Listening to music is an aural experience. Watching a video is in itself a visual experience. Viewing a music video combines the two in a (sometimes) good way. All of us remember certain music videos and how they enhanced our appreciation of a particular song. For me, one of those was Becoming The Archetype’s video for Magnetic Sky.
But seriously, I still enjoy watching that. Jimmie Myers and Troy Stains deserve all the credit for that fine piece of work. If pressed about my most memorable music video, I’d probably have to say “Paranoid Android” by Radiohead. They have lots of fine music videos, but I can remember the time and place and impression of my first viewing of that video and how much it affected my view of Radiohead as a band and of OK Computer as an album.
Much like album art, I love it when bands put effort into great music videos. I generally enjoy the videos put out by Coldplay (have you seen the videos for Fix You or Paradise?) and Blink 182 and even Red Hot Chili Peppers. I’m hard-pressed to come up with anything really awesome in the Christian music underground, but I’m sure someone can remind me. I did enjoy some MxPx videos back in the day.
There’s an element of creativity that reveals itself when a creative bit of music is seamlessly paired with a creative bit of video. If music is a primary gateway to the soul (and I believe strongly that it is) and video is a primary gateway to the mind (teachers everywhere affirm the fundamental connection between observation and education), then in music videos, there is the distinct possibility of the unification of the two most powerful elements of the human essence: soul and mind!
Our deepest emotions are seated in our soul (cue arguments over where the soul is located as per the transhumanity column I did here on MM) and our cognitive processes are seated in our minds. Often, I think, the two operate in a loosely-connected manner, vaguely aware of each other’s processes. At least that’s the way I view the inner workings of my mind and soul. But in a powerful music video, the processes of the two spheres of human experience are united in a shared experience that draws together the concrete and the abstract. That is powerful!
The ability of a well-conceived music video to accomplish this task is unique and profound. In a way, it’s a fusion of the left side of the brain with the right side of the brain. By that, I mean that the concrete, practical part of your mental process gets synced (or should I say N*Sync?) with the abstract, theoretical part of your mental process. And if you’ll allow it, that fusion can be a powerful experience.
Know what I mean, jelly bean?