Monday, 31 October 2011

WS - The meaning of the lyrics

An important thing to do before coming up with any ideas for our Music Video is to have a clear idea on what we see as the meaning of the lyrics. Below are the lyrics for the song:

Everything about you is how I wanna be
Your freedom comes naturally
Everything about you resonates happiness
Now I won't settle for less

Give me all the peace and joy in your mind

Everything about you pains my envying
Your soul can't hate anything
Everything about you is so easy to love
They're watching you from above

Give me all the peace and joy in your mind
I want the peace and joy in your mind
Give me the peace and joy in your mind

Everything about you resonates happiness
Now I won't settle for less

Give me all the peace and joy in your mind
I want the peace and joy in your mind
Give me the peace and joy in your mind
Lyrics taken from AZ Lyrics

To look into the meaning of the song, I first used the internet to see what other people thought the lyrics meant. Rob already had an idea, as put forward in his pitch, but we felt it would be a good idea to get a number of views on the meaning before considering our idea. Here are some quotes that I have found:

"i think this song is about envying the way a certain person is...admiring the persons morals/views/way of life...etc"
"well personally i think this is more about admiring someone and realsing that they're just a bit 2 perfect, and admiration turns into envy which turns into hatred"
"i saw an interview in which matt bellamy said that this song is about loving somebody just for who they are and not wanting anything in return."
"I always thought bliss was about how he could see simplicity and so much joy in the lives of religious people. but could never really give himself completely to faith. but "I wont settle for less" kind of ruins that! yeah loving someone perfect"
"here's the synopsis of bliss one would get straight from the muse book (good bit of reading, i recommend it if you haven't already read it) it reads: "The seemingly summery lyrics belied a kind of world-weary bitterness from a protagonist who has seen too much yet strives for the unobtainable purity of innocence." well, there you have it, the published version of the meaning of bliss."
 "It is definately about admiring someone very much. Not necesarily combined with love, but it could be. He loves the way this person is, but he doesn't have to be IN love with her/him."
"the song is clearly about Matthew Bellamy's love and admiration for his idol, Thom Yorke."
"its about finding bliss. In the music video, he looks upon the other band member floating in the room: "Your freedom (freedom from the doubt in life) comes naturally." The guy in the room has natural bliss, where he has no doubt in his mind. Matt wants this. Weightlessness is a metaphor for this blissful state. Bliss is the ignorance of doubt. In the room, weightlessness comes naturally. Matt tries to "forget his weight" by falling in to the hole. When he closes his eyes, he can get the feel of this freedom/peacefulness."
 [All of the above quotes were taken from ]

Some of the above quotes refer to what they can see in the video, as well as the lyrics. For this reason, I will embed the video below:

 Having looked at other people's views on the meaning, we then need to look at what we think is the meaning of the lyrics and the song. Our initial ideas are based on the idea Rob talked about in his pitch. After discussing the ideas for the meaning, we have decided that we agree that this is a likely meaning:

The protagonist is unsettled within himself. He is envious of another person who is settled with themself. The protagonist is also very jealous and wants to take away this person's perfection so that they no longer have to feel envy towards the person.
 The above is our first, initial ideas on the meaning of the lyrics. Initial ideas are also based around the lyrics, although these are likely to change over the course of the Video making.

Below is Rob's pitch so that you can view it to see his ideas more in depth, and hear him talk about his ideas regarding the lyrics:



Wednesday, 26 October 2011

RS - Muse's Bliss in Cyberspace

With Bliss being around for over 10 years now it has influenced many fans worldwide who have made use of Youtube and editing software available at home to create their own "fan edits" of the Bliss music videoThere are many instrumental covers of the song by people as well as full remakes of the video as well as full studio cover recordings which can all be seen below. These all show that there is definatley an audience out there that is still interested in the song even after 10 years and we hope to target that audience when creating our production of the song.

