When Grammy-nominated musician BT released If the Stars Are Eternal, so Are You and I earlier this year, the cover featured a lone soul staring up at a star-studded sky. So it makes sense that when he decided to create a video for the first track on the album, 13 Angels on my Broken Windowsill, he’d stay within the theme.
BT’s partner is this collaboration is talented astro-lapse photographer, Randy Halverson. Halverson is well known for creating time-lapse photos and video that seem to turn the night sky into a living, breathing creature. Paired with BT’s ethereal composition, the result is the perfect marriage of audio and visual.
“I’m always searching for people doing innovative things in other mediums, particularly visual art, to try and create a visual metaphor for what is happening sonically and musically. I’m especially drawn to people or companies who create new and/or proprietary visual modalities to achieve their goals and don’t let themselves be limited by existing technology,” explains BT. “This is not only a personal mantra of my own for developing new software and technology for my music, but also why I have enjoyed working with places like Pixar who push the boundaries of process and rigor to create new techniques for achieving greatness in animation.
“When we started working on concepts for the ’13 Angels On My Broken Windowsill’ music video, I was drawn to Randy Halverson because I was amazed that he came up with a technique that could extend the range of viewable light normally visible to the naked eye and create new photography techniques to capture breathtaking visuals of the universe through stunning time-lapse and nature observation.”
The video, which runs nearly 14 minutes in length, begins very slowly, creating an ambient soundscape that is absolutely perfect for Halverson’s slow-moving celestial transits. As “13 Angels” builds, the visuals do as well. The Northern Lights seem to dance in tune to BT’s beats, clouds roll in and build majestically before retreating, and when the jagged dubstep drops with its sonic glitches and surprise breaks, the Milky Way stutters across the sky like a needle scratch and thunderclouds and lightning match the bass’s sequenced staccato. But soon, it all falls apart, collapsing into a beautiful and calming coda.
In total, the video is an impressive masterpiece; so perfect that it’s difficult to imagine better visuals for BT’s composition or a different soundtrack for Halverson’s photography. We don’t see music videos with frequency anywhere close to what we used to, so to enjoy a visual and audio feast like 13 Angels on my Broken Windowsill, it is indeed a real treat.