28 June 2017

Decisions and Harry Smith

I made some massive decisions today.

But I am going to forget that and watch a lovely animation by Harry Smith (that I discovered via the Edge of Frame Alice Cohen interview -- evidently I am on a roll).

26 June 2017

Alice Cohen

I just discovered the work of musician and artist Alice Cohen (through Edge of Frame, which is a great source for finding interesting video-related stuff)
Her video work incorporates collage, which as I understand was the first medium she worked in. If you can call collage a 'medium.'

"white woman" music video for broken deer from alice cohen on Vimeo.

This music video  she did for another artist reminds me of an animation called "Transformation" that I grew up with (I wrote about it here) and maybe that's why I like it. It gives me that feeling that collage really is inexhaustible. Collage is always interesting not just to look at but also to think about in theoretical terms; since it is often created through intersections of different materials, different contexts and different cultural references, it is interesting to read the collaged whole through the contradictions that exist within it. If you take just one section of a collage and ask the question 'where has this piece been taken from?' and then keep doing that for other sections, and then think about the answers in relation to each other, you can come out with a really curious result. And of course in moving image all of that is complicated still further by the narrative/ sequential element involved in the presentation of the collages.

... And then there's Alice's music. Pink Keys is a wonderful album - the soundtrack to an adventurous and sun-soaked summer road trip. The first track reminds me somewhat of The Wake, probably because of the vocals. It sounds like Carolyn Allen sang on Pale Spectre and this track in the same day, it's that same register of singing about doom and gloom through a paradoxical veneer of optimism and playfulness.

22 June 2017

Two things

1) Oskar Fischinger Google doodle

At times like these, I almost forget how bad Google is as a corporation, because the Oskar Fischinger Doodle is sort of great. It actually reminds me very much of the days when I used to use MIDI and input every note by hand onto MIDI 'sheetmusic' because I didn't have a keyboard (never again, both to the method and to VST instruments).

Anyway...it's a bit of fun!

2) Com Truise's new album (Iteration)...

... blew my mind! I literally just found it via a friend today. I feel like it's one of those things I wouldn't appreciate as much if I hadn't been through sound design hell and sound design purgatory myself, but hey, maybe my horizons are broadening?

I do kind of wonder if I'll stop liking this within a week (seems to happen to a lot of stuff that I can appreciate without connecting all that much on an emotional level). I guess the important thing is I like it now?...

Update: only just noticed now how colour coordinated the doodle and the Iteration album visuals are... weird coincidence. And I like how the visuals are also coordinated with what's going on sound-wise (seems inspired by Oskar Fischinger in that respect too).

(Gosh, I use so many brackets in posts. I think if I was a punctuation mark I would be a bracket).

16 June 2017


I am not on a Rybnikov/Soviet sci-fi spree (against all the evidence that suggests otherwise)

There's this one lyric which is really haunting, when the theremin comes in:
'Night is troubling us with almost magical dreams'. 
It's so contradictory but there's something so accurate in it...

14 June 2017

Per Aspera Ad Astra (1981)

One day I might find it in my heart to write a bit more about this film, but not quite yet...

31 May 2017

The Space Lady in another (Christian) life -- Sister Irene O'Connor

Sister Irene O'Connor belongs retrospectively to that very niche genre of  'Catholic psychedelic synth folk.' She reminds me so much of The Space Lady, and I think they'd make a great duet.

25 May 2017

Unusual voices 3: Cindy Lee

Ok, I'm cheating  slightly with this one because with Cindy Lee it's not necessarily about an unusual voice so much as unusual vocals/effects.

Cindy Lee is one of the best lo-fi projects that I know of. It was started fairly recently by the former guitarist of the band Women, Patrick Flegel. I think it's him singing on the records, but I'm not entirely sure... Either way, the voice is sort of jarring at times and on some songs heavily distorted (on What I Need for example). It sounds sort of like someone has hidden in the attic for a century to avoid human contact and has forgotten how to speak/sing.
 Act of Tenderness as an album has not had the recognition it deserves, in my opinion. It sets its own standards and is truly like nothing I've ever heard before. And it's sad (well obviously, why would I love it so much if it wasn't?)

Anyway... I want to hear more from Cindy Lee.