A WPRB Blog series by Nathan, WPRB Blog Staffer
I love the visual components that accompany songs or groups – from music videos to posters to album covers. In this series, I’ll be working my way through the artwork that comes along with your music.
I want to start with Sigur Ros’ Valtari Mystery Film Experiment.
The project tries to separate the video-making process from the artists’ visions. In their words, “the idea is to bypass the usual artistic approval process and allow people utmost creative freedom.”
(Of course, Sigur Ros chooses artists good enough to make sure that the films are all of the same ilk.)
Take for example this video:
In Ekki Mukk, director Nick Abrahams strengthens Sigur Ros’ melancholy music with a snail, a fox, a man, and narration. Abrahams calls it a “magical journey,” but it’s not the magic of witches and wizards.
Instead, the mood is dreamlike. Celestial. We see close-ups of both the snail in grass and the man in fields and forests. The mood is certainly melancholy, but not joyless. To the cynic, the video borders on contrived. To me, it makes me wonder, think. I am uplifted – if that’s possible – by melancholy.
In the film, time doesn’t matter: it passes slowly, in real, and rapidly. Stillness is one of this film’s greatest attributes, yet the objects that move do so with a purpose. Although the video covers only one day – from daytime to sunset – I feel like much more time has passed.
The whole thing, in my opinion, is improved by the fact Sigur Ros didn’t produce this video.
I love Sigur Ros’ aesthetic, and Abraham’s is no different. He brings a vision that complements the song while staying original. It may be of the same vein as Sigur Ros often follows (see Sæglópur http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=84i7zQ_ACnU or Glósóli http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=Zr_MJAOyOeU, two wonderful Sigur Ros videos), but it is also less – yes, less – ambiguous and more linear.
And its certainly different than other films of the project, two of which I hope to highlight in the next post.