The Big Ship, “Maybe I Don’t Know”

JP Basileo

An artist’s use of visuals, whether in the live setting or in a video, can create an effect of tranquil focus for audiences, opening a door to the music, and to the mind. Chicago/Philly best-bud-duo The Big Ship had something similar in mind when making the video for their track, “Maybe I don’t Know”, from Searchlight Casting, which came out in January on Fire Talk Records. The Big Ship is comprised of Doug Kaplan and Aeron Small, who both have several other projects, but try to collaborate and make music and play shows whenever they’re together. The track itself is a beautifully hushed combination of acoustic guitar, vocal harmonies and light static synth; all of which can stand alone as a therapeutic calming of the soul. Kaplan made the video entirely with MaxMSP, an intricate and randomized plethora of shapes and colors and lines overtaking the screen, seemingly shifting with every emphasis placed on a guitar string’s pluck. And the whole thing is like a meditation. The video closes your eyes for you; those colored flowers that appear when palms press against the eyelids, now taking the new, abstract form of these countless quadrilaterals, triangles, ovals and lines. The breathing entrance and exit of droning synth is the “om” mantra. Occasionally, and especially in closing, nonsensical clusters of lines against a mute backdrop call to mind a more linear Jackson Pollock, an artistic endeavor, all around.

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