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Santa Maria Sun / Art

The following article was posted on August 12th, 2020, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 21, Issue 24 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 21, Issue 24

Folk-pop artist Noa Zimmerman releases new music video based around environmental protests at Cat Canyon

By CALEB WISEBLOOD


Stay tuned
Find out more about Noa Zimmerman’s music at noazmusic.com. For more info on the Artivist Foundation, visit artivistcollective.org.

MANY HATS
In between singing, songwriting, and studying music production at USC, Noa Zimmerman is also passionate about film and shot the music video for Rapture herself.
PHOTO COURTESY OF NOA ZIMMERMAN

"Listen closely for screams beyond countries,
The sound of stirring hearts sink,
Look for the bleeding, collective unreeling,
Complete loss of the missing link,”
Noa Zimmerman, 21, sings at the start of her new single, Rapture.

While the song’s lyrics envelop themes of helplessness and oppression in general, Rapture’s music video zeros in on one specific issue—climate justice. The video centers on a group of protesters in front of an oil well, carrying signs that say “no new oil drilling,” “ban fracking now,” and similar statements.

In between singing, songwriting, and studying music production at USC, Zimmerman is also passionate about film and shot the video for Rapture herself, which was scheduled to premiere the same day as the single, Aug. 12. 


WELCOME TO JURASSIC PARK
“It’s really pretty out there if it weren’t for the giant metal dinosaurs,” Noa Zimmerman said, attributing the nickname to the oil wells in Cat Canyon.
PHOTO COURTESY OF NOA ZIMMERMAN

“It was definitely a lot of driving back and forth, but it was worth it,” said Zimmerman, who commuted from Los Angeles periodically to film in the Santa Maria Valley.

But the footage wasn’t originally intended for a music video, she explained. 

Between November 2019 and March 2020, Zimmerman was collaborating on a feature-length documentary about local community efforts against new oil drilling at Cat Canyon. 

“It’s really pretty out there if it weren’t for the giant metal dinosaurs,” Zimmerman said, attributing the nickname to the oil wells of Cat Canyon, her primary shooting location. 


WHERE THERE’S A WELL
The music video for Rapture centers on a group of protesters in front of an oil well, carrying signs that say “no new oil drilling,” “ban fracking now,” and similar statements.
PHOTO COURTESY OF NOA ZIMMERMAN

Zimmerman described the experience as “eye-opening” and unique as an outsider to the Central Coast.

“It’s kind of like walking a tightrope when you go into that situation because it’s not our community, it’s not our home,” Zimmerman said. “So we have to be really respectful of the fact that we’re trying to elevate voices, we’re not trying to project our own.”

When the pandemic halted production of the documentary in mid-March, Zimmerman was left with an incomplete film, although she and her collaborators aren’t shelving the project permanently, she said. 

In the meantime, Zimmerman decided some of the footage already shot would serve as a powerful visual component to amplify the message of her new song. Lyrics like “and while I sit tight in shadows of towers, I try not to cower in fear” meshes especially well with scenes cutting back and forth between protestors and oil wells looming over the horizon.


MULTIPURPOSE
Noa Zimmerman was collaborating on a documentary about local community efforts against new oil drilling at Cat Canyon. While the pandemic halted production, Zimmerman decided to include some of the footage in her new music video.
PHOTO COURTESY OF NOA ZIMMERMAN

On a lighter note, Zimmerman admitted the filming experience was also “exciting and exhilarating, especially because you’re not really supposed to film on the oil fields.”

Aside from the release of Rapture, Zimmerman hopes to continue raising awareness for climate justice and other causes through the Artivist Foundation, a nonprofit she co-founded with Elena Salinas O’Toole and Emily Goniea. The group’s aim is to help promote art and artists driven by activism, under the ideal that “art is fundamental to the success of social change” (find out more at artivistcollective.org).

Close to starting her senior year at USC, Zimmerman is currently back home with her family in the Bay Area, where she returned in March shortly before statewide COVID-19 mitigation measures began.

“It all happened the week before spring break, so I was planning on going home anyway,” Zimmerman said. “It went from going home for a week to going home for probably a year.” 

Send local music recommendations to Arts Editor Caleb Wiseblood at cwiseblood@santamariasun.com.









Weekly Poll
Should the county Public Health Department help elementary schools apply for the state’s waiver program?

Yes, that’s what the department is there for.
Schools shouldn’t open at all right now, nevermind with the county’s help.
If the state thinks schools are ready, what’s the problem?
Schools should have to fend for themselves; it shows whether they’re ready to handle reopening.

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