Acclaimed folk singer-songwriter Will Varley has released something you might not necessarily associate with folk music: a computer-game style music video that shows the history of the universe and man’s evolution using 8-bit graphics – and in only four minutes. The video, which has already clocked up thousands of views, accompanies his song ‘Weddings and Wars’, a track from his recently released ‘As the Crow Flies’ album (Smugglers Records). The video was designed and animated by Varley himself – it took about six weeks of solid work and involved lots of all-night sessions. Designed in a demo version of a 1990s computer program, Will finished the game on the last day of his free trial of the software. The video is influenced heavily by the kind of games Varley played with his brother as a child, and gamers will appreciate quite a few hidden in-jokes (look out for the Commander Keen reference, for example). Super Nintendo gaming enthusiasts will love this video, which uses the same resolution and colour palette of the classic NES and SNES consoles; those interested in evolutionary biology will enjoy the simple and darkly funny explanation of how humankind has progressed from bacterium to killing machine; but above all, music fans will love the track: a witty, melodic and extraordinarily well-crafted take on the meaning – or meaninglessness – of life.
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