Dreams and The Music of Sound

April 3, 2014

TRACKS IN THE SOUND

 

I've been thinking about soundtrack recently and decided that rather than having a dramatic or melodic musical score I would have music that was more of a texture and a sound with the musical notes sustaining and changing only in a minor way to convey emotion and set a tone to the scenes. Trying to think about a film that had this type of music I immediately thought about the films of Steven Soderbergh and his film Sex, Lies and Videotape popped into my mind. I listened to several pieces of music from that film and decided that it was similar to some of Brian Eno's work from the late 1970s with his Music for Airports or Music for Films recordings. I plan on listening more to this type of music so that I understand a bit about what it is and what it is doing.

 

I've done soundtracks to several of my videos. I've also collaborated with musicians on soundtracks and found that it was very important for me to have a sense of what I want so that I can sit down and talk about it and even shape it. I've come up with melodies and hummed or whistled them into recording devices and then played them to musicians so that they could play the music out on a piano. I've worked this way with my friend John Steiner who I've always loved working with because not only has he done soundtrack work professionally but I also know that he understands and can play all types of music from classical pieces to jazz to funk to rock to old standards and world music. It's refreshing working with an artist like John because I can play my hummed melody and once he gets a sense of it and plays it out on a keyboard he then works it and plays with it and often I will tell him to play it this way or that (faster, slower, etc.) but then I will just record him doing his freestyle improvisation with the piece where he wanders and meanders and comes back to the main melody. I've learned a lot from John but I could never do the musical gymnastics that he can. Whether or not I use this music, I thought I would just jump in and create something so that I can at least talk about it and convey it to others.

 

I decided to just use Garage Band (comes with most Macs) for starters and go through the instruments and voices and sounds offered and then shape them and play them in the ways I think I would like where there is clearly music but not so much melody or drama. It’s interesting how certain notes played even by themselves are more dramatic than others. Now that I have some musical moments down, I can share them with musicians in hope of giving them a sense of what I am going for.

 

 

MARBLE DREAMS

 

The images that I decided to show with the music are footage from the dream sequence that appears at the end of the video. Some of it is edited, some of it is in the works and some of it is not going to be used. Much of the shots show the marble effect where I wanted something to appear to be moving within the marble. I had bought a large spherical fish bowl type glass vase and filled it with water and dropped red food coloring into it and many other things including ice, cherry Jell-O, kelp, roots, clay, water balloons, latex "dragon skin", and then finally the dragon head puppet. I also edited in some shots that will be in the video just to get a sense of how this type of music might work with them.

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