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Music Videos: The Latest Architecture and News

What Makes The Barbican The Perfect Setting for Music Videos?

Musicians of all ages and genres feature the Barbican in their music videos. Youtuber Phil Gyford’s playlist “The Barbican in Music Videos” compiles songs from artists including British rapper Skepta, UK rock band Coldplay, the infamous electronic musician Moby, and guitarist James Morrison. Even modern pop artist Dua Lipa strut her stuff through the Barbican while singing her song, “Blow Your Mind (Mwah).”

But what makes the Barbican the perfect set for a professional music video? Perhaps artists were attracted to its remarkable Brutalist style. Maybe the architecture was used for it’s historical or political significance.

The Best Music Videos for Architecture Fans in 2017

The old adage "writing about music is like dancing about architecture" (it's stupid etc.), loses some of its impact when architecture becomes the backdrop for both music, and dancing. Ever since video killed the radio star, famous houses, quirky spaces, and history's great buildings have provided beautiful, unique and dramatic settings for music videos of all types. So which of 2017s music videos have capitalized on the wonderful world of architecture? 

Thespaces.com have compiled a list of the best music videos for architecture lovers for 2017. Here are a few of our favorites and a few additional videos we think deserve a mention.

What Can Music Videos Teach Us about Architecture?

When it comes to the confluence of music and architecture, maybe the first thing that comes to mind is Goethe's claim that "music is liquid architecture." Goethe, however, was writing before the advent of MTV: music videos have become miniature films, attempting to capture all the tone, undercurrents and context of a particular song and translate them visually. Even better, the way music videos use architecture isn't the same as any documentary or film location; the camera attempts to mimic the way people listen to music by cutting and weaving around, designed for listeners as much as they are designed for viewers. Hence we see protagonists turning to the side, important elements placed away from the center and shots that both explore and disguise spaces in an attempt to fit the songs' acoustics to the setting.

What this means for us is that music videos can relate to architecture and capture its underlying tones in a way that a film might struggle to. For an architect wondering how the public truly understand and interact with a piece of architecture or remember a style, music videos are an untapped goldmine, since every setting location and filming choice show off how our wider culture relates to a building. Read on after the break for seven music videos that tell us a surprising amount about the architecture they feature.

The Chemical Brothers "Go" Brutalist in Paris for Their Latest Music Video

In The Chemical Brothers’ “Go” music video, seven women carrying two poles march through Paris’ Front-de-Seine neighborhood in perfectly synchronized choreography by Michel Gondry. The area is located in the 15th district, beside the Seine river, and is characterized by its Brutalist buildings, the result of an urban project in the 1970s that rehabilitated the former industrial area through the construction of 20 towers nearly 100 meters high.

The buildings were designed by Henri Pottier and Raymond Jules Lopez, and rise around an elevated platform, which features a series of geometric patterns that are best seen from the top of the towers. The video not only highlights several of these buildings, but also integrates the choreography into the remarkable urban setting.

This post was originally written by José Tomás Franco for Plataforma Arquitectura.

Panoramic of Front-de-Seine neighborhood, in Paris. Image via Wikipedia CC
Panoramic of Front-de-Seine neighborhood, in Paris. Image via Wikipedia CC