Thursday, October 4, 2007

Low - Belarus

For all the times good music has accompanied making tracks on skis, rarely has action from the winter landscape made it back into the world of music. It was with pleasant surprise this winter that we saw a music video for the band Low (a Duluth, MN band on the popular Seattle Sub-Pop label) featuring Nordic skiing. A surprise, at least, until we learned it was filmed by former Karhu rep and Nordic junkie Hansi Johnson.

The video for Low’s “Belarus” offers a stark contrast of the winter landscape – especially its historical footage – with the image of heavy industry around Duluth. The mind doesn’t have to stretch too far to see the tenuous hold winter has, and that is both a scary thought and an important concept for anyone with a passion or a stake in skiing.

("Belarus" by Low. Video courtesy of Sub Pop.)

Aside from its message, Hansi’s video captures the beautiful athleticism of truly cross-country skiing. The skiing is smooth and graceful, with bursts of frenetic energy, and it reflects the varied terrain and tempo of skiing off the beaten path. Winter is much broader than a groomed track, and it’s great to see that so well portrayed for Nordic skiing.

According to Hansi, this footage originally came together for a longer movie called “Cross Country with the Snakes” that deals with Bill Koch – the only American ever to win an Olympic medal in Nordic skiing. Says Hansi, “Koch is by far the best skier of any type the US has ever produced, due to his ability to ski anything on Nordic skis. If people like “Belarus” they will die for “Cross Country with the Snakes.” I just got a copy here, so more on that later…

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

dude; that guy is bringing art and nordic skiing to a whole new level