Visual Arts

Laura Goldhamer Brings Stop Motion to Gregory Alan Isakov

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"Iinitially I was like, 'Fuck! We might have still needed that!' But then we watched it, and it was amazing," Goldhamer says. "We had to use it. It was the sort of creation/destruction, force-of-nature stuff. A lot of the coolest things that happen in animation are unintended, even though animation is a very controlled, focused process."

The broken glass served as a metaphor for the soft and sharp cycle of life, which has been following Goldhamer around for the past year. It's been a tough one, filled with the losses of friends and the loss of her own 100-year-old grandmother. But Goldhamer's been able to channel some of that turmoil into her work; she says "Amsterdam" helped her better understand the cycle.

"It was such a beautiful process, but a temporary one," Goldhamer says. "We had to finish it. It was finite, and things die. Things come to completion, and then new things happen."

Goldhamer and Isakov met through the Denver music scene. Isakov considers Goldhamer a highly creative musician and artist, and since he's not a fan of being in his own videos, he thought her animations would be a perfect fit for "Amsterdam." As he likes to do with his music, Isakov never explicitly told Goldhamer the meaning behind the song and left her to find it for herself.

"What I love about making songs is it makes complete sense to me, and then to somebody else it'll mean something completely different," Isakov says. "I wanted to keep that idea in the video. I think with animation you don't have to take things literally and you can leave it open. And Laura did that. She puts her whole self into her work. She nailed it."

Even though Goldhamer had fun with the project, she admits that she was hesitant to do it at first. She was busy recording her own album, so she decided to do a quick video -- and then fell in love with it.

"I thought that if I keep it really simple, shoot it three days and edit it the next day, I can afford the time and it'll be a good little job," she remembers. "But then it was just too much fun and too inspiring. What the song called for was something more elaborate than ink on paper. We had to take the time to do it right."

Keep reading for more from Laura Goldhamer.

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Amanda Moutinho
Contact: Amanda Moutinho