Monday, January 06, 2014

Images Without Meaning

I'm sure that you know what karaoke is ... pre-recorded music for which some talented or courageous or drunken person supplies the missing vocals.  Not being either courageous or talented, I would never try karaoke.

You might also know what Music Minus One is.  It's a company which provides "participatory" recordings.  Those have recorded with some important element omitted, like a solo part, so that a student or other instrumentalist who can't yet afford to hire her own orchestra can play along with the real thing.  When I was in college I had a MMO recording of the Mozart Clarinet Concerto.

I created a music video over the weekend.  Like karaoke and MMO, this piece lacks one important element which it needs to be a complete experience.  I'm leaving it up to the listener to provide that one element: the meaning.

Okay - music is by nature abstract and doesn't need meaning.  I've done my best not to give any external clues - like lyrics or program notes or a descriptive title.

I have provided, via video, some images to watch as the music plays.  Alas, these images were selected without regard for their meaning.  They also have nothing to do with one another.

The images are:

  • four slightly swaying roses against a blue sky somewhere in Pasadena
  • part of a fiber optic art work at the Huntington Library
  • steps of a moving escalator reflected in its shiny metal side panel 
  • the shadow of a tree on the USC campus as it blows in the wind as seen through a venetian blind
  • water droplets landing in a Monterey Park fountain to which someone had thoughtfully added soap 
  • a tree reflected in the lake at the Chinese Garden, also at the Huntington.

My up-tempo music clearly has nothing to do with these images.  The music does manage to make transitions somewhat in sync with the changing images and it's as close to rock and roll as I'm likely to ever write.  Not very close.

Images Without Meaning  © 2014 by David Ocker 190 seconds

Let your imagination run wild.  If you're the sort of person who makes up stories to fit the music you hear, or if you create your own mental images of music, and if this piece produces such creativity in you, please feel free to share in the comments.  Leslie, who already heard the music, said that she was expecting MONSTERS.

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