Watch: This isn’t so much a music video as it is an epic film in just six minutes

Period drama meets apocalypse meets the supernatural.

British band Alt-J’s new music video for Pleader is less video and more cinema. It’s only six minutes long, but the sweeping short film captures not only the transcendental qualities of the track from the group’s third, most successful album Relaxer, but also the source of the song.

The track, according to the band, was inspired by Welsh writer Richard Llewelyn’s 1939 novel How Green Was My Valley, a story set in 19th century Wales, in a small mining town. The song was recorded in a cathedral with an organ and a boys’ choir – of which the band’s keyboard player Gus Unger-Hamilton was a member as a child – and the London Metropolitan Orchestra. [ . . . ] More: Watch: This isn’t so much a music video as it is an epic film in just six minutes

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Paul Robeson in Wales

Paul Robeson’s interactions with Wales were shaped by the violence of mining life: the everyday hardship of long hours and low wages, but also the sudden spectacular catastrophes that decimated communities. In 1934, he’d been performing in Caernarfon when news arrived of a disaster in the Gresford colliery. The mine there had caught fire, creating an inferno so intense that most of the 266 men who died underground, in darkness and smoke, were never brought to the surface for burial. At once, Robeson offered his fees for the Caernarfon concert to the fund established for the orphans and children of the dead – an important donation materially, but far more meaningful as a moral and political gesture.

“There was just something that drew Welsh people and Paul Robeson together. I think it was like a love affair, in a way.” And that seemed entirely right.” [ . . . ] Read More – The Guardian

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