Have reminded Jazmin once again that PC + HDD + HDTV = S-T-E-R-E-O. She's enough younger than I am that she might just have generally grown up with everyone using their own Walkmans and MP3 players and iPod docks, I suppose; or possibly I just had an aggressively teenage and self-centered mother who enjoyed sharing her music with the neighbors at window-rattling volumes. I used to have a proper component stereo, with a real amp and a couple sets of speakers, but I eventually gave it up in favor of being able to move, which I had to do frequently, without giving myself a hernia.

In any case, Milkdrop looks pretty bitchin' in 1080p.

I recently had a run-in with a group of performance artists who espoused the philosophy that one should let dance/movement pieces grow "organically" out of a key concept. Failure was had when I tried to explain that they needed to give me some better parameters than "anything that comes into your head" when confronted with the initial prompt. I have a hell of a lot of anything in my head, lady, and even if I discard all of the bits that are pornographic, not in English, or based in math I'm pretty sure nobody in this room got to in school, there is still way too much of it to distill into a "ten-second dance gesture" like you want. I took up hooping in the first place because it looked like an appealing set of constraints. I have way too many limbs and all of them could be doing damn near anything at any given moment; having to remember to keep the hoop going and figure out where I want it to be in five seconds is enough extra processing to whittle down the potential solution space and break the choice paralysis that I otherwise am annoyingly subject to.

I took a stab at explaining synaesthesia instead, on the off chance it might help. Most of mine are too weird and at too high a level of abstraction to get into without burning quite a few column inches on it and getting into neurology and linguistics, but I can usually get the music-motion and music-color ones across to anyone who has seen Fantasia, regardless of their level of sobriety at the time. Unfortunately, those are some of the weakest and least reliable ones. Things being the 'wrong' color for the sound don't bother me as much as they do others; not everything pops with strong visuals for me, since I'm an associator rather than a visualizer. (I.e., things just remind me naggingly and inescapably of other things, rather than actually intruding into my visual field.) I've kind of gotten used to everything looking different than it does in my head. Milkdrop doesn't have a color picker so much as it has a color cycle algorithm, so the visualizer on Winamp is inevitably screamingly wrong. Pretty and interesting, but only the shapes look like they might have anything to do with the music, mostly because I know what spectra waveforms look like, and they're not even always that related.

Most songs that ping it just give me the overall color of the sound field. On the whole, I'm partial to things with really dense backing supporting a strong lead vocal, because they tend to be the songs that evoke it. A lot of the things Yuki Kaijura did for the .hack// anime soundtrack are verdantly green, although See-Saw's vocal theme "Sen no Yoru" is petal pink. The video for Sia's "Chandelier" has the right saturation but is exactly the wrong color; it should be lilac. Goldfrapp's song "Crystalline Green" is really flashes of purple neon tubes on black. Buckley's version of "Hallelujah" is deep, cool, saturated blues.

I get similar things with music and movement, although that's much more difficult to explain in text. One of my short circuits is sound-kinesthesia. Sounds have a definite positional relationship to my body, especially if I'm producing them. I'm informed I wave my hands around a lot when I sing, although I'm not usually aware of it. Higher tones resonate closer to the top of my head. It's inescapable if I'm singing, but it's also the reason I don't do well with musical instruments -- I tried teaching myself guitar once, and it drove me bonkers, because those are arranged exactly backwards.

Annoyingly, the motions I get aren't always exact and often it's more a sense of position or motion through space than actual body movements, which makes choreography very choppy and frustrating, since I have to spend a lot of time figuring out how to get from one thing to the other. Where it really affects me is that it plays merry hell with my ability to memorize things. A lot of the internal symbolic associations are really strong and I have a hard time shutting them down, so if you're doing blocking or choreo and want me to do something other than what my cross-wiring tells me to do, it may take me a long time to get it right. It might stick because I remember it being so wrong, or it might just slide off and refuse to take until I get stubborn and introduce conscious thought into the process. I never know until I try.

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