I Am Oak – Will I Wake (Video Premiere)

Watch the stunning hand-drawn animated new video for I Am Oak's latest single Will I Wake

Video by Music Team | 19 Feb 2018

Hailing from Utrecht in The Netherlands, I Am Oak is a band which revolves around singer-songwriter Thijs Kuijken. Since their 2010 debut album On Claws, I Am Oak has put out several releases. Following their 2017 live EP Pictures of the Floating World, Will I Wake is their first new music of 2018, and set for release on 23 February.

Will I Wake is a delicate piano ballad complete with wubbing synths and gorgeous harmonies, but ultimately carried by Kuijken’s beautiful vocal. The Skinny are delighted to be premiering the accompanying music video, which you can watch in the player above or on YouTube. The video itself is stunning and a pure labour of love; made by Kuijken, it took him over 80 hours to complete and is made up of over 2000 drawings.

“Both the song and the video for Will I Wake play around with the delicate, fickle and dreamlike character of memories,” Kuijken tells us. “The video takes us along a thread of almost fluid impressions that are somehow connected; each one leads us to the next. Some are more fleshed out and clearer than others, just like in our minds. How long and in what form will a memory last? Did you dream it, or was it real? Do you actually remember the event or do you remember the pictures of the event? Some memories you know will fade even if they are based on a significant moment. Some memories you know will last a long time, because you cherish them.

“Each frame for the video was hand-drawn, with about three minutes at 12 frames per second, this comes down to about 2000 frames,” Kuijken continues; “Making the line drawings for these frames and coloring them in is a time consuming endeavor. Which might seem like a strange method to let something that’s supposed to be stream-of-conscious-y and flow-y play out, but it seems to work!

"I had this idea in my head where stuff was sort of floating in and out of the screen and morphing into something else in a dreamlike sequence, which I thought would be best attained by just animating it. Which also made me question the idea immediately, when I started to calculate how much work would be involved to fill three minutes. Why not try though? I don’t have that much experience in animation, so I looked up a tutorial on YouTube on how to properly do this in Photoshop and started trying it out. The first few scenes I tried instantly paid off when I saw them come to life, so I decided to give it shot.

“The idea actually started to take shape when I was drawing the artwork for the Will I Wake single. I used an old photo I had as a guide and traced over that, leaving out some parts and then only coloring in parts of that, which lead to this semi-realistic, semi-abstract thing that was inspired by this idea of a faded memory. For the video I used the same rotoscope-type method, but with videos I had on my phone and computer, also shooting some new ones to be able to catch some ideas that came up along the way (plus a fragment of a video of an octopus hatching, which I saw on instagram in the middle of this process). I didn’t sequence the videos I had to work with beforehand, I just started drawing what I felt like drawing and started sequencing and filling in the gaps after I was about three quarters done in order to maintain the feeling of spontaneity and associative connection.

“It was a great experience and I learned a lot. Especially about endurance. I probably won’t do this again soon, but I’m glad I did it. I think it fits the song well and I hope you will enjoy it.”

Will I Wake is released on 23 Feb and will be available via Spotify, Bandcamp and iTunes