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Music Matters: Blind Willie Johnson

Niamh Byrne working for Universal Music asked me to pitch an idea for a short online promo video for her 'Music Matters' project, a campaign aiming to encourage the public to value and appreciate music and where it comes from...perhaps enough to resist illegal downloads.

I was listening to a lot of blues at the time and considered the blues musicians of the early 20th century incredibly fascinating, particularly the raucous vocals and slide guitar of Blind Willie Johnson. His story adds further emphasis to his music so I chose to use his legend as the basis of my pitch, an example of the transcendental power of music to enable all walks of life to 'live on' through recorded music.

However, his long lasting influence did not prevent an impoverished and untimely death, he was as much a victim of the recording industry, as music piracy.

The format of the short was taken on as the blueprint for the rest of the campaign.