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a colourful composition

Colour in music

Music, fashion, inspiration

colour Music Fashion inspiration

Opus - ‘A separate composition or set of compositions by a particular composer, usually ordered by date of publication’ - Google dictionary.

“One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain� - Bob Marley


Music 23 - Muse-ical Inspriation 39 - indpendent music venues 41 - rising talent

Fashion 29 - get your gig on

art 11 - Colour in Music

Other 7 - Inspiration

issue 01

“play it fuckin’ loud” -bob dylan


editor’s letter Nothing in life is simple, here at Opus we like to embrace this. Welcome to the first issue. Take a seat, relax and take in the colours around you. Colours have a dramatic effect on our mood, even if we don’t notice. Our aim is to take what the colours represent and play upon that through music and fashion. Opus like to inspire and open your minds to the broader spectrum of what you see around you. Our inspiration was to fill the void of combined fashion and music publications, but with a slight twist. Our fashion segment is always based around music and this month we focus on the boys and the perfect gig wear, as its always a time consuming task. Art, Music, Fashion on a rollercoaster through colourful emotions, what more could you want? Enjoy Emma Dickinson - Editor


inspriation.... a monthly destination to encourage the lightbulb moment


We all have a moment when we hit a brick wall within our artistics minds. At Opus we like to explore new places to keep the inspiration fresh, so we can inspire you. Northumberland has some of the most peaceful beaches and open spaces to clear away the static cobwebs of our over active minds. Alnwick gardens provides a series of aesthetically pleasing sceneries and the quaint hideaways give you the peace to take in the surroundings. Stopping via the magical Treehouse resturant for a warming hot chocolate on the way home.


contributors January 2013

Editor’s Emma Dickinson - Editor in Cheif Kevin Bancroft - Creative Assistant Doug Louiselle - Assistant Music Director Nigel Bancroft - Photoshoot Assistant

Other Artist - Emma Dickinson Model - Doug Louiselle Independent Creative Assistant - Rebecca Wall

music -

fashion -

The Duchess York Panda Cubs MEN Arena

River Island Topman Converse Express

colour in music

Here at Opus, colour is everything and effects us a lot more than we know. Our mood can be affected by a number of things, for Opus we love music and its broad spectrum of mood enhancing talents. We wanted to share our music highlights of the year trhough colour. Music effects us all in different ways, so we have selcted a range of albums that will satisfy you, however you are feeling. Artwork by, Emma Dickinson



natural calming mystery

the xx - coexist

Dark, intellectual, order, earth, courage

Bat for lashes - the haunted man

of monsters and men - my heads an animal

natural wisdom youth joyful pure

vitality warmth natural spiritual earth

the maccabees - given to the wild

passion pit - gossamer

magical mystery confidence happiness magical endurance

After the long anticipated sixth album from the acclaimed British band Muse, 21,000 people filled MEN Arena, Manchester to experience ‘The 2nd Law’ album tour. But was it as colourful as we were expecting? By, Emma Dickinson


MUSE–ical Inspiration Muse are often described as one of the more extravagant, energetic and truly gripping bands to see live. Alternative rock, with pop and electrifying guitar and bass shredding is what has made the band so recognizable for planting a colourful story within our minds through music. The distinctive tones of Matt Bellamy’s voice are so captivating to your imagination, no wonder they recently picked up the ‘Q’ Award for, Best Band in the World. Having five previous albums under their belt with accompanying tours, this was certainly nothing new to them. As the lights dim around us and that feeling of anticipation starts riddling our bodies, glimpses of the stage are seen from the thousands of camera flashes around the arena. The roar of the crowd starts bouncing off the walls, the beat drops and you finally get to hear the opening song, as you are stood, not only mesmerized by the spectacular unfolding in front of you, but being fixated by the lights and the dramatics of the set. Surely there is nothing more theatrical.

Already transported to another world after listening to the album, the fans knew there was going to be visual experience unfolding in front of them. As the video of a girl running fills the pyramid structure of screens, your mind is made to race along with it. Anticipating what is going to happen next. Red lights fill the stage, spilling over into the two front rows, a colour associated with a lot of Muse’s songs. Red is known to symbolize action, confidence, courage and vitality. On going themes throughout much of The 2nd Law album, especially with Chris Wolstenholme (Muse bassist) writing and singing two songs on the album for the first time ever, one being titled ‘Save Me’, even more fitting alongside his personal triumph of overcoming an alcohol addiction, which he has proceeded to comment on out in the public eye. Whilst the action unveils around you, it starts to conjure many questions, a lot of them being why? Matt Bellamy commenting on the stage set, starts to concrete these ideas in our minds,


