An essentially amateur music video created for the song "Esther"
from the Phish album Junta, this early example of outside
collaboration with the now-legendary jam band is a tribute to
Phish's eclectic and interactive spirit. Shown to the public only
once, between sets at a show at the Somerville Theater in
Somerville, Massachusetts on July 19, 1991, the Esther video has
gained semi-legendary status over the years as a footnote in Phish
sourcebooks like The Pharmer's Almanac and as a series of shadowy
images on fan videos of the event. It was a crude thing, more of a
storyboard set to music than a real video, with a series of
cartoonish drawings illustrating the vocals and primitive,
repetitive computer art bridging the long instrumental sections that
came between the song's narrative verses. I am the creator of both
the drawings and the semi-animation that is the Esther video, and
for these last fourteen years one of only a handful of people in
possession of the video in its final form. I created it when I was a
new college graduate, not yet settled on a path, and was therefore
open to trying something more challenging than I could recognize.
The Esther video was part work assignment, part artistic experiment,
and, as it turns out, a small part of a much larger cultural
phenomenon. It was, as I said, a crude thing as a video, but I'm
proud of many of its elements, particularly the drawings, and I'm
happy to bring that central part of it back out of limbo and onto
the Web for Phish fans to (hopefully) enjoy.