Here is the entire music video created frame by frame in cartoon form. Made by someone and uploaded to Youtube. The video currently has 2,801 views on Youtube.

There is anothe version of the music video created by another Youtuber using After Effects which has 11,772 views.

Someone else created an "8-bit" version of the song similar to a song from an old N64 game. This video has 48,843 views

There is also a full piano and vocal cover on Youtube with 173,118 views

Here is a guitar cover of the song with 17,229 views

There is a full drum cover of the song with 12,678 views

And there is a whole band cover of the song by one of Muse's best known tribute bands named Muscle Museum (named after the Muse song) with 2,008 views

On Youtube there is a studio recording of the song by tribute band "Muse-ic" it has 1,093 views

As well as a live version of the song with 1,122 views

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

WS - Original Muse Bliss Video

As a group we settled on the idea to carry through Rob's pitch and use the song "Bliss" by Muse for our production. Muse had already created a video for this song, but as it was over ten years old  we were allowed to use it for our idea.

A video that is ten years old seems an appropriate time to re-brand it and recreate the video for a younger and youthful audience. We will have our own idea for the video which is obviously important, as the audience for the video has changed so it would be quite pointless to simply recreate the same video that Muse themselves did.

However, it would always be beneficial to look at the original video for inspiration, and so that we can do the band and the song justice. Our target audience would obviously include fans of the band, and so we need to keep the video original, but not so far away from the style of the band that we lose out on that target audience. 

For this reason, we need to look carefully into this video and to look for inspiration. We would be limited in how much we can take from the video because of factors such as budgets, special fx and the settings/props we have access too, but any inspiration or tips we can pick up from the video would be very helpful. 

Below is the original version of Muse's "Bliss":

Monday, 24 October 2011

RS - Muse The Ultimate Guide

RS - Muse - "The Ultimate Guide"

Earlier this year NME released two short videos highlighting the main events throughout Muse's career. Similar to the post I created a few days ago (which can be seen here) it goes through each year and tells the story all the way from their start to 2010.

Part 1:

Part 2: 

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

RS - Muse's Music Videos

Muse have released five studio albums from various different genres and from that released several music videos on each of the albums since 1999. There first music video was from their debut album and was called Uno. Most of the music videos are a hybrid of two of Goodwin's types, usually a narrative with performance footage cross cut into the narrative for effect however concept + performance has been used on different occassions.

Showbiz - 1999 Like I said before, Muse's first music video was for the song Uno which was off the albumShowbiz. The song actually has two music videos, however after research there didn't seem to be a reason as to why. 

The "strips/bands" above + below the "Muse" text
Influence from the Muse logo (see logo to right)
The first music video is very very basic and is a concept/performance music video. Basically the video contains footage of the band members stood still in the frame whilst passers-by just walk off in the rush hour. The music video also has performance footage from the band soundchecking in for the performance aspect. The editing is very simple and could easily be repeated in our coursework. The "strips" on the bands logo can be clearly distinguished throughout the music video around each of the clip which again can be achieved by us. Overall the budget appears to be very low and could have been done in just one day of filming. The budget is low mainly because the band has only just started out so there is no following as of yet. Looking back on the music video in 2005 Bellamy and Howard were "embarrassed"

Here is the first music video for the song 

Narrative side to the music video
The second music video for the song is still fairly low budgetted however it does have a narrative side to it along with the performance side. The narrative side to the music video is of a girl searching for the band performing (which is cross cut inbetween the narrative). On several occassions the girl appears to be at the correct door however opens it to find nothing or even a huge drop off which she luckily manages to stop herself from falling.

Origin Of Symmetry - 2001 Muse's second studio album saw a release of new music videos and also an increase in the budgets due to their success from Showbiz. From this they could go to further lengths with the music videos and achieve a greater result.
SFX in the music video
New Born from Origin of Symmetry clearly shows the increase in budget by the fact that right from the start there are sfx used, also they filmed the crowd on a screen and added them in seperatley after which is a long way from standing in a street with people walking past. In an interview Wolstenholme said "I think it was the first decent video that we did". The music video is a hybrid between a narrative and performance which is fairly typical for the genre.

