Tie of Audio and Visual

As a large amount of my efforts this year were based around creating visuals to suit the audio (I initially thought it would be better to create audio for the video), when I found this video it is evident that neither imagery or sound were created to work together.

I'm interested as there were many times my video would 'POP' and work really well with the audio, it would sync up briefly, but that just wasn't visually appealing enough. Within this video those pops are often enough to keep me interested but I'm still vary aware of the disconnect. Despite this disconnect I find the combination of the audio and visual to be very pleasant.

As my work has been so heavily focused on this I find myself wondering about the how much is dependant on our aesthetic taste and enjoyment of these very overt effects based visuals. The visuals are exciting to us as they are so unnatural, and cannot exist outside of a digital medium. The alternative to this is the aforementioned representation of the music, whether the visual ties perfectly to the audio and can be universally interpreted as them being entwined together.

 

Future Research Materials

How music influences the brain, I sourced both of these images off of FastCompany and have decided to further research these today.

It did take me a while to understand the layout of the below diagram but I find it interesting that it is almost as if we are pre-determined for certain styles of music depending on our personality.

I've always been interested in how aspects of the brain work and how sections are devoted to specific tasks. Seeing the impact of music on the brain is more of general interest than anything.

There is a lot more on auditory and visual processing here at Fourier.edu just for reference, might be worth looking at, at some point!

Not at all Paranoid Paranoia

In relation to the Moranbong band (North Korea) that I had posted a few days ago exploring Eastern vs. Western styles of music, I began thinking about the propaganda behind it all. Examples of music being used by the state as propaganda during war times is nothing new, Vera Lynn is a key example. Music is an excellent morale booster and unites people in their tastes and opinions.

I then began wondering about how the music industry/musicians influence culture. In a sense they are capable of using the platform for propaganda, this is shown time and time again with the promotion of Beats merchandise in songs and music videos. Of course there's also the big illuminati conspiracy as well but I'll just skip that for my own sanity.

In relation to my own practice, rave became so large in the uk partly due to the rich funding it. Despite Margaret Thatcher and the police's hatred of rave, it was the rich that threw the raves and profited from them. My thinking is that where there is money, there can be a profound impact made on culture, similarly to propaganda of sorts. A particular music, style, advertising/posters all to promote the event, it helps build a loyalty to a cause and therefore lures people in.

If we look at Edward Bernays, one of the founders of propaganda and consumerism as we know it, he believed that the public were essentially mindless sheep that had to be told what they wanted by the more intelligent leaders. This quote from '10 or 21 things' Wordpress blog accurately summarises how I believe music can impact culture so profoundly...

https://10or21things.wordpress.com/2014/06/08/10-things-about-edward-bernays-propaganda/

https://10or21things.wordpress.com/2014/06/08/10-things-about-edward-bernays-propaganda/

By indirectly hinting at cultural reforms, through a less visible medium it can directly control the masses. Slipping messages into music can affect the general public, I'm not explicitly saying this is necessarily what is happening, I just feel it's interesting that it would more than likely work. Though not always (see below...).

There are also times it seems people are falling for it... (worryingly!)

Repurposing

"Adapt for use in a different purpose."

Within my current practice I am very attracted to repurposing rave culture into an art gallery setting.

A large amount of my previous works have included an interest in the spaces that are inaccessible to us under normal circumstances. By the very nature of rave culture it is meant to be elusive, with the beginnings of rave operating secretively in their location due to the time period and an attack on the burgeoning culture from Margaret Thatcher. The illusiveness of raves, their location, the attendees, is what both entices myself to them but also operates as my main barrier to entry, for I have never actually attended a rave. 

I'm at a stage in wanting to attend a rave where I'm old enough to see past a large amount of the ghost stories surrounding them but I now feel that the whole experience would be a massive let down. As rave has spilled into so many aspects of popular culture and been propagated by radio and television, I have already experienced a rave through a sensationalist lens. I find it hard to believe much of the hype surrounding attending a rave and I feel it is because of this that I now take the pleasure from making my own rave audio and imagery. The exciting aspect of the process to me is now the creation, and through creating, I view what was once a mystery differently, with more understanding and knowledge.

Effects

How much do audio effects, transitions and automations affect the music we listen to? With a simple filter over the audio you can effectively double the amount of time that a person will listen to the same looping instrumentation.

What effects are most useful? High/low pass filters? Just because I've been very focused on this at the minute it's where most of my questions lie.

Where does our aesthetic taste come from?

On beginning to research this question I came across this article, inadvertently I have began to look at the concept of the sublime (a concept I have been looking at quite extensively in my work). I find the aforementioned article particularly relevant due to the simplicity of it's nature.

"Sublime' and 'beautiful' are only two amongst the many terms which may be used to describe our aesthetic experiences. Clearly there are 'ridiculous' and 'ugly,' for a start, as well. But the more discriminating will have no difficulty also finding something maybe 'fine,' or 'lovely' rather than 'awful' or 'hideous,' and 'exquisite' or 'superb' rather than 'gross' or 'foul.' Frank Sibley wrote a notable series of articles, starting in 1959, defending a view of aesthetic concepts as a whole. He said that they were not rule- or condition-governed, but required a heightened form of perception, which one might call taste, sensitivity, or judgment." (link)

I shall have to do some further reading on this article and some further research to answer my question of where our aesthetic taste comes from as I am particularly interested in our formative development as children.

