Lloyd Frost

                     

                                   about...

Lloyd Frost is an Ottawa singer/songwriter, filmmaker and writer/photographer.

With a only few photography courses and no formal filmmaking education, Frost self-produces his on-location films despite inherent danger (a film about free speech and human rights in Cuba, without the State's knowledge) or public antipathy (asking if there is a key to talking about terrorism attacks).

Instead of a speaking narrator, Frost performs his songs as a singing narrator. This brings a lightness to his challenging stories. His 'social commentary with a groove' theme merges documentary and musical to serendipitously create a musical-doc genre.

Lloyd Frost has received acclaim at film festivals in North America and Europe. His first two films have screened more than thirty times to date, receiving seven awards in diverse categories: art film, music video, activist video and original song.

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And now a few words about my short film In Everyone's Eyes (en todas las miradas)  and some tracks from The Sun Is Rising and Other True Stories.

If every song is about something...

...how many Latin-inspired dance tunes are about free speech and human rights?

And why aren't there any Cuban eyes in my film "In Everyone's Eyes"?

 

I'm frequently asked the second question. (The first one? Not so much.) The answer was nicely paraphrased by a Cuban friend who I asked to participate in the film. Would she agree to be filmed for just a few seconds, while never revealing her face? "No", she replied. "It's complicated." However unlikely it would be for her to be identified, her fear was palpable.

It's dangerous to speak openly against the State in Cuba. It's been this way for generations. Everyone complies or faces the consequences: not being allowed to work at your job or profession is one of the milder ones. Detentions, beatings and prison sentences are others.

And so the eyes you see hovering over the Modelo Prison at the film's end are...mine.

The song In Everyone's Eyes started to write itself in my head as I walked along bustling 23rd Street near La Rampa, in Havana. I completed it a week or so later in the eastern town of Bayamo where the Cuban national anthem was written.

The studio recording of 'In Everyone's Eyes' started in Canada, and continued in Managua where I met Nicaraga's musical icon Luis Enrique Mejia Godoy. Luis Enrique generously organized the session, bringing in his trumpet and horn players and his percussionista.

During the session, I mentioned that I'd like to make a film of the song. And how a friend had imagined me walking on the Havana malecon, women with fruit in their hair on either side of me! I knew that was impossible. Blatantly participating that way in a counter-revolutionary video would have consequences...

"We have a malecon here! You can make it in Managua," exclaimed one of the musicians.

I know the esplanade along the waterfront in Managua - and also the one in Havana, where waves crash over the seawall and fly high in the air, hanging suspended in time before before crashing to the wet pavement. Where the sea air can be cool and breezy, or blistering hot and stifling.  And there's people hanging out, walking around...

I thought about this.

"Well," I said, "it just wouldn't be the same. You know, without Havana's malecon."

There's no place I've ever been that's like Havana. Or any other place in Cuba, when you get right down to it. With its own twists and turns, warmth and paranoia, rules and of course how to get around them.

The short film 'In Everyone's Eyes' did get made. In Cuba. Totalmente en Cuba. On Havana's malecon and elsewhere in Havana, inside the Modelo Prison on the Isla de la Juventude and in small historical towns like Remedios.

Now in it's 5th year of film festival screenings, you can see the trailer on the FILMS IN FESTIVALS page, lyrics on SONGS and screening dates on CALENDAR. First released as a single, the final studio version is on my album The Sun Is Rising & Other True Stories available at LISTEN/Buy CD from CDBaby.com. After Fidel Castro died in November 2016 I made a more pointed Director's Cut called In Eveyone's Eyes - El ultimo! (the last one!) now in submissions to film festivals.

Do You Hear The Nightingales  has that full band feel, a chorus to harmonize with, and a cool 50's piano in backround. And that's Jenna Glatt on backing vocals.

Goth Bar...kinda Lou Reed meets Leonard Cohen and then some - but I bet you figured that one out for yourself.

Truth...for those days when there isn't any in the immediate vicinity. Tenor James O'Farrell provides his powerful backing vocals.

The Sun Is Rising  and  December 12 8  are the soundtrack of my second film "The Sun Is Rising (le soleil se lève)" - and there's more about it on the FILMS IN FESTIVALS page.

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words & music by Lloyd Frost © Blue Plazuela Music Inc. (SOCAN)

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GOTH BAR

Cowboy Of The Carretera

singer of songs and stills