In the early months of the COVID-19 shutdown, Klick Health managing director Greg Rice found himself deeply moved by a socially and geographically distanced performance of “Appalachian Spring” by members of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. Knowing that more than a few of his Klick peers were musicians and performers – he plays the drums, while VP, media planning and strategy/multi-instrumentalist Jay Manara once opened for Kiss as a member of Frankie Whyte and the Dead Idols – Rice started to brainstorm about engineering a similar project.
“I thought, ‘What if we can actually make this happen?’” Rice said. “The song selection needed to be meaningful and send a hopeful message… It kind of rolled from there.”
The project, a video of 20 Klick staffers performing a cover of Johnny Nash’s “I Can See Clearly Now,” debuted at the agency’s monthly breakfast meeting on Thursday. Director, video production Colin O’Young assembled the clip from some 40 tracks featuring Wurlitzer organ, flute, oboe and ukulele.
As much as the project was a product of intense collaboration – Rice shared a reference track with all participants to ensure uniform tuning and pace, as well as detailed instructions about sound levels and lighting – he said it was created in relative solitude. “Recording is actually a very stark thing, because you have headphones on and you’re listening to the [reference] track,” he explained. “But musicians want to share… It lit a spark with the musician community at Klick.”
Watch Klick’s performance of “I Can See Clearly Now” below.