Sense of Sound: Assignment 2

Sense of Sound: Trance Music

Woodstock

Loud amplifiers, screaming girls, fainting fans, and an overcrowded arena – the magic of four boys from Liverpool that brought about a revolution that dissolved boundaries and changed the face of music forever. The age of Beatles spearheaded the Rock ‘n’ Roll revolution to create an era of the rocking sixties lasting from the alleys of wet Liverpool to scintillating Hamburg to a hippie California and forming an age of spiritualising the west on the banks of river Ganges at Rishikesh. The Sixties have seen it all. The Rock ‘n’ Roll era saw the formation of legendary bands with the likes of Pink Floyd, Led Zep, Rolling Stones, Aapro Freddie’s Queen and many others. These bands weren’t only another brick in the wall but led to a stairway to heaven which went down in history to be etched as the greatest artists ever to grace the music industry.

Revolution it was back then, revolution it is now. The guitars fell silent, the drums lost their beat, and microphones lost their vocals. Headbangers replaced by intoxicated teenagers moving their bodies to the beat and lip syncing the occasional lyrics. Revolution it was back then, revolution it is now. Standard of music dropping faster than the “drop” created by this noise people call EDM in pop culture. Revolution it was back then, revolution it is now.

Electronic Dance Music, EDM, “techno”, “house” or “chill” as they call it has brought about a revolution so big that the last time this happened people called it the music of satan also known as the age of Rock ‘n’ Roll. For the first time after the sixties, when the world has moved on to more materialistic elements, EDM is introduced as an element of change.

Noise for some, big bucks for some. The EDM music industry right now has a networth of $6.2 billion which is projected to increase many folds in the coming years. Popular artists like Avicii, Tiesto, Hardwell and Skrillex make big bucks for each gig they play and are jetsetters around the world for over 300 days a year. Big artists and even bigger chequebooks, the largest annual electronic music festival in the world Tomorrowland takes place in Belgium. It is where the whole EDM fraternity comes together over a weekend for the biggest performances causing the organizers of festivals like Coachella, Woodstock and Glastonbury to shame.

The music industry is not only about music anymore, it’s much more. From throwing cakes and champagne towards the crowd to blasting them with CO2 Jets, it’s all about the hype and the high. Merchandise hitting the shelves at the highest prices and the patrons of the act are even higher on their MDMAs and other drugs which they use as an ‘enhancer’ to enjoy the music even more.


Sense of Sound: Cinema and Sound


Charlie Chaplin

“Use a picture; it’s worth a thousand words”

Add sound to a picture and it’s worth a million.

From the times of Auguste Marie Louis Nicolas and Louis Jean from the Lumière Brothers fame known as the founders of Cinematography or as we call it cinema today, sound has always been an integral part of cinema. The first display of cinema took place in the year of 1895 in Paris, the Lumiere Brothers displayed their first movie Sortie des Usines Lumière à Lyon (Workers Leaving the Lumière Factory). The audience thought of the two brothers as if they were the first people to have discovered fire. They weren’t aware of the fact that they were going to be the ones to change the face of how coming generations would see, hear and even feel things moving. After making over ten movies not lasting more than fifty seconds of total time duration, the Lumiere Brothers travelled around the world to show their newly invented technology and even held screenings in Bombay during the rule of the British empire.

Earlier synchronization of the moving figures in cinema and the sound (pre-recorded music) was difficult to achieve as there wasn’t proficient technology available until the 1920s. The first breakthrough in sound and cinema as a synchronized part took place in the year 1927. The movie “The Jazz Singer” was presented as the first “talkie” or a commercial feature film.

Sound is associated with feelings and emotions; we associate one a particular sound with a specific emotion, for example, recalling the silent days of the legendary actor who set a big milestone in establishing that all men with a moustache that resembles a toothbrush aren’t cruel dictators, yes it is the one and only, Sir Charles “Charlie” Chaplin. The best use of sound as silence was made by the godfather of silent films, Charlie Chaplin, through his legendary movies with the help of his renowned acting skills. Sound played a very crucial in depicting these works of art and as there wasn’t any dialogue in silent films, and some didn’t even have a background score or any sound effects, so it was very important for sound to come across in actions of visuals. Charlie Chaplin tried to depict the same without any use of words, for that purpose he even composed the music for his own films.

Not to forget in the Indian film industry, Raja Harishchandra was released in the year 1913 and after that it took them 18 years more to see the birth of the Bombay Talkies which is what we know as Bollywood today. The creators of the film Alam Ara made us realize the importance that sound would have on the cinema and raced for the completion of the film before other contemporary movies. The crowd’s response was so overwhelming that police aid was required to control the public during the screenings of the movie. From then till now the Cinema and Sound in the Indian Film Industry has reached great heights in the areas of music, sound engineering, and back ground score as masters like A.R Rahman and Russell Pukooty receive Oscars for their performances in the field.

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:

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.

Id complex music video

The video ID complex explores the concept of the rat race in the commercial world. It shows how a person dedicates his entire life running around to get his work done, ignoring his personal life and any other things that come in the way and how when the person finally just gets exhausted with that kind of running around and he falters, someone else comes from the back, pushes him over and takes his position.

