Behind The Scenes: My Silent Wake - Lavender Garden (Official Video)

Mark Broomhead (Creator of the video): I was very honored when I was asked to do a Video for My Silent Wake. I have been playing about with visuals and music for a while, mostly doing videos for my own band out of necessity, due to budget restrictions and recording and releasing an album during lockdown.

I am currently studying an MS in creative technologies focussing on the potential application of software used for video games for creating visual experiences for music, so I initially set out to do something using Metahumans in a 3D environment. Ian contacted me while I was working on it and asked if he could send me some photos of his parents to include in the video, when he did and I saw them I knew this approach wasn’t right for this song, maybe another, we’ll see.

I first met Ian and Simon at a festival sometime around 1990 I think, we were signed to the same label and became instant friends. They invited me to come and hang out in Halesowen and Ian's parents invited me into their home no questions asked. Such beautiful, gentle people, with the patience of saints, they didn’t even ask when I was going to leave. It was the first of many visits and the reason why seeing the photos had such an impact and changed the approach I took.

We were working to a very tight deadline and Ian was unable to come up so he sent me some footage at my request, which (sorry Ian) was a little bit ropey quality-wise, portrait and greyscale. The technical limitations of the footage actually helped me come up with the idea for the video, from something that would have been very clean and precise to something much more imperfect and I guess “human” which I hope is a better representation of the narrative of the song.
I wanted to make something that would reflect the era of Ian's childhood to evoke a feeling of nostalgia and memories, something that would acknowledge the reality of the pain and loss whilst also exploring the tenderness of a loving relationship. There is a lot in the lyrics to explore, the fantasy of the girl in the lavender garden, the reality of the girl in the lavender garden, the despair, and the hope.

Out of necessity and design the video is not color graded to match, there is grayscale, super-real color, distortion, crisp focus, and blur, faded and hard light all to try and capture the huge range of emotions that this song contains.

The use of train tracks throughout the video serves two purposes, firstly a passion for trains was something shared by Ian's family, but also the movement visually coveys a journey and the passage of time.

Simon lives in the same village as me so we did our best to rig a green screen setup in my lounge using what we could find around the house for some of the lighting. We did around six full takes I think, filmed from two angles, each take lighted differently to be able to reflect as best we could the different settings I would put him in.

The resulting video is imperfect and chaotic, and breaks most of the rules of professional video production, but I hope it reflects just a little of the intimate story that Ian is sharing with us, and I hope Marge and John would have approved.

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