AnimationNew work

Haunting music video scales heights of emotional intensity

The promo for prog rock hero Steve Wilson's new single harnesses the starkness of classic Russian animation to tell a heartrending story.

Since leaving his prog rock band Porcupine Tree, musician and producer Steve Wilson has pushed the boundaries of experimental and ambient music. And the promo video for his latest single, The Raven That Refused to Sing, needed to reflect the same qualities.

Animators Jessica Cope and Simon Cartright took up the challenge, and they've produced a masterpiece of atmospheric animation.

Clearly inspired by the work of Russian animator Yuriy Norshteyn (best known for the incredible Tale of Tales) the intense atmosphere of this imaginative and thought provoking short brings the haunting story of the song to evocative life. The stark and simplistic animation style - based largely on the gentle movements of hand-cut paper models - fits the mood perfectly.

Psychological themes

The animation explores themes such as fear, mental instability and grief, referencing psychological theories such as Jungian archetypes; in particular the metaphor of the shadow, which the protagonist runs from throughout the story. Which is more than can be said for the average music video.

Other credits go to Topher Holland for special effects, William Powell for additional animation, and additional artwork from Beth Jupe, Paul Davies, Alison Cross and Louise Smurthwaite.

Words: Alex Williamson

Alex Williamson is an art and design student in London, who blogs about design, art and illustration. Follow him on Twitter.

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