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.

What To Expect After Expecting: Senses Final

We use our five senses everyday. Each playing a more important role than the other. What is most important is to not scatter these senses or go through each of them unconsciously.
Through this assignment we tried to incorporate all five senses into one “Touch and Feel” book. Our idea was to create a book targeting new parents after they have their child. It is a fun book filled with the entire experience. We created the book digitally with vibrant colors and somewhat quirky and fun illustrations to show what to do and what not to do. That fulfilled our sense of sight.
We had incorporated cerelac powder, baby soap, towels, diapers, wet wipes etc and separate sheets on how to try each step. This was aimed at helping the buyer to engage with the senses of smell, touch and taste. We also incorporated a CD along with the book filled with songs for each mood of the baby targeting the sense of sound. Through this we tried successfully incorporating the whole experience through our book.

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.

Sense Of Sound; Concert

“Music produces a kind of pleasure which human nature cannot do without”

– Confucius

Every person has a particular kind of music they listen to or a particular artist they prefer over the other. I too have such preferences but my music taste can vary or rather varies from Kishore Kumar to Ed Sheeran to Jay-Z. I enjoy most kinds of music but my preference will always be towards acoustic or pop music. On certain days, i could only listen to a particular kind of music but on others and most, any song will get me in a cheery mood. One the most extreme examples is on my phone, straight after ‘Niggas In Paris’ by Jay-Z and Kanye West, a meoldy of Kishore Kumar, Mukesh and Mohammed Rafi sung by Atif Aslam plays. My friends get really confused as to such a wide contrast but personally I really enjoy most types of music. Somehow Trance was never a genre that i coud get myself into; it actually gives me a massive headache and this becomes difficult as my brother mainly only listens to trance.

Recently I’ve been to two concerts, which I’ve thoroughly enjoyed. The experiences for both of them were so different but pleasant nonetheless. The first concert was ‘Arijit Singh’, although we missed most of it, the time we did spend there was fully utilized. The concert actually started at 5 but we ended up going only at 8.30. I had gone with a group of my really close friends but handling them was quite a task as they were mainly high. At one point of time, one of my friends actually collapsed on the ground and it was quite funny. She was conscious but absolutely had no idea what was going on around her. I think my friends made the concert quite entertaining, as their antics were too much to handle yet nothing extreme. They completely made fools out of themselves as they really had no idea as to what they were doing and how they were dancing, luckily no one there cared enough to react to them and we barely could get a hold on them. During one of his songs, one of my friends started to laugh uncontrollably and that was quite fun to watch as she was properly making a fool out of herself, trying to ‘photobomb’ random strangers pictures. It was a show within a show. I personally think at that point, Arijit Singh could not bother us and we were in our own zone, dancing and singing horribly might I add.

The second concert and probably one of the best days of my life was seeing Ed Sheeran perform live. I’ve followed him since 2011 and seeing him perform was absolutely the best experience, it felt unreal. We actually went quite early for the concert as i couldn’t have any more patience and my excitement was thoroughly getting the best of me. We were probably in the 15 the row from the stage but eventually moved behind as my friends started to feel a bit claustrophobic. The atmosphere of the entire show was so great and energetic. It was a whole new experience altogether. There was not a dull moment during the entire show; from the moment he got on the stage and even after he exited, the excitement level did not go down one bit. Everybody knew the words to his songs but stayed moderately quiet just to hear him sing and it got all to real when he started singing one of my favorite song “Photograph”, his entire album is brilliant itself so I think from the very get go, my inner fangirl came out. He sounds exactly the same live as he did on his record, which left all of us stunned. The visuals on the screen itself had another story to tell and impressed us to great extents. He himself was looping his track while making up the song on the stage; with the leg pedals he’d put his guitar solo on loop and would add different tracks to the song. In totality, he sang for an hour and a half but it sincerely got over really quickly; it felt like a blink of an eye and I really couldn’t get over it.

