Motion Ephemera

[EPHEMERA: any transitory written or printed matter not meant to be retained or preserved. The word derives from the Greek, meaning things lasting no more than a day.]

When one thinks of ephemera, they usually think printed matter. Stuff you look at, then throw away. But, there’s also the idea of ephemera as video or film. Stuff you film or tape then dump it later, after it’s served its purpose. Luckily, some of that throw-away motion ephemera has been saved. Archived. One such source is It’s a wonderful online tool for someone like me to search, wander and peruse their virtual vaults of wayward vanities. Another source is our very own Library of Congress. I doubt very many of you ever visited, physically or virtually. I suggest you do. The LOC belongs to you (at least, your tax dollars help pay for it). But, honestly, I think it’s one of the better uses of our money.

I’ve used some of the moving ephemera from both to help create music videos. Two, in fact. One for singer/songwriter, Pat Cusick and one for the splendid band, The Jellybricks. The reason I sourced such old material for new songs? Time constraints, financial limitations and, well, laziness (on my part). Still, it takes hours to rake through the virtual catacombs of these charming, flickering gems to find some nuance of alternate meaning or just the odd, dated antics someone bothered to film. Mind you, some of this stuff goes back to the very early 20th century. There’s some amazing stuff. Public domain. Free, in fact (especially if one’s not actually making money from its use… which is certainly the case here).

I’ve also done a few oddball pieces which were not for any musical entity. One is here… another one here.

But, here are the two music videos referenced. They may not be the most amazing things you’ve seen promoting musical acts but the songs are terrific and the budget was right ($0.00).

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