We’ve also uploaded the updated version of the poster for this video.

Precipitate – Final

Precipitate takes you through the journey of a damaged girl who has grown up to participate in all negative indulgences. When we usually look at a girl or a person like this, our reaction is judgement. Our music video throws light on the cause, the childhood and background of what led to this present scenario. Rejection, loss and ignorance moulded her childhood, she learnt from the worst and became a bitter person.

Click on the link below to view our film:

MUSIC AND SOUND

Music is a sound we consciously create. It becomes a pattern that triggers something in each of us and makes us feel an emotion. I don’t have the most deep connect with music, or I didn’t rather. But now music has started having a larger impact upon me. There are certain songs that are my go to emotional support songs and there are those that I listen to that just make me happy. However I don’t enjoy every genre of music. I’m a safe listener, I don’t experiment. That’s also why probably this essay is harder for me to write than I can imagine.

 

When thinking of Goa and the music festivals that goes on there the first thing that comes to mind is psychedelic music. This type of music is heard in attempts to enhance the experiences of psychedelic drugs. In the 70’s and 80’s there was an emergence of the hippie ideology in Goa. People started consuming Marijuana and LSD as an alternative source of consciousness. Goan trance was immensely popular and the precursor to psychedelic music in goa. The goal of trance music was to make bodies move in completely different ways and experience a certain sense of euphoria.

The last music festival that I went to was Sunburn, Mumbai. There were DJ’s like Krewella playing but it was a concert that I thoroughly didn’t enjoy. I don’t know whether It has to do with the fact that I deeply despise trance music as a whole or whether we have outgrown concerts. I guess it has to do with various factors by and large. For me I miss the whole point of psychedelic music because I don’t do drugs or have never tried them before. Sometimes to me it feels like just loud sounds put together to pass off as music. Being drunk at a trance music concert could get me through it but what if that phase has passed too? What if I just cannot do EDM, the baby of trance.

The festival more than anything was extremely crowded which was the first and most putting off out of many things. This huge ground at Turf Club, Mahalaxmi was overworked with frenzied fans high on drugs and alcohol enjoying the concert like it was their first and last. They seemed to get the music and seemed to really enjoy it and get into it. While for me my high from alcohol seemed to have vanished within the first 30 minutes of the concert. I couldn’t do it. Looking at all the people brushing up against each other and push to go more ahead was sickening. I realized that you needed some sort of agent to help you enjoy these things and alcohol wasn’t worthy enough of one. I want to enjoy a concert high on some drug for experimentation one day but that one, I just did not enjoy. Towards the middle of the concert on reaching the bathroom my friend Jhanvi and I looked at each other expectantly and at the same time decided to make a run for it. We left the concert sneakily with bubbling laughter on the outside but I know both of us worried the same thing. Were we too old for this or have we finally realized that without an external agent we just couldn’t enjoy EDM.

A few years ago my friends and I travelled to Pune for a David Guetta Concert. We were excited out of our minds. The ambiance was completely different. It was a massive crowd but in a massive ground. The crowd didn’t match up to the place, which made a huge difference. It gave us breathing space. The entire day we eagerly awaited Guettas arrival. He is one of the best Dj’s in the world. I wasn’t even high at that concert. Not even on alcohol. When the main act arrived, I don’t know what it was, but from start to finish I didn’t stop dancing even for a minute. I enjoyed every moment of his concert. I think it had a lot to do with the fact that most of his songs had lyrics and lyrics are important to me and are what help me relate to a song. Without lyrics most songs are just noise to me. I clung to every word of David Guettas playlist. I scream my heart out and enjoyed like there was no tomorrow. I don’t know what that music did to me but without any external force I was completely euphoric. I went on tall boys backs, danced with my girls and all in all had a great time. There was even a surprise performance by AKON in the end. I think what made the concert enjoyable was the ambiance being not too crowded and heated. But mainly knowing most of the songs and the songs having words.

I don’t know whether I will ever enjoy an EDM Concert again. I think this proves the point that this type of psychedelic music relies heavily on having external catalysts speed up the process of reaching that state of euphoria that makes such music enjoyable and actually become music to the ears. I know one day I want to experience it but I know I’m not ready.

Guest Lecture with Anuraag Dhoundeyal

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Anuraag is a musician and a versatile singer. Anuraag believes in the potential of music to transcend all boundaries and to help individuals become more sensitive to their environment. Anurag has to his credit a number of performances and collaborations, both national and international, in India and abroad. He has partnered with musicians from different genres in creating original compositions as well as lending his voice for multiple projects covering genres like western classical, jazz, folk music from Africa, Ireland and Rajasthan, world music and Sufi. He has also composed and performed the music for a South African play ‘The Coolie Odyssey’.

As a Music Educator, he was invited by the Guildhall School of Music and Drama (London) to attend workshops for Professional Musicians and Educators and also to conduct workshops on Indian Classical Music for the post-graduate students of the University.

Through a lecture demonstration, Anurag talks about music and its reactions on the brain.