Guest Blog/Premiere: WYO Share Behind-The-Scenes Look at 3-Part Pixel Mapped Performance Videos

Drawing inspiration from the imposing landscapes and majestic mountains he grew up around in Jackson, Wyoming, singer-songwriter Andy Sorge utilizes an organic instrument palette to create the soundscape that is WYO. Sorge and his band take a cinematic approach to crafting soulful rock and pop that hits the listener right in the heart. The band released their sophomore album ‘Changes’ on May 31st. The album was produced by Brad Wood (Smashing Pumpkins, Pete Yorn) and marks their most powerful collection of songs to date. To accompany the album, the band recently recorded their own, impressive three-song live session at a studio in Jackson Hole, WY. While anyone who has heard WYO is probably familiar with their adept ability to craft infectious, soaring indie rock, the three videos provide us with visual proof at just how strong of performers the the members of the band are. Glide is excited to offer an exclusive look at the videos for “Hot Lights”, “On Your Own”, and “Queen of The Bees”. Front man Andy Sorge has also provided a guest blog that offers context and commentary for the songs and the session as a whole…

The “Edison Lights” film set which we used for our 3-part live video series was inspired by the song title “Hot Lights” off WYO’S newly released sophomore album Changes. We filmed in Jackson, Wyoming and here’s how the set came together for shooting “Hot Lights”, “On Your Own” and “Queen of The Bees”…

When I heard we got booked for Concert Under The Tram music series at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort I found it a good opportunity to take advantage of being back at our studio in Wyoming with the full band. I wanted to highlight some songs from our new album, and the band was sounding great live, so creating live performance videos became the goal. I called cinematographer and ideas man Noah Waldron and he had the idea of syncing up Edison lights bulbs to match the music that we played live, via pixel mapping. A room full of Edison light bulbs all twinkling to the music? Sounds really cool. We browsed the internet and it seemed like the idea hadn’t been done before, and in my mind, it wouldn’t take too much time to do. I figured we could film this and maybe I could have time to go snowboarding like 2 or 3 days! Haha, keep reading…

Flash forward a few weeks and we arrive in Wyoming with boxes full of Edison Bulbs and cabling at the front door. I had felt so smart ordering everything off Amazon, but I didn’t know the first thing about power and voltage, or really how the thing was going to wire together. Thankfully Noah had a plan, and although dangerous, he knew how to hardwire into the main breaker of the house so that we could provide enough power for every Edison bulb, phew! So now we have to wire each individual light up? I was hoping of going snowboarding in the morning, but probably not a good idea, right? It took a solid 45 hours over the course of 3 days to get this thing up and running. Noah created a square frame about 15 feet wide to hang above the performance area so we could hang each individual light overhead. By the first night we had wired up a few lights and we got so excited because they looked like little fireflies twinkling in the night! Once we were finishing wiring the bulbs it was time to dive into pixel mapping each light bulb to match the tempo of the music… We were learning this lighting software for the first time, but in theory, it should work right? These things take time we learned, time that we barely had…

In between creating the light show Scott wired up the room for recording the band, which is a huge job might I add! So literally right as we finished everything the rest of the band members showed up and walked into the house. I don’t think they were expecting this type of production, but WYO tends to go big, especially in Wyoming, so they knew whatever we were constructing was going to be cool. But I don’t think they knew how much work it took, and they kept asking me if we were going to be able to go snowboarding/skiing? “Maybe!” I would say…

There were 2 camera angles on sliders that were automated, meaning all we had to do was hit record and they would move on their own which was great. We had 3 cameramen with their own handheld cameras wearing all black to avoid being seen by the other camera angles. After the first night of filming, we cut together a rough edit and laughed saying, “looks like a Saturday Night Live set!” We were happy with what we got and what we filmed over the course of the two nights. We felt good, like we got what we needed by the end of the 2nd night. Phew!

The very next day we tore the entire set down and loaded up the trucks with our instruments to go perform at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. Our show at the mountain was a blast. We got the crowd engaged in a massive snowball fight! We felt pretty cool and proud of what we had accomplished with filming these videos and playing a show. And so the next day guess what? Yep, you guessed it, we went snowboarding, finally!

The 3 songs we picked to record and film were songs we truly enjoy performing live. We feel they give listeners a wide range of our sound. So thank you for reading, and I hope you enjoy watching, and listening, and learning about this labor of love! – Andy

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Photography by Corey Lack

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