“It’s basically an upside-down pyramid which is a very symbolic gesture. A lot of people think the pyramid represents power structures, you know, in every walk of life. Anything from basic corporate structures with a top down system where CEOs take all the profit and get paid more than the people at the bottom, which is the kind of down to earth version, to the Illuminati, you know” When colouring the stage red alongside this, you start to realise the symbolic gestures Muse make, even on a subtle level, to not only the power they hold over the methodical structure of their songs, gripping the audience and the powerful connections they make to the action you see. Bellamy adds after, ‘The pyramid seems to represent the power structures of the world. Turning it upside down is a gesture as to what we think of that.” Undertones of sharp blue lights echo a shadow of intuition, meditation and deep contemplation juxtaposing the harsh reality of the red. As well as the confliction of hot and cold the colours represent in everyday life. Chris describes the theme of the album as, “everything is falling apart and life that we know isn’t sustainable.” Watching this live helps you to live out the thoughts and feelings of the band and see their visions unfold in front of you. Being something exceptionally special if you are a truly avid Muse fan, as well as being just as engaging if you don’t know

the music. It draws you in and holds you there until the end, much like life does from birth to death. How disturbingly brilliant? Obviously Muse played a number of songs from previous albums, tying the past and present together. Taking us on a journey through their, what only can be described, as truly epic career so far. Wrapped around the old and new rock songs, starts to creep a novel version of dubstep. They have taken elements and transferred these to what they know best. Strong influences from Skrillex and Nero seem to be apparent, after them saying they went to see these bands perform live. When the album was released this gathered a diverse response, from love to hate and not much inbetween. Once seeing it live it most certainly has confirmed that feeling and also changed a few along the way. With it all being ‘played’ in front of us, how can you put down something so innovative and clever? At this point, not only are we being taken on a journey through their musical creativity, but also in front of our eyes the colours are transporting us out of the compression of conflict and thrusting us into a new place. Purples, pinks and yellows are bolted around the room in strong lines. Royalty, magic, mystery, love, beauty, wisdom and intellectual energy being shone upon and around us are the connotations held with these colours. This takes away the subdued mood

“epic, powerful, Masterful.” Muse put us in with the majority of their music. Emotively the new element they have twisted in starts to uplift the music. One of the first songs on the album where we see this element is ‘Follow Me’. Although the lyrics are still emoting a dark struggle, “when darkness falls and surrounds you” they are suddenly picked up with the bouncy beat and lyrics such as, “follow me, you can follow me, and I, I will not dessert you now.” Its like the lights are a strong signal of help to be saved. Alongside this great British theatrical performance unfolding on stage, this year we also celebrated best of British with England being host to the Olympics. With the release of their album and tour coming soon, Muse were asked to write a song to accompany the summer event. It most certainly, once again, gathered an extreme mixed response, splitting people to either end of the love it, or hate it spectrum. Muse focused the song around the Olympics and not themselves, whilst keeping in tune with their unique music style. True to this they decided to take on the dark side of the competition and the not so showmanship attitude of beating everybody. ‘Survival’ was slated for not having the ‘chorus’ element to grip people, however with lyrics such as, ‘ I won’t forgive, the vengeance is mine, and I won’t give in, because I choose to thrive’. Surely that’s gripping enough. With the

enhancement of the choir and foot stomping beat, you can’t escape that rock band Queen and their uplifting, yet dark anthems must have been a great influence upon Muse. So what isn’t to love? Finishing the concert with the melodically satisfying ‘Knights of Cydonia’, shunned into complete obscurity, as the stage lights disappear, the crowd begin to think what is possible for them to do next. How can they take this to the next level? After seeing a truly amazing band perform live, its hard to go back and listen to the album without being transported back to the rollercoaster of Matt Bellamy, Chris Wolstenholme and Dominic Howard’s rapid imaginations. With The 2nd Law album it feels like we have been led down the path to the world of Oz. The previous albums have always seemed to be full with dark black waves of colour, accented by the negative vibes of red. Whereas now it’s almost like we are taken on journey of colour and triumph, into the harsh realisation that at the end, the blackness sets back in and we are shown the darkness, like Dorothy with her red shoes. Speaking to a ‘real’ Muse fan, as he described himself, who had flown from America to watch his favourite band perform live for the fourth time when leaving he only had three words to mutter, “epic, powerful and masterful.”

Referencing a more obscure approach to a standard review, Opus wonderers if this could be taken to a stage a little more out of the bands comfort zone? Has this been the intention of the band all along? The inspiration they give to so many people could be translated onto the bright lights of the West End. American rock band Green Day ‘managed’ it successfully. Muse not only tell a story through music but also colour, as stated before. Surely this British groups theatrics should be seen in a more classic environment? Something so gripping, I personally feel, needs to be more accessible for a wider audience. I wonder if this is something they have considered? Opus is holding out for the review, if that happens!

