Sense of Sound: The Grind (music video)

Iteration #1:
Initially, we were thinking of things and processes that our mundane in our life which would help that bring about the mechanical monotony of our soundtrack. According to us, our mash up seemed to resemble tons of machines being used and constantly working at the same time. So, machines used in factories inspired our first idea, our video would comment on mass production vs nature. It would show the journey of a shoe being manufactured in a factory, followed by being walked around in and then finally end with it disintegrating into nature.

Feedback:
The feedback we got on our first idea was that in our first look of the video, the making of the shoe was not coming across too strongly. We were also facing difficulties in execution (we were lacking footage due to locating factories, permissions and other things) so, we were asked to think of another concept that would be more practical in terms of execution and would also connect with our soundtrack.

Iteration #2:
So, we started to think of other mechanical processes and well what are humans if not machines? We thought of reflecting on our college lives with a comic twist – “The life of a design student” (sigh). We thought that our life mimics the monotony of the soundtrack and so we chose this concept for our music video.

When we sit down to work, we are easily distracted and after hours of procrastination we either end up with work or … well sometimes things don’t really turn out the way we plan them – well that’s our life!

Storyboard:

The Grind - Storyboard

Final:

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Sense of Sound: The Grind (final soundtrack)

The sounds used in this soundtrack are from various mundane objects that are a part of our everyday routine that we over look. In the beginning, there are random sounds played in isolation and then the sounds slowly build up and create a rhythm, as all the sounds play in a symphony. This mash-up aims to a sense of a lifeless, perfunctory, and a mechanical way of life.

Senses : Incorporation of all 5 senses

What is the most prominent memory of yours? Do you remember the first day of school? The first time you ate something spicy, the first time you saw snow? All of these amazing memories that we have somehow keep coming back to us by little things. If you get a particular smell it triggers a memory of it. Our senses are these important tools that help us hold onto these nostalgic moments in the way we do.

Living in Mumbai one of the most common memories that we all shared were of the rains, whether the good part of it or the bad. We have all had memories connected to it. We chose to showcase our most prominent memory of rain i.e, every time we see rain, its the one memory we all relate too. The two things that stood out for us in respective to the good and bad were Dancing of the peacocks and the using of vipers. What we realised is both the opening of the peacock feathers and the motion of vipers are very similar. We tried to incorporate both of them and realised it represented a hand fan, added bonus we suppose. In order to merge both of it, we used vipers to create the skeleton of the fan, and tie-dyed white fabric in shades of blue, green, yellow to represent the peacock . Since we dint want it to be very literal, we decided to tie-dye the fabric.We also sketched out our most prominent memories in between the structure. Those include, bike riding, drive to manali in the middle of the night, eating butta (corn) in lonavala, maggi and tea, and marine drive. We also incorporated the smell of sandalwood to remind us of the first rains and added Raag Malhar also known as the Rain Raga (it is said that by playing the Raag Malhar, one is inviting the rains) to the fan in order to recreate sound.

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Review : In the Mood for Love

In the Mood for Love is a film by Wong Kar Wai that was released in the year 2000. It is a story of obstructed love by the society and their norms. It is a bittersweet tale of unrequited love and of finding solace in another person, which reciprocates those feelings but is bound by their faith. It is a different take on a love story. The film begins with a short scene, describing it as an “awkward moment” for Mr Chow and Mrs Chan as they meet for the first time in the hallway. The opening sequences states “Hong Kong, 1962” as to tell us the exact location and time the film is set in. During this entire film, we are made to pay attention to the scene; for example, when the characters are talking, the focus is given to an object so that people pay more attention to the conversation that is playing in the background.

In this film, “visual theme” or “Mise-en-scène” is used very effectively to focus the audience into the underlying story. the duality of them being together but not together sets the theme in this film. Everytime they are together, it is mostly reflection shots. Wong Kar Wai uses reflection to tell another story all together. In his analysis of In the Mood for Love, Gary Bettinson wrote:

Noir iconography invades the misc en scene: ringing telephones and doorbells remain discomfortingly unanswered; cigarettes are obsessively smoked and function as ubiquitous markers of anxiety; and at night a perpetual rainfall pounds the lamp-lined streets of Hong Kong (175).

One of the key elements of In the Mood for Love is its cinematography. The detail shots (of the phone or objects), long shots (of corridors), the edit breaks (between two scenes) really bring in the movie together. Wong Kar Wai in an interview said much of the film was shot using normal lens as it ‘seeks to avoid noticeable perspective distortions’, giving the audience the feeling of being present during the movie. He used framed close-ups to ‘convey the quality of a personal encounter’. Wong speaks of In the Mood for Love being inspired by Hitchcock’s Vertigo;

“I wanted to treat it like a Hitchcock film, where so much happens outside the frame, and the viewer’s imagination creates a kind of suspense. Vertigo, especially, is something I always kept returning to in making the film.” Being truthful to his description, he uses a variety of shots and creates suspense by using props like partitions and window grills. This can also be seen as a metaphor for portraying Mr Chow and Mrs Chan’s feelings of being trapped.

