Don't let the barriers you have built to define who you are blind you from appreciating the unfamiliar.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Sigur Rós - Untitled #1 (Vaka)

Sci-fi Music Videos Week, Day 2, Sigur Rós - Untitled #1 (Vaka)

Vaka truly illustrates the potential of the music video as an art form itself.

Sigur Ros is a prolific Icelandic band that you have probably heard in a movie, if you have heard an album. They have a very distinct sound, ethereal and atmospheric with very high-pitched vocals. Jónsi Birgisson sings both in Icelandic and Hopelandic, a nonsense language made up of syllable from the Icelandic language.

They started on Iceland's most well-known label, Smekkleysa (Bad Taste). It's a label started by the Sugarcubes, Iceland's indie gods from the 80s who helped shoot the lead singer, Bjork, to international fame. Iceland is a tiny island nation with a population smaller than Minneapolis, but they produce a lot of good music.

The video shares the sullen beauty that is exemplified in the song. School children bundle up to go outside and play in the flurries of ash of nuclear winter. Wearing WW2 style gas masks, they throw ashballs and make ashmen. The video ends a young boys mask falls off and he slip away.

The ending is very peculiar for a music video. The song ends nearly a minute before the end of the video, and the rest is done in silence, as if giving priority to the video and not the song. However, I don't believe this is the case. They are giving priority to the experience. The music and the visuals are interwoven to create a new work that conveys a new message and elicits a different emotional response. The absence of sound in the last minute is no longer silence, but a part of the song and completes the final product, the music video. Share/Bookmark

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