New York-based audiovisual project Sound of Ceres create otherworldly, immersive visuals to accompany their celestial soundscapes. With new album, Emerald Sea, shimmering dreamscapes tell the story of how the universe comes to know itself. Written in three acts, it follows two deities who trail each other through the furthest reaches of experience, featuring poignant narration from Marina Abramović throughout. A truly captivating experience that’ll enliven the senses with its majestic cinematic splendour and orchestral grandeur.
We spoke to Sound Of Ceres – vocalist, lyricist and costumer K, songwriter and producer Ryan, songwriter and musician Derrick and costumer and light designer Jacob – about the five videos that have inspired their visuals and fed into their unique, innovative ideas for Emerald Sea. Have a read about their choices below and then watch the beautifully haunting video for album track ‘Arm Of Golden Flame‘ at the bottom of this feature.
The Smashing Pumpkins – ‘Tonight, Tonight’
This video, directed by Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris, takes me into my own early 1900s Lumière brothers fantasy. Turn of the century times when La Fée Electricité (Loïe Fuller) wore handmade dresses, seen dancing in light projections when harnessable electricity first presented itself. The handmade set pieces, opacity fades, physical world one can immerse themselves into makes this video transportive to me.
Björk – ‘Hidden Place’
The visuals for ‘Hidden Place’, directed by Inez van Lamsweerde & Vinoodh Matadin and M/M (Paris), made me realise that a music video doesn’t need a million cuts to be interesting. This is one entrancing camera shot the whole time, and has been the single biggest influence on my own video/visualiser work, which usually features a simple visual composition that moves or changes slowly over the entire length of the song.
Björk – ‘Isobel’
Directed by Michel Gondry, this is a synesthetic masterpiece. In my opinion, Gondry pulled off one of the most ambitious things a music video director can do: create a true visual parallel to the music that is equally dynamic and agile as their imagination. I love the surreal compositions (and visual effects) that blend nature and flowing water with Björk. I also love the black and white noir texture throughout.
Smoke City – ‘Underwater Love‘
Directed by Tim Macmillan and John Lynch, this is one of my favourites. The colours and contrast are perfect in a way that you can only get from actual film stock. The whole video is essentially just playing with time: a lot of delightful water shots played in reverse, and just when you start to wonder if all this backwards, Jean Cocteau-like stuff is able to carry a whole video, they throw in some really stunning, ghostly ‘time slice photography’. This video came out two years before everyone would see this method used in the first Matrix movie, and IMO, ‘Underwater Love’ uses it to much prettier effect. The whole thing is just sparkling and sexy and fun. Serious eye candy!
Virgina Astley – ‘Waiting To Fall’
Here, Virginia Astley performs ‘Waiting to Fall’ for an appearance on BBC2. This was filmed at the Coventry Electric Wharf in 1982, where the beautifully weightless song somehow fits perfectly into the backdrop of gleaming industrial (moving!) machinery.
Massive thanks to Sound Of Ceres for sharing their Five Favourites with us!
Emerald Sea, the immersive new album from Sound Of Ceres, is out now via Joyful Noise Watch the beautifully haunting video for ‘Arm Of Golden Flame’ here:
Photo Credit: Todd Eckert