Rarely do we give “Video of the Year” accolades so early, but unless Godzilla starts playing the violin – we’re pretty sure the Toby Stretch-directed and animated video for Christopher Bono’s “Unity” is it.
Filmed and animated over the course of several months during the 2013-2014 winter, “Unity” was constructed from over ten thousand pictures. To say the 5 minute stop-animation video is a visual stunner is nothing short of an understatement as it ranks up there in imagination from anything produced by Pixar’s or Dreamworks Animation’ short film production houses and definitely along the lines in production value of Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride.
Graphics and animation aside, what makes Stretch’s film so resonating is how it captures the emotional complexity of Bono’s “Unity.” With Bono’s “Unity” the listener is enwrapped with outer-body tones and tranquility amidst a grounded world of lost directives. Stretch visualizes Bono’s work through a warped urbanized world full of convulsion and drudgery. Here we look at essentially inanimate objects brought to life and somehow “sympathize” with them. But what they are brought to life for is not the shock and awe of “Unity.” Amongst a mesh of fabric and coils, come figures of isolation and grief, dragging as they move yet incredibly full of wrought expression. It’s an almost miserable existence to conjure as we see beings brought forth to a life of abandonment. Hazy and dreamlike, “Unity” feels very real in human emotion despite its world of rag doll creatures.
Bono set the text to “Unity” from from a section of Plato’s Republic in which Plato discusses the power of mathematics, but Bono interprets the philosophies as metaphors for the phenomenon of meditation. “Unity” is eloquently still for most of its length and exudes a strong but passive awareness of self throughout. A longing is felt throughout Bono’s work but for what is left wide open for interpretation and context.
Despair and loneliness abound in the music video for “Unity,” Bono and Stretch take the viewer in a cold-hearted look at a lost, almost vagabond soul as he resuscitated into a new being of transcendence. The hugging of the unworldly characters 3:38 in feels genuine; it feels coveted.
By the end of the video, the viewer is left with a sense of oneness but the feeling of closure is left wide open.
The video is the second in a series for Bono’s “The Unexcelled Mantra” and “Unity,” two of his most ambitious choral works to date. “Unity” is clear and above not only one of 2014’s most imaginative music videos (definitively at least one of the best classical music video of the last 3 years), its also one of the best narrative-driven videos of ANY genre.
“Unity” which is available off the Unity & The Unexcelled Mantra EP is available now.
Christopher Bono’s new album Bardo (one of our top albums to watch for in 2014) is due out later this Summer.This entry was posted in General and tagged choral, christopher bono, unity on .
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