Last month, Yusuf/Cat Stevens released a charming stop-motion video for “Where Do the Children Play?” off his upcoming Tea for the Tillerman². Now, you can watch three videos explaining how it was made.
The clip was directed by Chris Hopewell — who previously worked on Radiohead’s “Burn the Witch” — and 90% of the material used derived from recycled matter. “The track itself has a very strong environmental message so we decided very early on that the video itself should have as low an environmental impact as possible,” Blackwell said in a statement. “Film production can cause a lot of waste as a by-product of the model-making, set, scenery design and construction so we went into this trying to use as much recycled, upcycled material as possible.”
Blackwell noted that the material was gathered from recycling centers, “rubbish tips,” and items donated by friends and family. “It did make the production a little more complex as we couldn’t simply just go out and buy from a hardware shop what was needed,” he said. “We had to make do with what we’d gathered, but this make do and mend approach actually turned out to be quite fun — although a little more time-consuming.”
The video’s ocean scene — where the children free flying fish from a net — was made from plastic waste that Jacknife Films collected on a 2-kilometer stretch of beach in South Wales in January. Only a fraction of the plastic gathered that day made it into the video. “We collected 10 Ikea bags of washed-up plastic waste and barely made a dent!” Blackwell added. “I’d like the video to make people think about the legacy of what we’re leaving for future generations. We need a total rethink about the way we consume.”
Yusuf re-recorded Tea for the Tillerman in honor of the record’s 50th anniversary. Titled Tea for the Tillerman², it features original producer Paul Samwell-Smith and guitarist Alun Davies. It arrives on September 18th via UMe.