Music plays a critical role in this film. The sound of the violin creates a mod of sadness and monotony, which indeed is depictive of both of their lives. The music also marks how their relationship progresses. The music is very specific to make you feel exactly what the characters go through. The music is made and played in such a way that you really invest yourself in the particular scene and feel like a part of the conversation. ‘When Chow calls Su before leaving for Singapore, he asks her to move with him; there is no reply from her but the song “Quizas, Quizas, Quizas” starts to play, hinting that the answer is “Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps”. On many occasions the round of rain contributes to the setting of this story.

The aesthetic of the film moves with the feelings of Mrs Chow. At first, her dressing is dull and monotonous but as she starts spending time with Mr Chow; her dressing becomes more colorful, brighter and even floral. Throughout the film, she wears a ‘Cheongsam’, which is a traditional Chinese ensemble for women. Even the set of the film changes, as the scenes get brighter and colorful. She sometimes repeats her outfits, which make you, wonder if it is a continuation of a previous scene or is it an entirely different scene. The way the film is edited makes it difficult to answer this question and confuses the audience. The breaks in this scene are used effectively as it leaves a sense of mystery but the next scene reenacts it anyway. The audience always knows what happens when one scene shifts into another. The story itself has different underlying issues. There is a constant connection throughout the film.

Mr Chow and Mrs Chan reenact their spouses’ affair but the barrier is soon broken when Mrs Chan asks “Do you have a mistress?”. They are in their own relationship but they fall in love. They seek comfort in each other but soon realize what they’re doing is much worse because they have connected on a different emotional level unlike their spouses who have a rather physical relationship. Not showing the faces of their respected spouses also portrays their attitude of not caring about their partners.

The story itself being a play on its title justifies it as both of the characters crave love but don’t receive it from their respective partners. The film is beautifully depicting the feelings and state of the characters and leaves a grave impression of the viewer as they are suddenly bombarded with questions about the film and its characters.

Works Cited:

In the Mood For Love, Wong Kar Wai.

Soundtrack Review of In the Mood for Love, Glenn McClanan

http://www.theguardian.com/film/filmblog/2011/dec/19/in-the-mood-for-love

http://www.academia.edu/2419796/Labyrinth_of_Time_in_Wong_Kar-Wai_s_In_the_Mood_for_Love_and_2046

http://blogs.dickinson.edu/eastasiancinema/category/in-the-mood-for-love/

Sense of Sound: Sounds of India Bulls

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Atyaan Jungalwala

Walking in through the cartridge movements, I was being slamed from one end of the room to the other with a gigantic machine. The room’s smell was getting stronger with each push where I felt suffocated by the chemicals. While I was pushed back and forth, I had no idea where I was headed, in this pitch-black space. As the momentum started to speed up even more, I was being tugged from one end to another. The last tug was a sudden push out of this dark space, where I found myself covered in black, just like what I could see from within the space. On coming out I was splashed by I clear flow of water from above me. I don’t know if this made me laugh or cry.

Aditi Mundra

The sounds used in this soundtrack are mundane, sounds part of everyday routine that we over look.

In the beginning, this mashup creates a sense of confusion, as there are only random sounds played.
The solo sounds build up and create a rhythm and somehow it makes me imagine that I’m stuck in a traffic jam and all the cars start honking in a symphony.

Purvisha Nadkarni

As the man was cutting down the tree with his axe, he heard a strange noise that he could not understand. He continued to cut, and the noise just kept getting longer and louder. He tried hard to recognize these strange noises but was miserably failing to do so. He suddenly stopped as a strong gush of wind came his way and he could not hold his ground, the strange noise however did not fade, only to be startled more and more by them. He recognized a sound that was familiar to coughing and giggling; he started getting curiouser and curiouser before it all came to a random and sudden halt. Everything became pindrop silence.

Ishita Dedhia

She walked around looking for something that would take her mind off the loss she had just faced. Having lost her grandmother who was her only source of inspiration had taken a toll on her health too. She dragged herself through the roads with towers being constructed on either sides. Men working in scorching heat continuously to earn the few pennies that they get from their entire day work. Memories of her grandmother took her thoughts away again from her surroundings. Just when she heard something and looked behind her. An old lady with a wrinkled face had tripped and fallen and was struggling to get back to her feel again. She ran towards her to give her a hand. They struck a conversation as she helped her get back home safely. Since that day , she would go to meet her frequently and pass their time with stories and laughs. She lost someone but also she gained someone just amongst those sad days. A grandmother whom she cherished through her entire life.