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A Magical Requiem

The Story of a Music Video

By Ryan D. MichelsenPublished 3 years ago 4 min read

It can be easy to take for granted the finished product when you see it on the screen. Making a good video can be a lot of work, and I was surprised at how hard it was to make an idea come to life. I normally allow my listeners to come up with their own stories to my music, but this song was packed with enough backstory that it was destined for an attempt.


When I created the song "magical" it all occurred in one burst of inspiration, an overwhelmingly powerful display of expression on the part of its significance. The day I wrote it, I was going through an annual mourning for my father who passed away exactly 11 years to that date. Every year I had managed to get through it easier and easier, until finally I had written a piece specifically about him.

It's about him dying and undergoing a transformational process, whereby he, as all of us inevitably do, rejoins the Earth and the universe, entering eternity both spiritually and otherwise metaphysically. This is represented by the scattering of his ashes into the ocean, spreading his spirit around the world, and attempts to take the listener on a journey across the seas of water, time, and inevitably, space.

With a project like this one I really had a vision in my mind from the beginning, so I set out to find help. There are many different ways to go about animating a project like this one, and I got quotes for them all, and in the end settled with what my limited budget could afford.

Video Production

While not the best option in terms of displaying my concepts, it looks good and gets the imagery across. I hooked up with a small studio that had access to tons of stock footage and developed the story chart to try and explain the concept.

It took a few revisions, but they did a good job helping me find clips. In the end, I compiled everything so it was just right. It was kind of like putting together a painting with only certain colors for certain scenes, so it wasn't perfect, but it worked. I would have rather had it done as a full on animation, and perhaps one day I will get around to it, but this suits the purpose so I never forget the idea.

The Story As It Was Written

*Music Begins*

A male patient about in their 50's sits alone on a bed, hooked up to monitors in a hospital room, looking out the window. We see the view he sees, which is of a sunset over a beautiful bay.

Outside the room, we see a different man enter the hospital room. The patient is now hooked up to life support, surrounded by medical staff. The man who entered is his son, who speaks with the doctors. They "pull the plug" by terminating life support functions.

The spirit of the patient comes out of the body and floats upward, and we follow it into the clouds. Fade to white.

There is a funeral gathering of many people inside a building. We see a montage of the family members, and cremation scene occurs. A eulogy is given and the son carries the ashes of his father towards a shoreline, surrounded by family. The ashes are thrown and we focus on the ashes as they fall in slow motion into the sea.

As the ashes fall into the water, we go underwater with them and see them settle to the bottom. Time speeds up and the ashes are swept away by the current, which we follow. Starting from Hout Bay, we travel to see all sorts of life and coastal geographical references.

Clips of our history since 2008 are shown to represent passage of time. Emphasis on common global problems such as global warming, war, poverty, famine, homelessness, but also showing as the song progresses people helping one another and overcoming all of these issues.

Time continues to move forward exponentially, and we see clips that tie the circle of life in nature. The ocean is replaced with the ocean of space, and we see our planet. Zooming out from the planet, it is revealed that the entirety of the universe, galaxies and all, is an orb floating in an eye.

The scene changes to a dandelion that is sprouting on a coastline, grows, and then blows its seeds into the wind. As we watch the seeds float away, the backdrop of a shoreline sunset is revealed.

The end


While it may not be the exact journey as displayed in the video, it is the journey that I saw as I wrote it. By any means, it is a song that holds a lot of significance to me, and I hope I can help share it's significance with others. By letting you experience the sounds that moved me, and that guided me to document my vision through instrumentals, you can gather your own musical experience that may help you dream the next great dream.

pop culture

About the Creator

Ryan D. Michelsen

I am an artist from the United States and currently live in Arizona. All forms of expression have an appreciation in my heart, but I tend to express myself through music best of all.

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