An interesting fact about New Born!:When Muse played on the TV show "Live and Kicking" (ironic name!) the BBC producers asked Muse to mime the song. Instead they decided to swap Chris and Dom around to different instruments and Matt just proceeded to mess around. They have done this on countless occassions when asked to mime on TV shows and most notibly in 2009 when they all swapped instruments on an Italian show which can be seen here. They see the whole miming thing as a complete joke and pointless. They only use miming on music videos. I think some other artists today should do the same!

Thermal Imaging Camera effect
Absolution - 2003 The music video for Stockholm Syndrome saw a different angle to the range of music videos from Muse. This video is a concept combined with performance and is very unique. The music video has been shot entirely with thermal imaging cameras to give a very distinct shot. The concept side of the music video is basically pouring/dripping water onto the band members face along with just messing around to give a very cool effect on the thermal cameras whilst the majority of the video is performance based and nothing much else. The budget has been raised again as they are using these special cameras. 

Performance - lip syncing

There is another music video for this song which has been released for the US and is a performance/narrative hybrid music video. The basic narrative is the band are playing on an American chatshow and performing to the show audience. The video uses sfx and stuntmen when the chaos happens on the chatshow and there are a fair ammount of extras used within the video. The budget would probably be higher than the UK version of the song due to the sfx and the props they use within the video to destroy everything within the location.

Performance in front of a green screen
Black Holes and Revelations - 2006 2006 saw Muse releasing a music video which is almost entirely using sfx. Invincible is a hybrid between a narrative music video and performance footage. The performance side is cross cut between as usual.  However the majority is filmed infront of a green screen and uses sfx to great effect. The narrative for the music video is based on the theme park ride "it's a small world" and it basically runs through the events of the history of the world such as Ancient Egypt, Rome and World War 2 then the end is some sort of madness between all the time periods. The performance footage is of the band riding on this theme park ride whilst playing their instruments within the boat.

Behind the Scenes type shot
The Resistance - 2009 2009 saw the return of a fairly basic music video however with a more recent touch to it. Like the old Muse music videos it seems fairly low budget and the location is fairly small too with not too much happening however there are the few sfx with the text. The music video is a hybrid between a concept and a performance video because of the band playing to the cameras etc. There are interesting shots where it shows some sort of "behind the scenes" shots which are very well framed and look good, which we could take inspiration from. The music video is for Undisclosed Desires.

B-side videos There are a few examples of B-side music videos. In your World is an example which is fairly simple apart from a few sfx which have been used in the editing software. The basic idea of the music video is a performance video which has footage from Hullabaloo (2001 live DVD) cross cut with studio recording. Multi-layering has been used in the video along with a few strange video effects were Bellamy's face goes sort of see-through which could be hard for us to replicate as I am not sure how it is done.

Camera on the headstock
Another example of a b-side video would be Dead Star. This was made back in 2002 and you can tell because of the very low budget feel to it. The video only cost £50 to make and was filmed on Sony Handycams, however filmed in Winston Churchill's house! The video was colour graded to give it a dark and grainy effect. There are a few nice examples of the camera on the headstock of the guitar which could be used by us in our coursework on the performance footage. The music video is performance based and features the band performing in a basement so it will not have taken long at all and with that budget it is perfectly achieveable by us. I think because of the fact it is a b-side they just wanted to rush the video and get it out there. The editing is very fast though so if we wanted to have similar results we would need tonnes of coverage!