Speedcore

Looking at the WatchMojo weird genres of music (yesterdays post) I started experimenting with some 600BPM music, I believe anything over 300BPM is typically considered under the broad term of 'Speedcore'. 

So now my curiosities lie in where the human ear stops hearing beats as separate entities, when they merge into one continuous noise (The intro of One - Swedish House Mafia). At 600BPM with a beat (in some cases half a beat) between the notes it is still distinguishable as a drum beat... I wish to look towards 1000BPM out of curiosity and fascination to work at these elements.

I don't believe I have a desire to produce this style of music for my practice just yet, but who knows, I could surprise myself! 

It's of my desire to produce things that I enjoy listening to, the production of this has definitely given me a migraine. It could well just be my inexperience with the genre...(more than likely the case)

What is the formula for the perfect song?

By now most of us are aware of the chord progression used in pop songs (famously demonstrated by the Axis of Awesome).

I'm curious if there's a formula for the perfect song, there's the machine that can tell if a song will be a hit so what is the exact formula. As I see it though the examples given are not exactly accurate, just from my standpoint as someone who enjoys paying attention to what music is popular every couple of months the highest rated song, “I Want You To Know" - Zedd featuring Selena Gomez wasn't as big as, "Where Are U Now" - Justin Bieber or, "Lean On" - Major Lazer.

I will have to further dissect the information provided in the graph below and do some deeper research to get the understanding of what it is we look for...

Music Without the Money?

How would music sound if it wasn't a massively lucrative business? 

What would become the popular? Would we have our massive pop stars? Would we still look at the formula for the perfect pop song, would we need to care for this?

Can we class pop stars as thespians? Where is the hierarchy in there? They are technically acting out roles on a stage, a social media stage, a world stage. 

Where do audio and visual combine?

Aside from everyday where they quite literally combine for the majority of us to create our perceived existence...

Adverts, concerts, raves, music videos, TV in general, digital media... typically in general (i.e. youtube, iplayer, all VoD), horse racing announcer, clergy in mass/church, visualised sound waves, ripples in liquids etc...

 

 

Answer to my prior question over 'Power'...

National Geographic

 

Now to resolve some of the other thoughts/ramblings...

Power

Which is more powerful at grabbing us? Sight or sound? Or which is the more useful demographic to try and grasp? 

Does a brand do better from slipping an advert into our subconscious on the radio or with billboards and television?

When do we lose the consciousness of these objects and sounds? Or do we, am I just generalising everyone's thoughts to what I believe?

Why does music impact on how well we study? Does it fire up our brain receptors and alleviate boredom before something that can be quite a chore?

http://www.uloop.com/news/view.php/149570/Do-Or-Dont-Studying-While-Listening-To

http://www.uloop.com/news/view.php/149570/Do-Or-Dont-Studying-While-Listening-To

Why does some music help in working (I've really found THIS album to be particularly great for written work).

Music is Art

Media, Texture, Impact, Soul, Layering, Creativity.

Pop Art is Derivative of pop music (alongside movies, advertising, packaging etc. generic popular culture of the 1950s and 1960s)

Pristine bubblegum pop 1990's early 2000's is not art?

"It has no soul" I hear people cry. "Autotune, computers! Set equations!" shout the others. A reaction whether positive or negative is a reaction nonetheless and the hatred this music can evoke in those "enlightened" few proves divisive. 

Surely these are cultures worthy of examination, and discussion what happened during this time period? The art world shuns anything hinting at bubblegum pop worse than a foul stench as though there is no merit or worthiness within it's roots.

Mainstream and Art

Where is the line drawn between popular culture and fine artistic practice?

Due to my current work in repurposing electronic/electronic dance music with concert/rave imagery I can't help but wonder what it is about these works that reject the art world? What aspects leave us conceptually yearning for more with the works?

People argue the legitimacy of pop music as "Real" music... 

 

And some argue whether music is art altogether...

 

       

 

 

 

And this is where my musings in and around the subject, including, my current art work comes from.

I distinctly recall being told by another student during my time in GCSE music that we have to use sheet music and musics traditions, and we cannot use music artistically without it fitting into the exact tradition of how it's done. "That's just how it's done." 

Why do we use 3/4, 4/4, time signatures etc, and why do we use such specific keys within our music.? These are but a few of the music legacies continued centuries on from the formalisation of music (as I see it).

Why do the aesthetics of music have to be so tied-up in logic and math, for something which (as I see it) should be creative and experiential?

Although, it could be viewed that the masses are attracted to the music that is based on the mathematical and pattern based music creation process, "The Cream always rises to the Top" and surely that makes my arguments invalid. The contrast to this is if we look at Edward Bernays, inventor of consumerism. Bernays believed that the masses were sheep that could be easily swayed by popular opinion (see more. Google also this amazing BBC Documentary). My thinking in relation to the Bernays is do we enjoy this style of music because we've been mentally conditioned to respond positively to it or is there something hardwired to us that makes us enjoy a specific tone and beat progression? 

The differences of music tastes from culture to culture would lead us to believe so. A very interesting development being in South Korea where their look towards becoming more of a Western Culture has brought about a parallel to 90's UK popular boyband and girlband music.

Who is directly in charge of the influences  on our music culture? Do they do this to continue the drive of sales similar to fashion?