The Miracles Club – “The Wheel” Music Video (w/ Vocalist Honey Owens Interview)

The Miracles Club latest music video for “The Wheel” works the most surprising of effects upon theatrical costumes and full body paint, as if to drive home the fact that one needs not take contemporary dance or house music too seriously. Directed by long-time band collaborator Judah Switzer and set in a digital environment crafted by glitch wizard Brenna Murphy, “The Wheel” intersects a powerful core of Portland dancers, musicians, and visual artists into one eyebrow-raising, off-kilter music video that is centered around mythological symbolism and the tarot.

The Miracles Club vocalist Honey Owens speaks about the video in the Q&A to follow, and we discuss the symbolism of its tarot references.

“‘The Wheel’ was written about The Wheel of Fortune Tarot card, so when we were thinking of a concept for the video, [band member] Rafael [Fauria] suggested that we literally reproduce the tarot card in video form.” – Honey Owens, of The Miracles Club

 



 

Tarot Symbolism

Tarot symbolism generally varies from deck to deck and from reading to reading, but there are fundamentally agreed-upon ideas that remain fairly constant. The interpretations below pull from the Raider-Waite tarot deck, arguably the most used and most influential deck. The cards were drawn by illustrator Pamela Colman Smith from the instructions of academic and mystic A. E. Waite, and published by the Rider Company. You can see the entire deck HERE.

The Wheel
The Wheel Of Fortune is a card in the Major Arcana. Its basic model comes from the medieval concept of Rota Fortunae, which speaks to the random and unpredictable nature of fate. The wheel is generally depicted with six or eight spokes, and often has a human or Sphinx-like half-human attending to it. Depending on what spread is being used or where The Wheel of Fortune appears in it, it can mean everything from turning points and opportunities to surprising developments, sudden events, or the intervention of destiny and fate. In true nature with the wheel, the card’s deeper meaning may be one related to cycles of events and a general “what goes around, comes around” philosophy. Though generally considered positive, The Wheel is, like fate, a reminder of the unknown future.

 

 

You directed the video yourselves. How did it come about?

“The Wheel” was written about The Wheel of Fortune Tarot card, so when we were thinking of a concept for the video, [The Miracles Club's] Rafael [Fauria] suggested that we literally reproduce the tarot card in video form. At first, we were thinking to build elaborate sets of clouds and a wheel out of wood and cardboard that would be 3-dimensional like in a play. However, we had been wanting to work with Brenna Murphy on something for a while, as she had done some live visuals for us that we really loved. So we talked to her about building these objects in a virtual 3D environment instead. We always work with Judah [Switzer] on our videos and the thought of collaborating with Brenna aaannnd Judah was exciting :)

 

Who are the dancers and are they part of a troupe or were they chosen individually?

We have worked with Ryan Boyle (the Devil) almost exclusively for the past two years. Robert Tyree (golden swan) is a fixture in the local modern dance community, and we have collaborated on a lot of projects as well. The other two featured in this video are brothers Dane and Bryan Kyckelhahn. We met them out clubbing and they are active in the art scene here. I really wanted to cast people that embodied the figures on the card. Robert, Dane and Bryan all have this sort of cherubic quality, both inner and outer innocence and beauty. Each artist/dancer made his own costume interpreting the figure he most related to.

 

How was the decision made to go with dance as a primary vehicle for driving this video? What are the benefits of using dance as a way of expressing a narrative rather than more traditionally theatrical means?

One of the main inspirations to start this project was the exploration of the relationship between the dancer and the music. Also [with] having Ryan [Boyle] (our dancer) be a constant fixture in our live performance as well as [allowing the] other dancers… [dance has] just always been there. It’s not like we even plan it; it’s just how we express ourselves. Ironically, I’m not a very good dancer haha… In this video there is a tiny bit of theatrics to help bring the characters from still to life.

 

How did the choreography of the piece come about? Was it the responsibility of one individual or multiple individuals?

Ryan and Robert both come up with ideas/movements on their own and then once together, sort of improvise and play off each other. We all just kind of jam it out on the spot with Judah, Rafael or Ryan telling us “more this” or “do that a couple times”. Working with this crew is family styles, so pretty much anything goes and Judah tries to capture the sweet spots.

 

Are there any anecdotes from the creative process that you think are particularly noteworthy or interesting? Any surprises or hilarities?

Hmm nothing shocking or too crazy.. The studio happened to have a Streetfighter arcade game so during the filming of the video, everyone had a pizza party and were playing Streetfighter most of the time in full character and body paint.

 

Process Photos

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Vivian Hua is the Editor-in-Chief of REDEFINE magazine, as well as a master of globetrotting for free and evading traditional 9-to-5 work schedules. She enjoys observing human idiosyncrasies perhaps more than anything and is a magnet for homeless people (a joy) and bug bites of all types (absolutely terrible). Marshmallows – while not really food – are one of her favorite foods, especially if they are freezered, stale, or fire-toasted. She doesn’t want to space travel, really, which is an unpopular view these days. Her design work, astrological chart, and other crap can be seen at www.inallthings-patterns.net.

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