“insane” - fans response


get your gig on

your ultimate gig guide the fashion edit


shirt - River island trousers - topman shoes - converse

top trousers jacket - all river island shoes - converse

Shirt and trousers - both river island shoes - converse

shirt - topman jumper - river island jeans and jacket - express

opus loves independent music venues


coming up 2013 mon 31st dec. Phat Fridays VS Lollpop NYE party Fri 11th Jan. Them Beatles Sat 12th jan. Rebel Truce sat 19th jan. Hells Bells sun 20th jan. Young Kato + The Pilots Fri 25 Jan. Alan Merrill & The Arrows Fri 1 Feb. King Pleasure & the Biscuit Boys Sun 3 Feb. General Fiasco + Carnabells Wed 6 Feb. We Are The Ocean + Yashin + Straight Lines 40

rising talent

Being a newly established publication ourselves, here at Opus we celebrate emerging talent, especially when it comes to music. Each month we pick an up and coming band.


Panda cubs - York based band

Opus met with Christian Silver, the lead singer and guitarist of Panda Cubs to learn more about them, their music and what we can expect to see next from then.. 42

For those who don’t know a great lot about Panda Cubs, can you tell us a bit about yourselves? We formed just over a year ago at university after being friends for a while and realising we were very much cut from the same cloth. We met at various parties we attended through friends and ended up jamming to Cure records till the wee hours every night for a month or so. Rehearsals were more about being social back then. It was only when we accidentally accepted a gig on a session after which people told us we are their favorite band in York that we started to take it more seriously. Why the name Panda Cubs? A random girl repeatedly declared us to be “too young to be at this party” one night, and said we looked like pandas (we hadn’t slept for a good few nights when we first met). An equally eloquent random girl made the connection for us. The name is irrelevant. We chose it as a challenge, which will no doubt divide. Plenty of listeners will be put off. We’ve seen comments like “I bet they sound all cute and cuddly”. We have no idea what that would sound like, but it sounds great, and we don’t want these fans anyway. We want to see if we can change people’s first reference connotation for the name from the bear to the band over time. Let’s face it, you don’t instantly think of cold monkeys when someone mentions Arctic Monkeys. Your music comes across as very atmospheric live, what sort of feeling do you try to evoke with your audience? We don’t try to convey any one feeling live. The songs are what they are. They are written at a point in time, about a point in time. We can only hope that the audience feels as euphoric as we do playing the songs listening

to them. We have been described as a band that demands the audience’s attention. I guess we don’t sound like anyone on the scene at the moment, and we’ve never seen anyone talking or leaving during our set. Excitement is paramount in live music performances. You need the audience to feel safe that you have control, but concerned enough to think it could go wrong at any minute, without it actually ever happening. Our sound is direct. You won’t get any 8 minute long reverb ridden breakdowns with “oohhh’s and ahhh’s”. It’s got to be catchy and easy to interpret. Is there a certain message you try to convey? Love. Love is life and love is all you need. John Lennon told us and we must never forget it. There’s a lot more hate in the world than love. We want to bring people together who share a common love and hope to take them away from modern worries for 45 minutes. What music do you guys listen to, and is there any particular song that’s stopped you in your tracks recently? It feels like there has been a lack of great bands emerging of recent, but maybe we’re just not looking hard enough. Saturation is an issue for discovery. We take inspiration from a lot of classical music in terms of melodic expression. Have we talked enough without mentioning any other bands yet? What genre of music would you categorize Panda Cubs as? That’s not our job. Other people will categorise us at first, to help them understand what we do. But this will change over the years as we become Panda Cubs, (the band) not Panda Cubs (the baby animal that people like). All our favorite bands got slated as rip-off’s and “un-original” during their first appearances. There’s no such thing as originality, steal from anything that inspires you. It’s not where you take things from, it’s where you take them to. Music is progressive and constantly evolving and borrowing from what’s gone before. Categorisations and comparisons based on what one person has heard in their lifetime are unnecessary and only helpful as orientation devices. So what can we expect to see from Panda Cubs in the next 2 years? We can’t really talk too much about the behind the scenes stuff yet. There’s a trip to South America on the cards for next year. We’re under new management now, so no doubt plenty pot gigs in London and the rest of the UK are on the cards. Our debut E.P. will be released around February/ March 2013. It’s going to be a cracker. We’ve had a LOT of interest over the past few months, so watch this space.

If you could describe the band and music as a particular colour what would that be? 2/3 Caput Mortuum, 1/3 Gamboge

Opus verdict - one to watch

“The only truth is music.” - John Kerouac


Opus Emma Dickinson  
Opus Emma Dickinson  

How colour is used to create moods, relateable to music and fashion.