Wednesday 29 January 2014

Dimensional Transitions

The presence of music as an ambient texture is truly a magical inspiration. By underlying scenes in a film, the musical fabric sometimes may go unnoticed to the conscious mind, but it's influence is inescapable. I try to accomplish a similar phenomenon through the control of digital media manipulation. Sometimes, while trying to concentrate on a particiularly difficult bit of creative construction or complicated programming, I'll put on a track and let it repeat for hours on end, over and over, however, such appropriate music selections are rare and hard to find.

For example, they could be as short as the two and a half minutes of Robyn Miller's "Wahrk Room" from Riven (1997 CD-ROM game) or as long as the 30 minute, three movement Clarinet Concerto in A (Mozart's K 622). Some people might call it "zoning out," but I think, instead, I would call it zoning in. It's almost like a form of meditation.

I think film composers really get it too. There are also these brief moments in favourite movies that I wish I could make last for hours. I don't think I'm alone when I praise James Cameron and James Horner for the glow in the dark scenes in Avatar. There are magical ambient scenes in Alien and Prometheus thanks to Ridley Scott, Gerry Goldsmith and Marc Streitenfeld. I should mention Paul Leonard Morgan for Dredd and Mychael Danna for Life of Pi, but there is also one special moment in Ghostbusters where Dan, Bill and Harold are walking around upstairs in the Sedgewick Hotel looking for the little Slimer (Spud) with music by Elmer Bernstein. I could watch and listen to that scene all night. It captures a moment like no other in the entire film.

Instead of being diverted by the constant flow of commotion and activity in action films and video games, sometimes I would just like to slow it all down and try to make time stop, if only for an illusionistic loop. I think it works. It really does. I have succeeded in making it happen. The only trouble is, at the end of the day, it is hard to climb back out of it. It's kind of like jumping between dimensions - not that I have any practical experience with that.


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  2. Totally get what you mean. Danny Elfman does it for me. Even the Darkman movie sound track is excellent. Batman 1989 - track 3 First Confrontation is excellent. This album is hard to get because whenever I would enquired I ended up with reference to the Prince soundtrack. It is a great album as well but Danny Elfman can really set a mood in most of his movies, for me anyway. Love this topic.