Monday, 17 October 2011

RS - The History Of Muse

Muse - Dom, Matt and Chris (left to right)
Muse are a three piece band formed in 1994, in Teignmouth, Devon. Muse consist of Matt Bellamy, (guitar, piano, keyboard, keytar and lead vocalist)Chris Wolstenholme (bassist, backing vocals, keyboard and guitar) and Dom Howard (percussion, synth and human bones) and have kept the same line up since they began. Since 2006 Muse have been joined on stage by Morgan Nicholls to help play some rhythm guitar, bass, piano and extra vocals on some songs. Muse are known for putting on exhilarating live performances and have been named "best band in the world" and "best live band" on multiple occasions. They have released songs/albums from a wide range of different genres such asspace rocknew progelectronicaheavy metalprog rock and classical to name a few however they are most commonly labelled as Alternative Rock. To date they have released five studio albums. Showbiz (1999), Origin of Symmetry(2001), Absolution (2003), Black Holes and Revelations (2006) and The Resistance (2009) And another album in the works rumoured to be released some time in spring/summer next year. Muse have also released three live albums, Hullabaloo (2002), Absolution Tour (2005) and H.A.A.R.P (2008).

Reading 1992 line-up
1992 - 1992 is a key year for Muse. As it was the first time they all attended the Reading Festival together and saw bands such as Nirvana perform a spectacular set and is said to be one of the best of their career. (Reading 1992 was very important to Nirvana as well, as it was their last UK concert due toKurt Cobain's death) From the festival the three saw what they wanted to do for the rest of their lives and be like Nirvana on that stage at some point. From that they thought they would give it a go and atleast see what happened. They had all seen each other play around school and thought it wouldn't be a bad idea. They were in different bands over the years/months prior to this but found that something special sparked when they played together. This is where their journey began.

Muse - 1994
1994 - Saw the "proper" start of Muse in a small retirement village in Devon. It is also a key time as it was their first performance and at the time they were known as the "Rocket Baby Dolls" with a goth/glam image and they entered a local "battle of the bands" competition smashing all of their instruments in the process of the gig. Bellamy said "It was supposed to be a protest, a statement"..."so, when we actually won, it was a real shock. A massive shock. After that, we started taking ourselves seriously" After that they got rid of the current name and came up with Muse due to it "looking good on gig posters" and because someone suggested that the reason that a lot of bands were forming around Teignmouth was due to a muse hanging around the town.

£4,214 for four songs!
1995 - 1995 is a key event for a rather strange reason. It is because of a cassette recording of "This is a Muse demo" which contains four songs all composed and written by Matt. The demo was recorded in Chris' house and the songs were never released. However on the 23rd of May 2011 a recording of the tape was surfaced on Youtube and the demo was posted on ebay and later sold for £4,214 to a Muse collector...that's only £1,053 per song, what a bargin! The cover of the tape says "Geobell Music" It is thought that Geobell is short for George Bellamy, and that he helped record the demo. Matthew Bellamy either spelt his name wrong or 'Mat' was how he spelt his name at the time.

The Newton Abbot Demo (1997
1997 - An occurance similar to 1995 happened in 1997 with the release of the "Newton Abbot Demo" which was again written and composed by Bellamy and recorded in Newton Abbot Studios in 1996/7. This tape went through a similar process to the last however it was put on ebay in 2008 and Muse fans all donated money together to purchase the tape. Around £2,500 was raised and then digital copies were released and shared for free. 

Muse (EP) - 1998
1998 - 1998 saw the debut EP for Muse called...."Muse (EP)999 hand-numbered copies were made and it was released on 11 May 1998 by Sawmills Studio label Dangerous Records. Three of the EP's four songs – "Overdue", "Cave" and "Escape" – were re-recorded for the band's full-length debut album Showbiz, while the song "Coma" turned into a B-side of the "Cave" Single. On the cover of the EP is a distorted and re-arranged image of the band's drummer, Dominic Howard. 

Showbiz - Muse's debut album (1999)
1999 - 1999 marks the release of Muse's debut album Showbiz. Upon its release, many critics were quick to dismiss the album as "promising" yet derivative of other alternative rock bands of the 90s and many critics drawing comparisons to Radiohead, some even pointing out that this album is produced by John Leckie, who also worked on said band's The Bends album.  

