Road Trip Across America With Matt Bauer’s “Silver Orchard”

Matt Bauer via Riot Act Media.

Last summer, I drove with a friend and her huge cat from Brooklyn to San Diego. We did it at breakneck pace: four days divided into nine- and twelve-hour-long legs. It was a 43-hour journey.

I can now confirm, from firsthand experience, that this country is enormous. Traversing it in a car as opposed to flying over it, or looking at it on a map, did two things for me: I had a deeper understanding of its bigness, and I felt personally connected, for the first time, to its geography. All that had previously been vague ideas in my mind–the rolling hills of the East, the great plains of the Midwest, the mountains, plateaus and desert in the Southwest, the golden West Coast–filled up with color and beautiful, detailed landforms. It was a meaningful trip that attached me further to the country, and I recommend anyone take it.

Granted, not everyone has four days to spare (and even if you do, don’t do this in four days; that was a little crazy). So luckily for us, Brooklyn-based musician Matt Bauer provides the next best thing–America’s sand dunes, snowy foothills, pine-treed mountain faces, bamboo forests, salt flats, sprawling plateaus of the southwest, thick green grasses of the south, a lot of empty open highway, wildlife refuges, the Outer Banks, and even, closer to home, the West 4 Street Subway Station and Industry City, plus more–in a new video that is just 3 minutes and 49 seconds. It is the gift of a country, set to a calm, beautiful single, “Silver Orchard,” from his album Dream’s End released by Crossbill Records. Here’s what Bauer has to say about his footage.

“All these shots are from the last 2 years on the road touring and traveling places to write and record. A couple things were shot with a DSLR, but most of the shots are an iPhone with an attachable lens The idea was to compile these quiet moments between cities, between shows. You have these brief intense times when you arrive somewhere, figure out where the venue is, play a show, meet new people, maybe catch up with old friends, probably get very little sleep, and then in a few hours you’re on your way to the next place. So all these shots are the time in between when you’re left with yourself and the space between the last thing, and the next thing, absorbing what just happened and wondering what will happen next.”

Don’t lament the fact that you cannot now be road tripping. Watch Bauer’s stunning images instead. Happy trails.

See Bauer live in New York: April 17 at Union Pool (484 Union Avenue) as part of the series Afternoon Hang. 

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