Wednesday, 10 September 2014

PV Analysis: jizue - 'Shiori'

Formed in 2006, jizue is a jazz/post-rock combo with a unique, energetic sound. Made up of members Inoue Norimasa playing guitar, Katagi Nozomi Yori on keyboard, Yamada Tsuyoshi on bass and drums by Kokawa Kokoro, they toured Canada earlier this year to spread their sound to an international audience. Their albums have a literate bent in their names, "Bookshelf," "Novel" and "Journal" being the first three, followed by their latest "Shiori". Looking up the word I find translations as 'guidebook' and 'bookmark', both themes present in the titular video from the album, a moving instrumental piece.

As the video opens, we see Katagi outside and shot from a camera circling her, followed shortly by Kokawa walking in a park. We see a wide shot of her dropping a book and in short order he finds it, an old volume with a green cover that he picks up and takes with him. Kokawa peruses the volume as he walks away from the scene, and a step behind a tree appears to alter the properties of his finding. There's shots of a performance space, all decked out in white, and the song starting off in full.

Once past the tree, Kokawa is seen holding drumsticks and the book is nowhere to be found. Perhaps the reading of the book has led him to pursue a musical path, or more specifically to connect with his bandmates. We see some close-ups of Kokawa at work in with the band in solo, and more of the band playing before the narrative thread to this instrumental shifts to another member.

Inoue is seen walking down the street, toting his instrument case. Much like his bandmate, he passes behind a tree and the scene changes ever so slightly. The guitar case is replaced with the green book Kokawa found, carried under his wrist. The book appears the same as before, as though it's gone from member to member through some teleportation technique.

Amidst cuts of the whole band playing hard in the white studio space, we see the group in shadow standing around outside, near dusk. The camera moves around them, as the members point to and look at the sky. We're shown a burst of clouds moving at high speed, as though time is passing quickly as the band looks on.

An array of performance shots in the studio space show the band doing what they do best, playing passionately. There's a quick series of curious foot-shots of each member as they play, perhaps alluding to the paths walked in the narrative shots, Kokawa conspicuously barefooted on the pedals. Though the track lacks lyrics, these studio shots serve to bolster the slim narrative elements rather well.

Inoue walks towards a bridge, and in a shot slowed down slightly he launches the old green book into the air, and it lands on the ledge. Yamada, as seen from afar in the book-launching shot is already atop the bridge, though he's preoccupied with photography when we get a closer shot. He walks towards the volume as it sits in the foreground.

Yamada starts reading the tome right away, and much like before the book changes things, as it seems to become a bass guitar that he holds in front himself. There's a nice group shot of the band jamming out in full, and the cloud-shot is seen once more before more performance footage. Another trip outdoors closes out the narrative of the piece.

We see Katagi as in the opening shot, and the book appears to leap into her hand from below. There are final performance shots of her finishing up at the piano with a flourish, and we see her sleeping on the keys. The book is there, opened on the keyboard, and a card adorned with a feather and leaf lie atop a bookmark. A hand drops a picture of sky into the open page and closes the book on the video, literally.

The book would appear to represent the connection between the band mates, or perhaps their individual discoveries of music leading them to one another. I wish I could catch a better look at it, as the title would provide further fodder for analysis. The transformations it appears to undergo are granted a dreamlike quality from the ending depicting sleep, but the photo of sky appear to dispute the 'imaginary' aspect by providing 'proof' of the scenario. The clip only serves to enhance the track, an already enjoyable jazz-rock explosion that says much of the band while lacking any words at all.

By Josh Campbell

Shiori / jizue