We are absolutely thrilled to announce “The First Voyage” featuring The Teaching on the song Apex of a Beautiful Day composed by our very own Evan Flory-Barnes. The Global/Collaborative vision of this project was conceived and produced by our good friend and local Seattle tap-dancer Jessie Sawyers. We’ve worked with Jessie on a multitude of performances and special projects over the years, but this one surely takes the cake. Before getting deep into the back-story of how this beautiful video came to life we encourage you to watch the Dance/Music video for yourself:
A little backstory…
When Jessie approached us around the Summer of 2014 regarding a world trip she was planning, she was very excited to sit down with us and talk about the prospect of having one of our most popular tunes (Apex of a Beautiful Day) as the featured song on a Music/Dance video she was wanting to create along her travels. Jessie has been a huge fan and supporter of our group since The Hang days back at Lo-Fi Performance Gallery on Eastlake Ave. & the recently closed LUCID Jazz Lounge on University Ave. There were many jam nights that we caught Jessie’s presence in the room and would call her up on stage to close out the night or set with a spontaneous and fun rendition of the Apex. Evan’s song became in a sense the perfect closing/encore piece for so many nights and concerts we’ve hosted through the years. So it seemed absolutely appropriate to consider this tune as a perfect foundational song for numerous dancers and musicians to collaborate upon during Jessie’s travels around the globe.
The recording of Apex that you hear in the video happened at Studio Nels (now Nels Motel) in Seattle on August 20th, 2014. We had a great time recording in the studio with producer Charlie Smith and engineer Robb Davidson. It was a fairly low-key and easy recording session as we remember it, but we were tasked on the top priority of getting a mix ready quickly for Jessie to take on her trip. The guys at Studio Nels worked hard to turn around a really nice mix of our performance for Jessie before she departed. Doing the group vocals that day was a real highlight for us. We could only imagine all the folks Jessie would be capturing singing, dancing, playing and experiencing the devotion within Evan’s timeless melody. It’s hard to count the times that melody has been sung live and feeling the almost palpable connection with everyone in the room in that moment. Needless-to-say, we couldn’t wait to see and hear what Jessie captured in her travels with our music as a guiding sonic bed.
Fast forward after Jessie went to 6 Continents – 11 Countries – and capturing 100+ Artists Worldwide on film…we had the pleasure of capturing our own segment of Jessie’s film at the Seattle Center on June 28th, 2015th. The shoot date happened to coincide with Seattle’s Gay Pride Parade which ended at the Seattle Center…so you can probably imagine the incredible crowds and scene that occurred all around us that day. It turned out to be an incredible experience meeting up with many longtime friends, fans and family of The Teaching & Jessie’s that day. We captured really great footage of Jessie dancing with us on the sidewalk directly in front of Space Needle and finished the shoot doing some beautiful shots with the extras singing and chanting the main melody of our song that day. It was a really special experience and everyone who was a part of that shoot walked away with huge smiles on their faces. It was exciting to imagine how Jessie was going to incorporate the “hometown” into her incredible amount of footage/content captured on her trip.
Now jumping to the recent months leading up to the launch of the video — Jessie started sharing snippets with us during her incredible editing process. Upon watching some of the early video clips we knew immediately this video would strike a chord with so many folks…it was truly stunning to behold the project before our eyes and see the worldwide collaboration and spirit at work.
Last, October 28th, 2016 we put on a special house concert and viewing party at our dear friend and music supporter Richard Rodseth’s home in Fremont. It was an intimate evening with about 40 friends and family. The music was lively and exciting as always and after Jessie debuted the video there was hardly a dry eye in the house. It was so moving to watch and experience the video with such a close bunch of people from all parts of our beloved community. Jessie sat and did some Q&A after the video and we wrapped up the night with a very fitting performance of Apex of a Beautiful Day.
Since the video’s release on December 13th it’s garnered over 10,000 views on FaceBook and has been liked and shared by many more. We’re thrilled with the early reception of this video and so proud of Jessie’s incredible work making her vision a reality. This video comes out in an important time where we can really use motivating and positive messages such as the one presented here in her First Voyage. We cannot wait to see what her next voyages will be and we hope this video uplifts and touches your spirit as much as it has done for us!
Please LIKE Music of Humankind and follow Jessie’s future work by visiting her FaceBook page here:
Learn more about Jessie Sawyers and all her incredible projects/performances by visiting her Official Website here:
If you’d like a download the version of Apex of a Beautiful Day used in Jessie’s ‘First Voyage’ video you can stream and get a copy of your own here: