In the midst of holiday festivities, insanity settles in.
Perhaps Ólafur Arnalds had this in mind when he posted the Michael Zoidis & Jodie Southgate video for his and Nils Frahm’s collaboration song, “a2”. Perhaps he knew we needed an overwhelming calmness to bring us back to Earth. Perhaps he knew we’d be thankful for the sweet serenity of his music — and we are.
But perhaps it was a mindless gesture to showcase the talented works of Zoidis and Southgate perfectly matching sounds that drown listeners in relieved clarity.
Created by milk, food coloring, vinegar, and a macro lens, Zoidis directed the video with the mindset of his inner-child exploring a chemistry set. As we watch, his nostalgia reflects onto ourselves as we see the tiny details in an amused, childlike perspective of experiencing intricate details for the first time. We’re hypnotized by the jellyfish-like spiraling colors and textures slowly morphing into one another until the original visual is forgotten and a new fleet of colors trickles across the screen.
The balance between Ólafur Arnalds and Nils Frahm’s classical sound and the mosaic of evolving details achieves the zen mindlessness found in meditation. The viewer’s stress is swept away with the bubbling colors fading into splatters and shapes. In the end, a moon is revealed before it transitions into the Erased Tapes logo, reminding us that all the small things have a home. To the viewer, the shift into the moon might even hint that perhaps, possibly, the small details aren’t too different from our own lives.
And in that, the hectic holiday insanity washes away just a little.
Amy Anderson is a Magazine Journalism major at University of Georgia. She enjoys reviewing music and film of all kinds, and hopes to add more to the experience of listening or watching by adding critical perspective and showing various sides to works that audiences love (or hate, or feel indifferent towards). As well, when writing features, she strives to offer a glimpse into the artist’s creative process or ideology through engaging stories or thoughts. Her goal is to offer audiences unseen insight on creative works while opening eyes to worthwhile music and art. Amy's current five favorite musicians— though it’s always in rotation— are Andrew Bird, Beirut, Björk, John Maus, and Milosh. Her "guilty" pleasure is Robyn— if you don’t like her, you’re probably just pretending.