Vision Eternel

Release Pièce No. Trois Music Video

As part of Vision Éternel’s 10-year anniversary celebration, it is with extreme pleasure that we are releasing a brand new music video for “Pièce No. Trois“. It’s been seven and a half years since Vision Éternel last released a music video, for “Season In Absence” in March of 2010. “Pièce No. Trois” is one of seven songs that appears on Vision Éternel’s fifth concept EP “Echoes From Forgotten Hearts“, released through Abridged Pause Recordings on February 14th of 2015. This music video is long overdue after having its fair share of disasters and lost footage over the years.

Here’s the story. In November of 2011, Alexandre Julien conceived the idea of filming a new video. Original plans hinted at the possibility of editing a music video for “Sometimes In Longing Narcosis“, the first song on Vision Éternel’s fourth EP “The Last Great Torch Song“; which was eventually released through Abridged Pause Recordings on March 14th of 2012.

Other ideas considered were a feature-length video spanning the entirety of “The Last Great Torch Song” with all five songs lasting fourteen and a half minutes; or a music video for “The Asphalt Jungle“, a twelve and a half minute song by Alexandre Julien’s other band Soufferance, which was eventually released on the concept LP “Memories Of A City“.

A pre-production photo shoot was set up at the old Dalhousie train station in downtown Montreal on December 4th of 2011. The resulting film noir-influenced photographs by Jeremy Roux were issued as a promotional band photo shoot later that month. Principal photography started on the night of January 10th of 2012 with cinematographer Jeremy Roux. It was a freezing and windy night with temperatures hovering at an almost constant -10°C, omitting the wind factor. Jeremy Roux and Alexandre Julien headed to several of their favourite historical locations in the old quarters of Montreal in an attempt to photograph a comparable opening sequence to Woody Allen’s 1979 film “Manhattan” and Walter Ruttmann’s 1927 film “Berlin: Die Sinfonie Der Großstadt“, with a heavy dose of 1940’s and 1950’s American film noir embedded.

The themes of Vision Éternel’s “The Last Great Torch Song” and Soufferance’s “Memories Of A City” were intertwined in this inspiring project intended as a dedication to Montreal’s forgotten days as a former Anglophone metropolis and one of the major ports flourishing in North America.

A key filming location was the former Dalhousie Station where the pre-production pictures had been snapped a month prior. Additional scenes were filmed nearby, above and under the Notre-Dame overpass and with the former Viger Station in the distance. Another shot was set up in the Saint-Dizier alleyway in the Old Port of Montreal which has old cobblestone paving and was wet from the melting snow and grainy from the salt, sand and rock pebbles used to deal with ice in the winter.

A few scenes were shot on Le Royer Street West, a rather fancy lane that looks more like a pedestrian park than a street, and on Saint-Pierre Street. There was also a landscape of Harbour City. Finally, this handful of astounding buildings were filmed within roughly the same block near the Old Port Walkway;

the Hugh & Alexander Allan Office Building
the John Young Monument
the Montreal Harbour Commissioner Building
the Customs House Building
the Royal Bank of Canada Building
the Elevator No. 1 and Silo No. 5 Structures
the Five Roses Flour Factory Building in the distance
parts of the Old Port railroad tracks, complete with a traveling train in the middle of the night

The first night’s work yielded thirty-six shots amounting to a little over twenty minutes of footage.

The plan was for three to five additional shooting days over the next two months until enough footage was accumulated. A return to Dalhousie Station, Viger Station, the Elevator No. 1 and Silo No. 5 Structures and the Royal Bank of Canada Building were also planned; with several more locations secured including:

Windsor Station
the Sun Life Building
the Mount Royal Observatory and the Saint-Joseph Oratory
Ravenscrag Mansion
Redpath Mansion
Dominion Square
Dorchester Square
the Pied-Du-Courant Prison Building
the Jacques Cartier Bridge Building on Saint-Helene Island
the old mills on Visitation Island at the north shore of Montreal Island

Filming at these locations was postponed many times as Jeremy Roux became increasingly busy raising his family.

On March 14th of 2012, “The Last Great Torch Song” was released and two days later, Alexandre Julien and Jeremy Roux met up once again to film new footage at the Jacques Cartier bridge building. This session was exclusively used for the video introduction to “The Last Great Torch Song“.

On March 26th, less than two weeks after the release of “The Last Great Torch Song“, a hard drive failure caused a major disaster; all of the master audio files, the original artwork files and promotional content files (posters, flyers, etc) for Vision Éternel’s EP “The Last Great Torch Song” and Soufferance’s LP “Memories Of A City” were lost. The photographs taken on December 4th of 2011 at Dalhousie Station, the photographs taken on March 5th of 2011 at Dominion Square, and every bit of video filmed on January 10th of 2012 were also lost. This tragedy was responsible for the cancellation of several promotional and merchandising plans and caused the music video to be shelved permanently.

Some of the promotional band pictures from March 5th and December 4th of 2011 had been shared on social media websites and as a result of this, nine stills survived, though only in poorly compressed quality. The remaining photographs have never been found. Two months after the hard drive crash, on May 21st of 2012, twenty scenes from the January 10th 2012 video shoot were recovered (along with Soufferance’s LP “Memories Of A City“), amounting to a little more than half of the footage filmed. It took two years before the missing sixteen scenes were finally recovered, on March 14th of 2014. With the video footage found, many different plans were proposed but nothing materialized. A year later, after Vision Éternel had released its fifth EP, “Echoes From Forgotten Hearts” on February 14th of 2015, there was talk of editing the footage into a music video for “Pièce No. Sept“, considered as a lead single. But this never came together.

It took until the spring of 2017 for the idea of a video to be brought up again. A long-time fan and follower of Vision Éternel, Hong Kong-based visual artist Vasily Atutov, generously offered to work with the footage. By this time, another song from “Echoes From Forgotten Hearts” had taken over as the lead single, “Pièce No. Trois“, slightly shorter than “Pièce No Sept” but just as driving and engaging. Vasily Atutov directed the music video for “Pièce No. Trois” from July 22nd to July 23rd of 2017 and did a wonderful job, especially considering the limited selection of footage and its history. He has a sense of timing, mood and atmosphere that fits perfectly with Vision Éternel’s style.

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