The album seems to have drawn something of a following since its release however, as in 2009 the album was placed in the top 20 British albums of the last 20 years by the UK edition of MSN. As well as this, several songs from the album appear to have had lasting appeal among fans, such as the title track, which was one of the band's most requested songs during The Resistance Tourin 2010, when the band staged a fan vote for songs to be played during that tour's stadium leg.The song was not played; however, Unintended and Cave were played several times throughout the tour, with Sunburn being introduced during later performances of the tour.Sourced from Wikipedia

Album No. 2 - 2001
2001 - Marks the release of Muse's second album Origin of Symmetry. "Origin" features Muse's best known song Plug in Baby. Plug in Baby has won countless awards but most recently the "riff of the decade" and is named by fans as one of the main highlights of their live sets.

Origin of Symmetry came first about through the changes Muse underwent during their intensive touring in promotion of Showbiz, with a lot of material written whilst touring. However, this album is more riff orientated and slightly darker thanShowbiz, containing several songs which use piano or organ. Origin of Symmetry was intended as a more progressive rock-styled album, with different vocal styles than that of Showbiz. The ambition behind the album was to show the harder rock and eccentric elements of the band, that they felt had not been seen so far.This included bringing back a lot of music "filtered out" from Showbiz. The bass in the album is also more prominent and distorted. Some of the songs of the album draw influence from the band members' relationships suffering from the effects of them being on tour. Sourced from Musewiki.

The 10 year anniversay of Origin of Symmetry occured this year and for the celebration of the album the band decided to play the entire album from start to finish at this years Reading and Leeds Festivals. Something they had never done before, for this they had to rehearse some songs they hadn't played since around 2001 however some of the songs such as Plug in Baby and New Born had stayed on the set list since the release.

2003 - 2003 marks the release of Muse's third album Absolution.  

Absolution is Muse's third album and was released worldwide during September 2003, with the first single, "Stockholm Syndrome", being released on the 14th July 2003. The album was recorded at Grouse Lodge Studios in Ireland and AIR Studios on London during 2003. The songs featured on Absolution were written whilst Muse toured in support of Origin of Symmetry and Hullabaloo, with some songs such as " Fury" originating as early as early 2000. Rich Costey began producing Absolution after a the tracks " Blackout" and " Butterflies & Hurricanes" were recorded with Paul Reeve, who co-produced Showbiz and John Cornfield, who engineered Showbiz and Orgin of Symmetry. Like the previous Muse album, Orgin of Symmetry, Absolution is influenced by classical composers such as Sergei Rachmaninov and Samuel Barber, whilst "Endlessly" introduces a more electronic sound with songs such as " The Small Print" and " Thoughts of a Dying Atheist" being guitar-led. 
Absolution (3rd album) - 2003

The songs " Fury" and " Soldier's Poem" were originally intended to appear on Absolution. Whilst Matt wanted to keep "Fury" on the album, it was dropped in favour of " The Small Print" as per Dom and Chris's preference, and it became the Japanese bonus track and B-side to "Sing for Absolution". Matt suggested in 2008 that this was because the band did not like "Fury" as much after playing it live before the album's release. "Soldier's Poem" was ultimately reworked for the follow-up to Absolution, Black Holes and Revelations

Sourced from Musewiki.

Matt at the end of "Blackout"
2004 - 2004 marks a key mile stone in Muse's career as it was the first time the band headlined Glastonbury Festival. At the time Muse were fairly unknown and it was a big risk by festival organiser Michael Eavis however he believed they could pull it off. For being unknown at the time they were an instant sucess and Eavis said they were the perfect booking and it couldn't have gone any better. From Glastonbury Muse were on a spiral up and up to greatness and nothing was going to stop them...however after Stockholm Syndrome, the final song of the set at Glastonbury, Dom Howard's father collapsed to the floor from a heart attack and died on site. With Dom completley unaware on stage they continued and it wasn't until he walked off the stage until he recieved the sad news after the "best gig of our lives"..."Thank you Glastonbury... you've been f**king amazing, cheers, take care and good night" said Howard. Shortly after Howard considered quiting the band alltogether however he thought that his dad would want him to carry on with it and so he did.

