid. The puppeteering was filmed at the Nightingale Theater in Tulsa, where I also held my album release show.
The light body puppet was manned by 4 people: myself, my dad, Mark Ward and Mark Kuykendall. We wore full blacks and filmed against a black backdrop. Then Joe Cappa, who made the puppet, and shot and directed the video, put it all together in post.
Joe wrote the initial script and I added personal character types and minor tweaks based around the story of the song. Mark knew the land well so we were also able to incorporate really special things out there. We also adjusted the story to the shots that went unexpectedly well or unexpectedly not well, and the story wound on and evolved organically in that manner. We struck a really good balance between focus on the goal and openness to new and unexpected avenues, and ended up with something even better than we set out to do (in my opinion).
I think the most challenging things about the shoot in general were: it was freezing cold and tricky to light at night. What was most challenging personally was that I had to do a million take as all three heads in an awkward half crouched position inside a black box. My back was very angry by the end of the night.
What’s some beauty seldomly seen in Oklahoma?
The Osage Forest of Peace is one of my favorite places. There’s a place I’ve heard of but never been to in West OK called Black Mesa. It looks beautiful on YouTube!
What are some of your favorite places for art in Oklahoma?
Because of its oil boom in the 1920’s, downtown Tulsa actually has some of the best Art Deco architecture in the country. I also love the Dale Chihuly glass exhibit in the Oklahoma City Museum of Art.
Anything else you want to say or let people know?
Lonesome Goldmine is contemplative music. It was made for deep and repeated listening through headphones or high-quality speakers. It was made with great love and incredible attention to detail. It is intended to be an aid in strengthening the connection between the listener and their own inner body, particularly the heart, for the promotion of self-awareness and self-healing.
For more question and answer sessions with creative people in Oklahoma from the Creator Conversation series, click here.