Lloyd Frost

                     

                                   about...

I'm a Canadian singer-songwriter, filmmaker, writer and photographer. What I do crosses musical and geographical boundaries.

I'd like to share a few thoughts about my short film In Everyone's Eyes (en todas las miradas)  and a few of the songs on The Sun Is Rising and Other True Stories  album.

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 from behind, while never revealing her face? "No", she replied. "It's complicated." However unlikely it would be for her to be identified, her fear was clear to me.

It's dangerous to speak openly against the State in Cuba and 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. Detention, beatings, and prison sentences can follow.

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 the malecon in Havana."

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. And not only on the malecon, but inside the Modelo Prison on the Isla de la Juventude, in small towns like Remedios, and of course in many places in Havana.

Now in it's 4th year of film festival screenings, you can see the trailer on the homepage, the lyrics on SONGS page and screening dates on CALENDAR.  Perhaps it'll play at a film festival near you. It's also the first single from the CD, available at CDBaby.com and others, just click on STORE.

After Fidel Castro's death in November 2016 I made this director's cut: 'In Everyone's Eyes (El último!)'. Trailer and poster are on the film page, and it's in film festival submissions now.

 

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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Lloyd Frost is an Ottawa singer/songwriter, writer and photographer who also creates captivating short films about challenging present-day subjects and presents them with a gentle, engaging lightness.

 

With but a handful of photography courses and no formal filmmaking education, Frost self-produces his on-location projects despite inherent danger (an anti-State film about free speech and human rights in Cuba, without the State's knowledge) or public antipathy (how we talk about and process - or don't - terror attacks).

 

In place of a traditional speaking narrator or voiceover, Frost performs as the singing narrator or uses an instrumental composition that lend a pleasant lightness to his difficult subject matter. This 'social commentary with a groove' merges documentary film and music video, serendipitously creating a novel 'musical-doc' genre.

 

While his in-between genre resists falling into typical film categories, Frost has received acclaim at film festivals in North America and Europe. His first and second films have screened more than thirty  times to date, receiving seven awards in diverse categories: art film, music video, activist video and original song.

                                                                              

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