This past season has been healthy for animation, as demonstrated in these nine scored videos (plus one bonus video related to Voyager‘s golden disc). These directors share a keen sense of imagination as well as a great deal of patience. Animation may look fluid and fun, but it’s never been a quick art; each second of film may reflect hours, even days of work. Hats off to all of the directors, sound designers and untold numbers of team members who toil away to bring us their art.
Our overture video is a lesson in synaesthesia that seems capable of provoking a synaesthetic reaction in those who have never experienced one. Although the condition is extreme, most people possess at least a mild form, making associations of music with hue and other similar connections. Multiple songs are used in the score, ranging from Linear Bells to Nine Inch Nails ~ kudos to those who are able to to recognize the songs without reading the credits!
Director: Oscar Lopez Rocha
Music: 29 tracks in three minutes!
Concept and Drawings: Tarik Berber
Digital Compositing: Maria Pia Fanigliulo
Music: Charlie Lewis & Kenny Parish
This surreal, dissociative hand-drawn video may be about fish, dreaming, the afterlife or none of the above. The dulcitone symbolizes all “lost and forgotten things”, but this video will not be forgotten so easily. Colors, images and words flash, intermingle and blur, providing a treat for the senses.
We should make strange things
Directors: Naoki Niwa & Tadahiro Gunji
The title speaks for itself, as Niwa & Gunji’s strange and beautiful thing combines the subject matter of the previous two videos – synaesthesia and dreams – to form a complex whole. Reflecting its jazz score, the video riffs on a theme without ever losing its bearings. Props to the shape-singing bird.
Samba ~ Loop
Music: DJ Fernandez
33 seconds of pure fun. The title suggests that the video would make a fine endless loop, but we’re glad the director stopped here. Who knows how many hours we’d spend watching if it never ended? Most people will have a favorite character; mine is the blue circle. Oh, wait, he’s not a circle!
Director: Kim Taylor
Music: Björk, “Frosti”
More pretty circles, but this time with an astronomical bent. If only science had been this interesting in school, I might have had a different career! (Not that I’m complaining about my current career!) Kim Taylor makes an excellent teacher, putting old textbooks to wondrous work. “Frosti” was an inspired choice for the score, and we expect a certain Icelander will be happy with the pairing.
The Clockmakers/Les Horlogers
Director: Renaud Hallée
With this video, we make the switch from circles to triangles. “The Clockmakers” begins simply and grows progressively more complex. The biggest surprise is that it is presented by the National Film Board of Canada. Who knew that a corporate entity could be so cool, so in tune, so distinctly now? This video is a perfect blend of sight and sound, made with the aid of real trampolinists, none of which (we hope) were harmed during the filming.
Hiatus ~ We Can Be Ghosts Now (feat. Shura)
Director: Tom Jobbins
Music: Hiatus (feat. Shura)
And now, triangles in love. One would not think a love story between geometrical shapes would be so affecting, but this one strikes at the gut, combining a Romeo and Juliet storyline with intimations of the 9/11 tragedy. If this were live action, it would be too much to take.
Director: Saki Iyori
Music: Yuki Sato
You need a hug now, right? This video is the perfect balm, a gentle bedtime story for kids (who may still be watching “Loop” and need to be calmed down). Yuki Sato’s song is not yet on iTunes, but it needs to be; it’s a sweet charmer as well.
Vial of Sound ~ A Lifetime Passed
Director: ori toor
Music: Vial of Sound
“A Lifetime Passed” comes across as a blend of Akira and Princess Mononoke, a fluid explosion of movement and color. It’s like a mobile come to life, with benign monsters hiding in the breeze.
Bonus: My Face Is In Space
Director: Tom Jobbins
This last entry (by the same director as “We Can Be Ghosts Now”) is not a music video, but a video about a golden record ~ more specifically, about a person whose image was on a golden record, and even more specifically, the golden record. Voyager‘s infamous space-bound disc includes not only music, but pictures, and if a civilization ever finds it and figures out how to play it, who knows what the results might be? In the meantime, our own fantasies expand and contract back here on earth.