Friday, April 06, 2007

Earlier I was reading this book, a collection of lectures talking about music and sound design in film. I put it on my contract after I came across it in the stacks of the library. It's awesome. Basics of film-making come up, and so does the minutiae of sound. It's illuminating. The only bad thing about it is this: I started reading it just thinking in terms of sound design for this thing I'm doing that's going to be really odd. The first thing I read was Carter Burwell's piece- He does the soundtrack for all the Coen brothers movies. It's interesting for a number of reasons, but early on, within the first paragraph or two, he convinces me that this thing will need to have music in it. I didn't want to do that, because I'm not a musician and so can't compose things. But he talks about how the place of music in film is to create this blanket of affect and emotion, to create feeling, and suggest things going on beneath the surface that you can't see- And because these things are suggested, music leads to increased suspension of disbelief, because you feel things intuitively and tie them to what you see. So now I think that my weird and ridiculous thing will need music to guide the audience towards emotion when faced with this weird ridiculousness rather than away towards revulsion. It makes perfect sense. My previous stance was that music was this thing in movies that throws up an aesthetic more forcefully than anything else that will occur, and thus will alienate some people. I'm not going to renege on this opinion now, but there's certainly a truth to what Burwell says.

I'm listening to this record, 'Blue' Gene Tyranny's "Out Of The Blue" from 1977. I guess he was an avant-garde composer, but this is his "pop" record, which is still four songs long, with the last one over 26 minutes long, with the shortest six minutes long. It's occasionally pretentious, especially on this last track, but on the whole, it's interesting and kind of moving. A lot of the pretention is just this long-winded and digressive way of circling around things, without stating them, because the things in question are hard to state, but they're no less universal than things found in other pop songs, probably. The last song is a letter that spends a great deal of time talking about consciousness. It's an alright album for one in the morning, which is true for a lot of experimental droney stuff and a lot of folk music as well. It's neither of those, but you know.

"Fuck 'em if they can't take a joke" and "Don't sweat the small stuff... and it's all small stuff" might just be different ways of saying the same thing.

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