Music Videos – The symbolic and the surreal.

The symbolic and the surreal in Music Videos. 

Every Art form (Painting, Sculpture, Literature, Music and Film) have developed through different aesthetic movements according to the social and expressive needs of the times. For example : lets take a look at the paintings of the Renaissance, and compare them to the Cubist movement in the Twentieth Century. There are very marked differences in these two . Each one was a reflection of the social, economical, political and cultural traits.

Art is not only a mirror reflection of society and culture, but a need to break the boundaries of perception, and the physical frame of self.

The industrial revolution and the discovery of  “the cinématographeestablished a path  for the marriage of film (a new art form) to every other art form. Film has borrowed from all aesthetic movements, and at  the same time has influenced these art forms The most  notorious  filmmakers,  e.g. Bergman, Buñuel, Arrabal, Tarkovsky, Cocteau, Dulac experimented with surreal imagery attempting  to artistically convey  the human experience on the kinesthetic and unconscious realms. Music Videos are a direct result of the close relationship between all the arts. They are particularly  influenced by the Modernist and Post-Modernist movements of the last two centuries. 

Representing the lyrics, rhythm, or theme in Music Videos.

Many ideas can be incorporated from related subjects to the song. We can get inspiration  from the vast library of works available from accomplished  filmmakers, poets, writers, pop culture and historical events, and also from social issues of current interest. Let’s not forget that In music videos, the concept and visuals should represent the commercial needs of the musician andsell the musical piece itself. We should never forget that Music Videos must primarily promote the music and the artist. Many basic forms of Music Videos, with different structural and visual approaches have become popular through the years.

I will try to outline the three but not definite basic forms.

  1. Narrative
  2. Conceptual ( Abstract)
  3. Live Performance

Narrative Music Videos :The filmmaker presents a story that is related to the lyrics in a usual and /or free-style way of narrative, following in a creative way the norms of a Film Montage.

Conceptual Music Videos : Conceptual Music Videos are aimed to the unconscious, expressing feelings and inner perceptual experiences with the use of symbolic or archetypal imagery. These are very much influenced by paintings, poetry, digital art and the experimental video techniques used in Video Art.

Live Performance Music Videos : The music and musicians are presented to the audience in a Stage Concert or in a constructed set specially created for the Music Video Production.

Inspiration for creating Music Videos.

In my case, as a director the process starts with a simple and basic question. What if ?  This has been the key question behind many of the most amazing inventions in human history. This question rises endless possibilities for the creation of a visual treatment for a musical composition. Now that we know that Music Videos have been directly influenced by every art form and every movement in Art History, we can resume by saying that not only Music Videos are a great marketing tool for the record labels and artists, but an Art Form in itself that will continue to feed from and influence all other arts forms.




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