This week I’m presenting two videos featuring music by Jon Hopkins, one of my favourite electronic music producers.
First up is Open Eye Signal, directed by Aoife McArdle. Before even seeing the video, I was a big fan of the song as it brought to mind a vibe similar to Hold Tight London by The Chemical Brothers; combining a rolling beat, hope and movement. The video cleverly incorporates freedom in a total sense, that of running away from the past; negative, and towards the future; the hopeful. There isn’t one without the other, it tells us.
The boy, bruised, bitter and fleeing from an unnamed threat, moves through contrasting sweeps of open landscapes and closed suburbia, differing climates and varying degrees of wealth. The expert use of focal depth and color tone (signature features of McArdle’s work) highlights and obscures aspects of the journey he takes. Bruises heal, peace rises, the playfulness and joy in him develops, fears lessen; all to the melodic and meditative pulse.
Directed by Aoife McArdle
Nigel Stanford’s latest track, filmed by Shahir Daud, is an astounding experiment in sound and music, a process named ‘cymatics’, using speakers and amplifiers to generate a visual representation of sound. Water, grains of salt and even fire-jets twist and distort to the varying air-pressures.
Daud chose to film this in industrial tones of grey and black, using stripped construction concrete and sharp fluorescent lighting as the backdrop. Standford’s presence is duplicated in similar tones, anonymous behind his instruments, combining himself with them as fused mechanisms of music, science and biology.
The message is powerful: music, even in group settings, is seen as relativistic experience, yet by showing us the effect of the same expression on physical objects rather than humans, and sinking the creator himself into the background, we see the natural world isolated, emphasized and rediscovered as the arbiter of human experience. We have sent out probes into the universe as carriers of music and frequency to express human kind to the heavens and Stanford and Daud show a simulacrum of this in a combinatorial depiction of the mechanistic, the electronic and the elemental.
Directed by: Shahir Daud