music short film Sends a Woman to the Moon Ahead of NASA #Artemis

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Heron’s Space-Travel Inspired Album & Music Video Coincide with NASA Artemis Mission news & Apollo 11 50th Anniversary

July 19, 2019 - Kane, PA – Heron may be the only band in the world to release an entire instrumental rock album inspired by space exploration in time for the 50th Anniversary of Apollo 11, along with a music video featuring a female astronaut.

The album, Sun Release, debuts on July 19. The music video for the song Gravity Shift, featuring a young girl dreaming of going into space and a female astronaut returning from a mission, will debut in Summer 2019, near the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission’s lunar landing.

Shot in October of 2018, the music video was serendipitous timing. Eight months later, in June of this year, NASA announced the Artemis Mission to return astronauts, including the first woman, to the moon by 2024. Artemis was the twin sister of Apollo and goddess of the Moon in Greek mythology.

Casting for the music video was inspired by the four daughters and two wives attached to the band. The original script for the video featured a young boy and male astronaut, but was reworked to cast mother-daughter actresses Kira and Chloe Spencer.

Gravity Shift’s musical composition captures the intense and building power of re-entry into the Earth’s atmosphere, along with the thrill of the journey home. Kira Spencer gives a gritty performance as the sole woman astronaut piloting a spacecraft to splashdown.

“We couldn’t believe the timing when NASA announced a female astronaut was going to the moon,” said guitarist Boyd Lewis, dad to two daughters. “The truth is, the release of our album around the Apollo 11 50th Anniversary was dumb luck; our publicist just picked a date. But the announcement of the Artemis Mission feels like fate. We shot this video months before and just collectively decided that we wanted our daughters to be inspired by it. We hope now girls all over the world might be.”

Speaking with a similar theme, father and NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said in a recent CNN interview, “Landing a woman on the moon could inspire a whole generation of young women. I've got an 11-year-old daughter and I want her to see herself as having every opportunity that I saw myself having when I was growing up.”

preview Gravity Shift

The short film depicts Chloe, age 5, watching the starry night sky with a toy astronaut from the back seat of a 1978 Mercury Marquis. The outside window transforms into space, and perspective shifts to a gripping scene featuring a female astronaut re-entering Earth’s atmosphere and ultimately splashing down with success. The viewer is left to decide – is it a powerful daydream (nightdream) happening in the girl’s imagination? Or does it flash forward to the girl’s future as a NASA astronaut – perhaps the first woman to land on the moon for the Artemis Mission?

 “It’s important that girls SEE a woman doing it, see her sweating and afraid but tough, and her smile of triumph at the end,” said Kristin Lewis, wife of guitarist Boyd Lewis. “The music and visuals together convey the emotion and power of her experience.”

Written and directed by visual effects artist and filmmaker H Haden Hammond (X-Men, Harry Potter, No Country For Old Men), the video was shot in rural Pennsylvania.

Said guitarist Ben Blick, “We hope dads and parents watch this video with their daughters, and tell them about the Artemis Mission. Visit NASA’s women in Space website, and read about the female astronaut candidates and STEM programs. Definitely play Heron’s album Sun Release in the car on dark starry nights, so your daughters can nightdream out the back window about breaking barriers.”

Heron – Gravity Shift (Official Video) - Written & Directed by H Haden Hammond, Director of Photography Tracy Smith

ABOUT:

Heron is a four-piece instrumental rock band from the heart of the rural Pennsylvania Wilds. Sun Release, their second full length album set for a July 19th release, sees members Ben Blick (guitar), Boyd Lewis (guitar), Eric Morelli (bass), and Nate Blick (drums) crafting a seamless musical narrative inspired by space exploration that is at once dark and visceral, broad and beautiful. Music blog Stationary Travels called Sun Release “an uplifting, beautiful record that will leave your ears basking in the glow of its corona even after the music stops.” Heron’s debut album You Are Here Now was featured on NPR shows Morning Edition and All Things Considered, as well Spotify’s Deep Focus editorial playlist. Their song “Archives” landed a leading role in Headlights: A Ride BMX Film. The band was voted one of Post-Rock Listener’s Choice “10 Best New Acts of 2017,” and You Are Here Now hailed among its “50 Best Releases of 2017.”

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