Andrew Goodwin’s 6 Features of Music Videos Owl City – Fireflies
The TheoryAndrew Goodwin suggests 6 features that can be found in music videos;• 1. There is a relationship between lyrics and visuals – the lyrics are represented by images.• 2. That there is a relationship between music and visuals so the atmosphere and tone are reflected visually through the music. There are 3 ways in which the visuals respond to music; Illustrate – so the video has a set of images to the illustrate the meaning of the lyrics & genre (very common) Amplify – The meanings of the songs are added to the visuals, so it adds a layer of meaning. Disjuncture – When the meaning of the song is completely ignored.• 3. Another feature is that the music video demonstrates genre characteristics e.g. Girl bads dancing, live performances for Rock bands.• 4. Record label demands lots of close ups of the artist and the artist may develop motifs that recur throughout all their work.• 5. The frequent reference to notion looking and voyeuristic treatment of the female body.• 6. Intersexual reference, so it may include clips from movies, tv programmes etc.
Lyrics & Visuals “Fireflies” “slowly”“as they tried to teach “as Fox trot above my “a disco ball that’s justme how to dance” head” hanging by a thread”
Lyrics & Visuals(repetition of ‘Thread’) “cause everything is never as it seems” “please take me away from here”
Lyrics & Visuals“cause I saved a few and “I’d like to make myselfkept them in a jar” believe” Throughout the video there are loads of visuals representing the lyrics. Usually the more important words that stand out get represented. The words that he takes longer to say get shown on the spelling thing. Then the last lines of each verse e.g “A disco ball that’s hanging by a thread” and “I saved a few and I kept them in a jar” get represented exactly what the lyrics say they are.
Music and Visuals Illustrate & Amplify When the artist presses ‘Start’ on the machine the music starts to play. The start of the song is some small little beats and the lights amplify with the music, each light turns on with each beat. Then on the ‘Typo Speak’ it spells “Hello” along with the beats. So its all in synchronous.
Music and Visuals Illustrate & Amplify Similar to the start, the artist presses the button and a downer beat starts to play. Before the music starts to speed up there is a whooshing noise and the record player moves in time with it, complimenting and amplifying it.For 4 seconds 0:59 - 1:04 the lights amplify with the down-beat of the piano.
Musical and Visuals Illustrate & Amplify Repeating what happened, before the chorus starts there’s another whooshing sound and the globe spin to amplify it. When the artist sings “Please take me away from here” the eyes of this robot blink for each word he says.
Music and Visuals Illustrate & AmplifyAlmost before the song ends, the artist presses ‘Stop’ and all the lights repeat theprocess of what they did before but instead switching off to the beats of thepiano (including the Typo Speak that spells goodbye) and the artist places hishead down as if he’s shutting himself off too.
Music and Visuals Illustrate & AmplifyThe artist presses this button somewhere around the start of the musicvideo and the toys in the room start coming to life slowly when he does. Soit illustrates the meaning of the song. The song describes childhoodfeelings etc and the toys in the video combine well with the meaning. Itsalmost as if its illustrating a dream and escaping reality so all very magical.However when the song ends, the toys stop, the lights go off and even theartist himself bends his head down as if to say that the dream is over andhe’s sleeping normally.
Music and Visuals Overview• The visuals speed up in the chorus and amplify with the music•The toys come to life rapidly with the beat of the music•Visuals compliment the music very well.•Illustration and amplifying work together in this video because the use ofimages gives us the meaning of the song but then the visuals addmeaning on it.•No disjuncture is present. The meaning of the song e.g. childhood,dreams, magic is seen throughout the music video by being aided withvisuals.
Genre CharacteristicsThe genre of this song (and the Artist) is Electronica and Synthpo. Synthpo wasa style of music developed in the 80’s. The artist is performing the song on aLowrey Spinit Organ which was a popular instrument in the 80’s also. Thecharacteristics are shown with the 80’s toys used throughout the video.
Record Label DemandsThere are many close-ups of the artist himself from the side of his face. He never addressesthe audience directly, he keeps his eyes closed and just looks down so this could symbolisethat he is in a dream world while sleeping.He has a very different style to other artists – Just him and his organ/piano (because he’s aone man band). There is no dancing and not a single swearword used throughout. Just a niceshuttle music video.
Notion to Looking. It’s a very exciting and busy video for every second there is a different thing to look at. The video is dominated by bright lights and toys that keep the audience entertained and interested. There is always something going on. There is no voyeurism – because the theme of the song is about childhood dreams/innocence. No women are mentioned at all or are present in the video.
Intertexual ReferenceGoodwins final point about intertexual reference isn’t applicable for this musicvideo. There is no references to any films, tv programmes or any other musicvideos. Its just a very random but meaningful video.