Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Late evening, early morning & a concept


Yesterday evening. Long walk in the woods. Picnicing on pasta salad and strawberries with cream. A call from a friend to say she is in an airport, going home to be with her family in the US as her father is dying. Trying to find words that aren't as shallow as the sand sprinkled on the woodland paths. Afterwards, everything seems more important, more urgent, more vital. Perfect evening light.


Nine hours later. Grass puffs up mist and the dog's breath swirls around her. It is all still here. Still beautiful. Lit from the other side. What was hidden last night is this morning revealed.

A concept. Seems too bold, surely I am too new at all this? But then, it's only a suggestion.

There is an album, by Max Richter, called The Blue Notebooks. I came across it because Hyundai are using a track from the album in an advert right now. I thought I recognised the music from a movie, but it turns out that is only because this is what the composer has intended. The album has been described as the soundtrack to the movie everybody wishes they could one day write. Some of the pieces have dialog, enough to shape the direction of the narrative, but with questions not answers. The challenge to the listener is to form their own narrative, their own movie, around the music. In fact, it would be a greater challenge not to.

The pieces draw out stories within me. I am wondering what stories they draw out in others. The same? Different how?

So, maybe I will post a link to an MP3 of one of the tracks. Produce my own narrative images, and perhaps a few words, and invite others to do the same. Create an animation of the sum ... accompanied of course by the track. Do I dare?

The track is here, to listen or download: Vladimir’s Blues, Max Richter, 2004

I believe the composer would indulge this small breach of copyright in view of the intent. However, I also believe that hearing that track may set off a craving for the whole album. Which you can buy on amazon UK, amazon US, or, as I did because I couldn't wait another day, download it from iTunes.

7 Comments:

Blogger Daisy-Winifred said...

Oh, well wrote a rather long comment just now and then poof gone. Teach me to try and get technical by adding a blogger address.

Think I said previously that I really like Richter. and thought your idea really interesting plus the fact that the sentances 'The challenge of the listner is to form their own narrative, their own movie, around the music. In fact, it would be a greater challenge not to.' Really had resonance beyond that which I suspect you intended.

The challenge is to listen to the music of our hearts and souls, the music of our lives no matter the harmony or discordance and discover the ability to create our own narrative and movie in expressing the gifts we discover. Of course the challenge is not often embarked on by minds switched off and hearts not open but think we lose so much and the world has huge sense that wholeness is maybe silent cartoon at best.

I love the way his music leaves enough space for my imagination and permission to jump off boards he hadn't even glimpsed and still feel you are honouring his music just by listening not having to revere and cow tow tio its complete wonderfulness.

Oh goodness I'm rambling again maybe this one will go poof too, you may get the idea that I REALLY like his music ha-ha.

I look forward to seeing reading hearing what you put together. I think I would cause chaos if I were even to try but am excited to watch what transpires from your skills and imagination.

12 July, 2006 10:58  
Blogger Mary said...

I have dial up and have problems trying to listen to or download this ... damn.

But I am interested in the "narrative" concept. Maybe you are referring simply to this particular piece with the dialogue element but my own reaction to music per se is almost totally non-verbal .... perhaps I am interpreting "narrative" to narrowly?

I can see I am going to have to listen to the piece before I take this any further :-).

I like DW's comment too, particularly the third para.

12 July, 2006 21:29  
Blogger Stray said...

D-W - thanks for many wise words! Yes, singing and telling stories seems to be discouraged in so many people today ... a shame as most five year olds have such a gift for it. I am certain I have discouraged it in myself for a long time.

Mary, I apologise, I completely forget that not everybody is broadbanded up. The track isn't huge - I could email it if you like. Or ... call me old fashioned, but years ago I used to borrow CDs from the library.

The piece in question doesn't have any dialog. I am with you on the non-verbal narrative. The small pieces of narration within the album are diary entries - blog posts they could be I suppose! But yes, my own reaction to the piece is very much about images and motion - and so far I am struggling to find words to go with that. If they come, they come, but I will begin with the images and see where it goes from there.

If you can't get hold of it perhaps we could do some sort of Frederick-Fortsyth-esqe dead-drop in a spot in a public place in London? I'll leave a CD tucked inside a life saver on Waterloo Bridge. It'll be a great adventure. Or a bomb scare. One or the other. ;)

12 July, 2006 23:35  
Blogger g said...

do be careful on those dead-drops, stray. the world is very touchy about unmarked packages left in public places.

i loved d-w's comment about "the challenge"

13 July, 2006 03:18  
Blogger Stray said...

thanks g :) yes, I'm not entirely serious about the unmarked package business. I've no wish to become moving-target-practice for a met police rookie, and I'm sure Mary doesn't either.

13 July, 2006 10:58  
Blogger Brenda said...

I'm just downloading the excerpt now - it skipped a lot on play. It's beautiful, there's a freshness that captivated me. I found the repetition vaguely alarming too, though, as if something perhaps tense was building. Perfect for a movie score! I'll be happy to join you on this... though I may need to get the CD too!

Thank you so much for your comments on my dream this morning - I have been having 'art' dreams for years... and think now I should make space in my life for continuous painting - I don't have these dreams when I'm in my overalls, hands covered in rich paints!

13 July, 2006 12:31  
Blogger Stray said...

That's a great insight Brenda - I hadn't realised that some of those kinds of dreams I have only happen when I'm not regularly engaging in the subject / activity they center around in my waking life.

I'm glad you're up for it ... and, yes, there is a certain momentum / tension builds with each repetition. For me, it's definitely Going Somewhere.

I have a really strong visual story forming in my head, but sadly probably not the skills to execute it. I will have a go, but I suspect it will be slow progress!

13 July, 2006 19:10  

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