Ever since he announced that he’d be coming to Mumbai (which is back in November) I had been looking forward to that day but now that its over, I cannot get myself to accept it. Since the concert, I’ve only been listening to him on repeat and cannot get myself to listen to anything else other than him. When i listen to any song that he played at the concert, I can exactly pin point what I doing or thinking during it; for example, he played ‘I See Fire’ and I exactly know where I was standing, how I was swaying and singing in probably in a horrendous tone. I even can tell what visuals were playing on the screen and when they turned from him to a snippet of ‘The Hobbit : Desolation of Smaug’. Everyone who was present at the concert, paid all their attention to seeing him and listening to him. It was something I’ve never seen, not only were they physically present but also mentally. He himself was so interactive with the crowd and it genuinely seemed as he was enjoying the concert, which made everybody a bit crazier than usual. He even wore a kurta and put up the Indian flag on his microphone, which I think was a nice touch as it made everybody a little giddier.

Post his concert, everybody I know went into depression including me as we could not believe that it is over. I seriously reckon his concert was by far one of the greatest time of my life.

“That’s one of the great things about music. You can sing a song to 85,000 people and they’ll sing it back for 85,000 different reasons”

– Dave Grohl

 

Five Senses: Installation


The Mango Projectimage1

The memory we choose to recreate evoking all the senses is the everlasting memory of summer. When we first thought of creating this season, we thought of re-creating something intrinsic to the summers we have experienced in the past. We use nostalgia of our warm childhood summers filled with the vibrant and delicious essence of the mango.

Apart from the scorching heat, the arrival of hay-filled crates in our house, is the biggest memory we all seem to have about this season. In order to recreate the memory we first thought of creating an art installation with this iconic fruit. We would instil the different texture, taste and smell of the mangoes in a minimalistic fashion. However instead of being too obvious, we then changed our idea and decided to create the memory of summer without the fruit. With the use of crates, we plant certain memories in each one; each crate focussing on different sense, yet not isolating  smell and visuals in any.

Group Members: Jhanvi, Riya, Janemajay, Vaibhavi, Manah, Khyati.


Sense of Sound: Music Video

Final:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zQkrW8qXDcE&feature=youtu.be

The final music video showcases a repressed woman in the society. How violence is imposed on her causing her to be socially inactive and alone. Her experience of life is quite different as this world is a cruel place, which is not allowing her to live in peace. This makes her go on a search of an outside world where she lives one with herself.

Sehnsucht represents thoughts and feelings about all facts of life that are unfinished or imperfect, paired with a yearning for ideal alternative experiences. It has been referred to as “life’s longings”; or an individual’s search for happiness while coping with the reality of unattainable wishes.

Since week 1 our main idea behind all our sounds and videos was monotony and the idea of people walking, that’s why for our final video we wanted to show a journey and a sense of monotony. Our idea was to show a girl who is going through an emotional journey and is walking to something better.

Process:

Idea #1:

https://soundcloud.com/sharanya-kanwar/music-track

Our music piece made us feel really eerie and mysterious. Thus, for our music video we wanted to show the journey of a mysterious girl walking through the city. Since we have two beats in our music piece and have a duality to it, we are planning to show the fast footsteps as the rest of the world that surrounds this girl and the girl as the slow beats (walking in her own world). In an abstract way it’s like the whole world is dominating her and she’s walking alone in her own slow pace.

Feedback:

Need to build the character sketch of the mysterious girl and what makes her mysterious?

Need to define what is the world in which she is getting dominated? OR She could be in conflict with herself.

The piece of music has duality, need to look over it and think about it.

Think about how the video ends; is there a climax, start and an end? OR is it open ended.

Idea #2:

In the music video we tried to portray a girl going through domestic violence and how at the verge of ending her life she realises the joy of living. She realises that only person who controls her life is her and this realisation makes her a confident and self reliant person.We show her as not being afraid of the crowd and in the end taking control.

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