Rone’s album Tohu Bohu, which he told us about recently, kicked off with the release of a striking music video. “Parade” continued the story begun in “Gravity,” both of which followed the bright adventures of a floating girl, cleverly kept off the ground through meticulous editing. The newest video, however, takes a darker turn.
The trippy black and white music video for “Bye Bye Macadam” (see above) carries us away into a mystical spatial ritual, somewhere between a dream and a cosmic hallucination. As the story unfolds, we follow a beautiful star, and then follow it from its birth to its death. The light flickers to the rhythm before disappearing into a black hole. With “Bye Bye Macadam,” we’re once again diving into Rone’s ethereal universe as envisioned in the animations by French filmmaker Dimitri Stankowicz.
We spoke with both Rone and Stankowicz to found out how they created a project that is so simple, complex, and beautiful at the same time.
The Creators Project: How did you two meet? How did the concept of “Bye Bye Macadam” come about?
Dimitri Stankowicz: I knew Rone a little bit thanks to a mutual friend, Vladimir Mavounia Kouka, who also directs animated films. I was contacted by the record label InFiné to conceive a music video for Tohu Bohu’s release. After a few discussions with Rone, we agreed to collaborate on a project. Everything went pretty smoothly and naturally.
Rone: My friend Vladimir, who directed the video for “Spanish Breakfast” and my album cover introduced us. I knew I could blindly trust him. And it was easy for me to get the general picture by looking at Dimitri’s previous works. Many of his music videos were unofficial, but I love what he did for Chris Clark and Björk. But I didn’t get involved that much in the music video process—I don’t want to restrain the creative people I work with, just like I wouldn’t like them to restrain me. And I was offered a wonderful, intense video.
Preparatory sketches from Dimitri Stankowicz.
This video is really different from what we’ve seen so far—was that intentional?
Rone: It’s just a new collaboration, and that’s what I like so much about working with many different people. I love when my universe and theirs collide, it provokes interesting contrasts. Ludovic Duprez’s (from Studio Fünf) world is very different from Vladimir Mavounia Kouka’s, for instance. It’s also important to mention “Parade,” which is actually my first music video with real footage. When Dimitri told me he wanted to work with black and white visuals, I was very excited. It’s true that many of my videos are pretty colourful, but this is not an intentional break.
Stankowicz: This graphical rupture came naturally. I wanted to change from the paper cut aesthetics I’m accustomed to. For a long time, I was longing to come back to traditional drawings and animations. Since I had so much freedom on this project, I was able to give free rein to my imagination. My main idea was to create something subjective about my feelings on the atmosphere of “Bye Bye Macadam.”
When looking at the music video, I felt like I was witnessing a strange ritual from a cult devoted to the cosmos. What were your inspiration models for this project? Where does this mystical aspect come from?
Stankowicz: For this music video, I took my inspiration from some modern dances, from shamanism to several astrophysical phenomena. I found very appealing the idea of creating a choreography with a supernova in the background. The video is essentially a loop depicting the different life stages of a star from its creation to its ultimate explosion and its collapse into a black hole. The characters are related to the cosmos, they influence each other. I’ve always wanted to try out a choreography based on sorcery. Instead of using pieces of wood or little bones, the characters play with fire, gravity, and tidal forces. The mystical dimension was reinforced by the fantasy aspect of these interactions.
I didn’t really think of a cult, but rather of a mix between shamanism and Georges Méliès’ Selenites. But that’s right, something really dark emerges from this video. Unlike humans, the protagonists have supernatural powers. They’re some sort of pagan deities celebrating their own creation. The film is mysterious enough so that everyone can interpret it in their own way.
Below, check out Rone’s previous videos for “Gravity” and “Parade.”
Images courtesy of Dimitri Stankowicz.