Have you ever wondered what the adventures must have been like sailing the open seas on board a pirate ship? What might have been the reactions of the people living in the towns and villages when the ships docked, and the pirates came ashore?
Jennifer Thomas, an independent composer, pianist, violinist, concert performer, and recording artist has always had a dream of sailing on board a pirate ship. Recently her dream came true when she filmed an awesome music video while sailing on El Galeón, a replica of a 17th Century Spanish Galleon. According to the official website, “El Galeón was built during 2009 to 2010 by the Nao Victoria Foundation. Designed and developed by Ignacio Fernández Vial at the Punta Umbria shipyard (Huelva, Spain), the boat was launched on November 30th, 2009 and then the masts were added at the beginning of 2010.”
From her award-winning holiday album, Winter Symphony, Jennifer Thomas brings her vision for her arrangement of “I Saw Three Ships” to life – “Pirate” style. The video was filmed on location while sailing through New York, New York, Ocean City, Maryland, and Neah Bay, Washington. Jennifer’s husband, Will, was the cinematographer extraordinaire for the project.
As a person watches, they can sense the joy and excitement that Jennifer must have felt while creating the upbeat, feel-good video. In one brief scene, we even see her at the helm looking out over the ocean. Not only does she play the piano on the beach, but we also see her on deck playing the violin. Speaking of playing the violin in the video, Jennifer commented, “I purposely recorded my violin on this song to sound more “folk”, i.e. less vibrato, more airy strings and crossovers. I didn’t want it to have that perfect classical violin sound. Which was great because trying to film on that ship with the wind, the waves, up and down movements was SO hard. So, any attempt at “perfectionism” definitely went out the window.”
In a Facebook post on 14 November 2017, the day the video was released, speaking about her arrangement for “I Saw Three Ships,” Jennifer said, “Something I should point out about my videos is that every single one of them portrays the vision in my mind of when I composed the piece. In 2015, when I arranged “I Saw Three Ships”, I was working on the orchestration with the talented Glen Gabriel and told him my vision for this song was to make it a “Pirate” version, with lush orchestra, heavy percussion, and an obvious sea-worthy feel. I think we achieved it quite well in the end.” Anyone who watches the magnificent video would agree.
Thank you for this great article. Jennifer truly is an artist to recognize.