Last week, the video for Sivu’s “Better Man Than He” bounced around the blogosphere on the strength of a catchy hook and its novel concept. The video features James Page, the songwriter for Sivu, performing the song live inside an MRI machine.
Yeah, he’s actually in there. I got in touch with Page, a 24-year-old Londoner and lifelong musician, to double check.
“I did perform in the machine,” he says. “I had special headphones on, which is why in the video when a 3D version appears on my face you can see the headphone marks.”
The video was filmed at Bart’s Hospital in London, under the supervision of doctors Marc E. Miquel and Andrew D. Scott. Once the tape was rolling, Page sang his heart out, got the brainwaves flowing, and director Adam Powell put it to tape. For his part, Powell says he was inspired by a charitable cause.
“The video is a collection of data gathered from MRI scans and is inspired by research into improving the management of children born with cleft lip and palate,” Powell says. “I’ve just recently been obsessed with the idea of capturing images without conventional cameras/lenses.”
Page says he took to the concept right away.
“I had a lot of respect for the reason the machine was being used and when Adam mentioned the idea it just felt right,” he says. “I had a MRI scan last year due to problems with my ear, which was useful knowing what to expect.”
It’s striking, of course, to watch a song belted out from quite literally the inside of the signer’s head, which is likely why the video has racked up nearly 150,000 views in under a week.
“I think the video breaths a new light into the song,” Page says. “The imagery is quite cold and real but with the use of colour and the feel behind the song I think the final result is better than I could have dreamed of.”