13 July 2017

7 July 2017

Blue bird (1976)

Blue bird from 1976 taught me that 'the blue bird was at home' (a variation on 'the grass is always greener on the other side', I guess). Having acted with that lesson in mind only a week ago, I rewatched bits of this film today and overall found it to be no different than when I was little --still magical, well-shot, sort of eerie in places.. But one thing I really didn't think twice about before and which is really bothering me now is the racial stereotyping -- Cecily Tyson cast in the role of a double-dealing black cat, the familiar of the queen of darkness. It's times like these I wonder if almost everything I watched as a kid was problematic in some way. But a part of time really wants to say it's still OK and that I can still enjoy all the wonderful costumes in this. I mean, come on, just look at this scene:

5 July 2017

Roy Orbison

This reminds me of Surrender by Suicide, and I don't particularly know why -- I think it might be the repetition at the beginning of the chorus in both songs that does it. Either way, it made me think that it'd be pretty amazing if there was some kind of synthy cover of this song. I'm sad to say it, but I often dream of synthy covers of songs. Maybe because in all these older acoustic records the sound design and arrangement is really limited and with most electronic music it's much fuller.

I also object somewhat to Roy Orbison's singing in this. A few times he skips into apathetic territory (IMO), sounding almost like he's singing along to himself while out picking berries in a forest or something. Doesn't particularly sound like he is heartbroken. But I know a lot of people won't agree with me on that...

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).