Swatch: Making the Book Trailer

My new picture book, SWATCH: The Girl Who Loved Color, debuts MARCH 15th. Thank you to John Schu for carefully releasing it into the Wild today:

Swatch's life depended so heavily on music, so I knew that if I made a trailer for her, music would have to be the heartbeat of the whole thing. I thank my lucky stars for the opportunity to work with mega-talent / composer Steve Pardo, who wrote that heartbeat, his original melody: "Swatch's Song". 

Steve is prolific in his personal and professional work; his repertoire includes songwriting, performing, arranging, producing, recording for blockbuster video games, his project, Skewsound, and folk band Opal Puckkett, among other teaching and performing endeavors. 

He suggested enhancing Swatch's track with some live strings, namely, The Videri String Quartet (high masters of the video game soundtrack!) When he invited me to come watch Videri RECORD their track live, I jumped at the chance.

Here's a glimpse of recording day in Steve's studio in Somerville, MA. The Quartet is: (founder) violist Rosalie Samter, Jeremiah Barcus on cello, Lizzie Jones and Michael Hustedde on violins. They were all so casual, friendly, and unassuming (like most geniuses are) until the second their bows hit string and I was like: .........................................................................  just listen:

When their music filled that little room, there is no other way to explain it, except for the distinct feeling that Swatch was right there! Made of sounds and words and paint. Now with this new musical facet, she was somehow finally and utterly FREE, which is what (like her wild colors) she most wanted. No longer an idea, circling restlessly in a jar. She was a book, a song, someone who could be a friend to somebody new. Meeting Steve's interpretation of Swatch's spirit was truly incredible...

 rosalie = sunbeam incarnate! 

rosalie = sunbeam incarnate! 

From Videri's gorgeous mission statement : 

Videri, a Latin word meaning "to be seen" and the quartet’s namesake, alludes to the role of music in illuminating visual narratives....to celebrate the dynamic link between music and storytelling

Ah. Confession: on the way home, I had a good cry. (Strings do that to me anyway) but this time they heralded something very specific: a long journey had ended, and a new one had begun. It was the moment Swatch was handed over to the Wild. We had spent a good deal of time together; this girl and Yellow, and Blue, and Bravest Green. They had set up shop in my brain and heart, through some tough seasons, spreading color and light even when I didn't want to pay attention; we remained devoted to each other. I will miss her. But this is the way of it! It's all set free in the end. This has to happen so the best, deep magic can start. 

There is magic between children and open books, paint and blank white, violins and silence: It is Wild possibility. Co-creation. Swatch is just about that: making things together. It took many people to get wild and make this trailer: Steve illuminated Swatch's story in richer color than I could have done alone. Videri sung her right out of thin air. Media artist Luke Boggia lended his talents to make Blue shimmer and butterflies dance. My husband Matt helped me storyboard, did the laundry, and believed the whole long way. Thank you to Brenda, Wendi, Alessandra, Martha, Kelsey, Booki for your enthusiasm.

Let's keeping making stuff together. It never has to end: as soon as YOU open the book, it will happen again!

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