2006 - 2006 marks the release of Muse's fourth studio album, Black Holes and Revelations.

Muse's fourth album - 2006
Black Holes and Revelations is Muse's fourth studio album, released three years after previous album Absolution, in July 2006. The album is less classically orientated than Origin of Symmetry and Absolution, while introducing new influences including jazz, soul and R&B. The album contains elements of these genres. The varied influences on the album can be traced to the intial demos and recording made in the Ch√Ęteau Miraval studio and the later recordings in New York City, where Matt DJed in a club and the band recorded the remaining songs in the Electric Lady Studios. Inspiration for the album was taken from a wide variety of other artists, from contemporary acts such as Lightning Bolt[6] and Rage Against The Machine, to composer Ennio Morricone and jazz singer Nina Simone.
The album is dedicated to the memory of Helen Kirk.

Muse - Wembley (2007)
2007 - 2007 marks a massive event for the band, the first time playingWembley Stadium...twice! Yes 2007 was the year that Muse first played at the recently finished Wembley Stadium for the first time and also being the first band to actually play there (George Michael was the first act who played there on the 9th June, beating Muse to that title!). 90,000 tickets were sold in less than 45 minutes so they released a second date the day after because of its success, which then went on to do the same thing but in a little shy of an hour. Muse's live DVD H.A.A.R.P was filmed at Wembley over the two days and a CD was released to accompany it which was released in 2008. Muse's H.A.A.R.P appearance was named Wembley's "Greatest Ever Event" from 1923-2010 by fans beating the likes of Queen's appearence along with Michael Jackson's "Bad" tour and even the 1966 England world cup win. It is rumoured that a statue is being created of the band and will be showcased at Wembley Stadium for generations to come.

2009 - 2009 marks the release of Muse's most recent and fifth studio album, The Resistance

The Resistance - 2009
Muse's fifth studio album, The Resistance, was released on September 14th2009. Like previous Muse albums it draws from a wide range of genres and influences, including glam rock, R&B, disco and classical. The Resistance sees the return of instrumentation previously used on Origin of Symmetry, including a church organ (Unnatural Selection) and llama toenails (United States of Eurasia).Matthew Bellamy summarised the album as having "an emphasis on rhythm and contemporary R&B at the start. Then it gets epic and strange, then it becomes contemporary classical music."
The band won the Grammy for Best Rock Album with The Resistance in 2011.

Sourced from Musewiki. 

A Seaside Rendezvous - 2009
2009 is know for another special event which took place in Teignmouth, Devon. For the celebration of their new album Muse returned to their hometown to play two shows with songs from their new album along with the classics. 20,00 fans turned up along with the locals to showcase two fantastic evenings. The shows created a massive buzz for the local community and is the latest big thing to happen there since The Beatles stayed in a hotel there over 40 years ago.

The Edge with Muse - 2010
2010 - 2010 saw the return of Muse to the pyramid stage for the second time. Headlining Glastonbury for the second time and being joined by a very special guest...The Edge!!! best known as the guitarist of Irish rock band U2 (who had to cancel their appearence at the festival the same year due to Bono's injury). The Edge named Muse as "the power trio of our century" during an interview at the festival and thought they were the perfect band to headline the festival once again.

Gig in space - 20??
The future - Muse are currently in the process of recording a new album and rumours are that it is expected to be released on the 3rd of May 2012. No gigs have been arranged so far so we don't expect to hear much about them until May next year. 

In January this year reports said that Muse are planning to play a gig in space and Bellamy said "I do think it will be possible in the future and I'm sure it will happen in my lifetime. We'd love to be part of that."

So we do have alot to look forward to!