“Empire’s Fall” by Minorcan is a break-up song — but not about a person. Instead, Asheville-based rocker Ryan Anderson says his latest catchy pop tune concerns parting ways with “the myths and idolatry of the American Dream.”
“In short, breaking up with the ‘pull yourself up by your bootstraps’ and the ‘self-made man’ myth of American capitalism — that one individual person and idea succeeds alone and people in the way should be crushed,” he says. “In reality, community systems are more powerful and sustainable than systems run by a singular ruler or idea. Celebrate communities instead of singular figureheads.”
To help represent these concepts visually and keep with the “fallen empire” theme, Anderson turned to clips from obscure movies depicting Roman and Greek mythology. He sourced footage from a couple of educational, classroom film strips and two narrative films: Silvio Amadio’s The Minotaur, the Wild Beast of Crete, and Giacomo Gentilomo’s Hercules Against the Moon Men.
“I was captured by the imagery of these, watched them on mute and picked out scenes that fit into the narrative of the song,” Anderson says.
With these clips projected behind him as he sings and plays guitar, Anderson recruited his 14-year-old child, Via, to work the camera. Via also proved instrumental in figuring out the mechanics of how to keep the guitar aflame long enough to capture it on video.
While collaborating on the project, the elder Anderson was struck by the stark differences in technology available to him as a young teen — “To edit a movie, I had to connect two VHS players together and manually mix in sound, and if you messed up there was no ‘undo’ keystroke,” he recalls — and inspired by the opportunities that await Via.
“My kid is growing up with the ability to make movies, music, paintings, photography, etc. on a singular device — and the access and availability of these amazing tools should be encouraged and nurtured,” Anderson says. “They are already a talented artist — sewing, theater, drawing, collage work, photography — and are defiantly interested in continuing to work with video. I asked them to help because I trust them as a collaborator. They have a great eye for visuals.”