undo = to save yourself from yourself
When musicians improvise, their brains turn inhibitions down and creativity up.
I would argue that the callow Ms. Hegemann is missing the whole “transformation” part of the long history literary theft.… Maybe next she can tell us how we can be authentic by ripping off other people’s original ideas and words.
Finally literature has arrived in the same desolate state of creativity that the sheer mass of sampling in the music industry knows for more than 20 years. Welcome to the club! Stealing ideas and artistic performance is not only annoying, but also a sad thing. If you do that you have to face it: you know that you have nothing to say - and hopefully no one will notice.
Most of our songs are a result of improvising, and we try to keep the improvising character in the final version.
Usually, everything begins with Robin having some guitar riffs, recording some drums and a bass line, and I’ll try to find a melody that somehow fits to this raw structure. My first lyrics are always a strange mixture of existing words and something that sounds more or less like words, however, the most important thing is that it sounds good. We always record the first draft to catch some unexpected twists, lines and expressions, which is a lot of fun and after that we tend to think that the rest will be as easy as it has been never before.
The next step is the hard work: the fine structuring of the song, cutting melody parts in ProTools, then testing the final melody and lyrics, until we come up with a version that could work. Then we start recording, which is most of the time a disappointment, because the elaborated version always lacks the energy of the first improvised recording. This is followed by great frustration, normally a good fight, testing different microphones, buying some futile equipment, and various statements that can be summed up to “I’ll never do this again!” or “Why do I do this to me?” or “Why do you do this to me?”
After that, and the conclusion that whatever we do, we’ll be dead in 50 years anyway (quote from Music & Lyrics), we go on with the song. After another day of recording we change everything while improvising and declare the song as finished. Robin then does all the final arrangements and the mix, I usually complain about my voice sound, which drives him in a constant state of madness, and when we reach the point that both of us really do not care about the song anymore, we publish it on some web sites.
Once the song is online, we start to listen to it for the first time, which is always followed by several remixes and so on. In consideration of this devastating progress, it is a miracle that we have meanwhile finished nine songs (however, most of them will be re-recorded with a new microphone next week), and that we also produced our first own music video during Christmas in our living room with no budget and no professional help. Hope you like it!
What do you do if you have no clue what your next music video should look like? Exactly, you watch other people’s music videos, desperately hoping that this will give you an idea of what’s possible, while using a process of elimination, meaning “This is not what I want”, and also keeping the door open for inspiration without being eclectic.
So we went to Vimeo and did some two hours research in this group. We were generous with giving likes, and admiration, trying hardly to avoid the rising feeling of frustration that is inevitably linked to such an approach.
I didn’t realize it at first, mostly because I live on a planet far from earth, with green grass, dancing butterflies, where everything is for free and people just love each other, that most of these music videos have been produced by record companies. It just occurred to me after a while, when words like “director”, “lightening team”, and “animators” (please note the plural) in the credits finally made it to my brain.
I felt like baking a cake to compete with Unilever’s sweet sales in the supermarket around the corner.
“Did you see, they have a director?”, I said to Robin, who was already in a state of agony, probably visiting my home planet. We don’t have a director, we are two people, one pushing the record button on our sufficiently working camcorder, the other one doing something before a green screen, both hoping that the post-production on our rusty old workstation will lead to “something cool”.
And this morning, I realized that I couldn’t remember any song. Strange thing. Shouldn’t this all be about the music at the first place? I had consumed all these flawless images, scenes in perfect lightening, animations that would take years only to render - but where did they belong to?
I know, it is a necessity to illustrate music these days. MTV has spoiled us, and it is so convenient to just consume pre-thought images instead of letting your mind create own images for a song. Maybe all the writers should stop producing literature, and just make movies; this would save us all from investing too much time and effort in being part of carefully formulated thoughts and expressed feelings.
At the same time, I realized that since we have the Beauty video online and showed it some friends, we only received feedback on the images, the video, but not nothing about the music, nothing like “Good song”, or “Well, I’m not into that kind of stuff, sounds like speed metal”, or even “Yes, my mom liked it”.
So the question is: is music still perceived if it is presented on its own? Or do we need images to decide if we like a song or not? Or wouldn’t we even watch the video if the song creeps the hell out of me in the first place? Or would we manage to listen to a style that we obviously do not like, but later-on, after the images have done their work, change our mind to “not that bad”?
What happened to me yesterday evening was that I even couldn’t remember the music, which is not a good sign. I mean, at least one song should have made it to my center of taste.
If everyone would be like me, and I hope that’s not the case, the music has become secondary when you watch a video. Music is, however, a factor that can make you last till the end of a video. But I don’t think that most unfamiliar songs without visualization can be strong enough to make it, with some exceptions of course, especially when it comes to established bands like Metallica. This might sound a bit devastating, but is probably the ugly truth.
However, an interesting question would be if James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich, for whatever reason, would picture themselves for a song on Death Magnetic in a Californian toy shop in Armani business suits, feeding popcorn to puppies with pink ribbons, if that would change the perception of the song. Maybe.
Videos that caught our interest yesterday were:
The Airplane Boys - Catalogue Girl
PopKid 2000 - PlayBoy’s Bend
The Toxic Avenger - Toxic is Dead
the dead pirates - wood
arjanM - blackhole
Cinnamon Chasers - Luv Deluxe