The story dates back five years.. When Christchurch musician Amy Bowie was involved in a songwriting competition for television, she wrote and recorded a song inspired by Alice Sebold’s book, The Lovely Bones.
At that time, Amy wasn’t aware Peter Jackson had plans to turn that novel into a movie. Fast forward those five years, and the film was launched. With encouragement from friends, Amy decided to stick the song on YouTube. “Basically it was an experiment to see what would happen and if I could make any money out of it.”
Amy says she was embarrassed that people might think she was some “nutty YouTube girl” so she loaded it onto the video-sharing site anonymously under the username booksRgr8.
She didn’t have a proper video camera and was “way too embarrassed to ask my filmie friends for help”, so she went around every cemetery in Christchurch taking photographs of angel headstones and the like.
She also drew a few pictures, scanned them in and edited them together into what she calls “a stupid little video”. She titled it “The Lovely Bones Song” and away it went. To her surprise, people started asking for a download link so she started her own “Amie” (pseudonym) iTunes store – with most of the downloads and video views coming from the United States.
Thousands of people have now watched the video and it’s getting anywhere between 500-1000 hits per day, without really pushing the song at all.
Watch the beautiful, yet haunting, The Lovely Bones song here:
To download the song off iTunes, go to Amy’s iTune page – Amie
Wanting to capitalise on her success, Amy researched her followers on YouTube and found that most of them were ‘Twihards’ – often with usernames mentioning vampires and Twilight. So, she went and bought the book and discovered that one of the most mentioned songs in the book/movie was ‘Clair de Lune’ by Debussy. Amy did some further research and found that it was inspired by a poem by Paul Verlaine, which led to her decision to do a word-set adaptation/arrangement of the poem to Debussy’s melody – as she couldn’t find one to that particular melody. She has now loaded that one on YouTube and is working hard at promoting it on the sute through comments etc.
Amy finds the whole film-book-song-fan-video mix a fascinating study of culture and has even had someone make a fan-video of her song, “which I thought was way too weird and funny”.
Check out our interview with this interesting Christchurch muso as part of our Fresh Ideas: