Exclusive Video Premiere: ‘Those Who Didn’t Run,’ Colin Stetson




When Colin Stetson, the Montreal-based experimental musician, was discussing the concept of the video for his new single, “Those Who Didn’t Run,” with its director, Isaac Gale, he mentioned that the song contained rhinoceros imagery and expressed a desire for that to be integrated into the video. “That is literally the best feedback I have ever gotten from a client,” says Gale. “If someone says, ‘I really like this, do you think we can put some rhinos in it?,’ the answer has to be yes, yes of course we can.”

And so in the rhino went—in the form of a vaguely discernible Rorschach blot—along with a miasmic dreamscape of rushing water, a valley, trees, primordial shapes, and the moon. Hale, who became involved with the project after Stetson had seen video work that he, David Jensen, and JoLynn Garnes had done for Bon Iver, conceived of a piece fitting for the 10-minute song, the title track off of Stetson’s latest EP (out on Constellation): “The idea was to create something that unfolds super slowly, that the viewer can sort of become immersed and then get lost in, with the music driving it all.”

For Stetson, the song is a bridge between his 2011 album New History Warfare Vol 2: Judges, and the forthcoming, yet-to-be-titled, Vol. 3. “In essence, the song is telling the story of the cessation of fear, the archetypal peaceful valley, where one’s fear is laid to rest,” the musician says. “‘Those Who Didn’t Run’ is the opposing character to that of Judges, which embodies fear, a theme that is represented in the video by the imagery of the valley, water, and rhinoceros.” Fear abated or not, the trippy video makes an excellent (and hallucinogenic-free) escape from a cold, quiet December afternoon.