Watch the Imaginative New Video for Yusuf/Cat Stevens’s ‘Where Do the Children Play?,’ from the ‘Tea for the Tillerman²’ 50th Anniversary

Rock Cellar Magazine StaffCategories:Latest News

Rock Cellar Magazine

On September 18, Yusuf/Cat Stevens will release Tea for the Tillerman², a special reimagined/re-recorded version of his legendary 1970 album to mark its 50th anniversary.

The special set was announced in late May, and on Thursday a new animated music video for “Where Do The Children Play?” was premiered as a preview of the new recordings.

The original song served as a poignant statement regarding the way humans treat the environment, and this gorgeous animated video follows suit:

50 years later, “Where Do The Children Play?” still depicts a chilling reality of modern man’s disregard for nature and its disastrous implications for our future on this precious planet.

The video was directed by Chris Hopewell, who boasts a resume including Radiohead’s similarly stirring animated video for “Burn the Witch,” from 2016.

Said Hopewell of what went into this new Yusuf/Cat Stevens video:

“The song has a strong environmental message, so we wanted to make a video that mirrored that. We decided to make the props and scenery from recycled materials wherever possible, to minimize the production impact on the environment.

We did a beach clean in South Wales to gather plastic debris and used it to make the ocean you see in the video. Our sea scenes were made from waste plastic washed up on our shores.

All of the sets and practically all props were made from recycled repurposed and up-cycled materials. I’d say that 90% of what you see on screen was made from recycled materials, even the rostrum the sets are built on were recycled scaffolding planks and sets painted with paints from a local charity store. All materials used were then re-purposed or recycled when the video was finished. It was a slightly longer process than usual, but fun!”

As for how this reimagining of Tea for the Tillerman came about:

The concept for Tea for the Tillerman² grew out of a conversation, fittingly, between Yusuf and his son about how to celebrate the album’s 50th anniversary. This gave birth to the idea of reimagining and rerecording the songs, and the results speak for themselves. Paul Samwell-Smith was contacted and a week was booked at La Fabrique Studios, in the South of France in the Summer of 2019, close to Saint-Rémy-de-Provence where Van Gogh painted some of his most famous works. The studio itself carries a rich and varied history, having once been a factory for dyeing the prestigious red jackets of Napoleon’s famous Hussars and also being home to one of the largest collections of classic French cinema and vinyl records. Providentially, the whole experience was filmed. 

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