Canadian artists April Moon are releasing a 21-minute stick-puppet movie musical called ‘The Ballad of Johnny West’.
When lockdown was imposed in March and their full calendar of gigs disappeared, they found that live streaming, while fun, wasn’t fulfilling their artistic needs, so they decided to take on a different type of project.
The result is a whimsical, kitschy, cowboy-themed musical journey that definitely gets a bit strange at times, touching on authoritarianism, over-indulgence and even existential crises.
The catchy, boot stomping songs were all written and recorded by April Moon in their home studio in L8 with a couple of character voices added by neighbourhood friends.
As the story developed, stick-puppets were hand-painted, a green screen was built in the flat and new animation techniques were learned resulting in a project that was as much to entertain ourselves as any audience.
The official digital premiere will be taking place as a Facebook live event that is open to everyone to attend with the full movie musical being available to watch for free on April Moon’s YouTube channel afterwards.