About Me

Find out more about me here.

23 January 2013

Culture, Music, Emotion, and the Research Report

In this episode of Office Hours, the guests talk about the process of making a documentary film based on their research and how they negotiated the competing norms of science and art. Of particular interest to me was their discussion of music in the film. The soundtrack was difficult for them because it was used specifically to evoke emotion, a practice foreign to most objective researchers. The discussion reminded me of composer Paul Buckmaster's comments in the making-of film on the 12 Monkeys DVD. His general sentiment was that music is important in film because it evokes emotional response. He noted that some, like John Williams, tend to telegraph the emotions with the music. According to Buckmaster, Williams makes it very clear: "This is how you should feel." (Think back to the soundtracks of Indiana Jones or E.T. for good examples.) The initial cuts of 12 Monkeys screened poorly when the original music played up the romantic scenes. After Buckmaster reworked the numbers to make those scenes more ambivalent, the film screened much more positively among test audiences as they were allowed to decide for themselves about the romantic relationship. The late Dick Clark famously said that "Music is the soundtrack of our lives." It's interesting how ignorant we are to the influence of actual soundtracks in our emotional experience of our lives.

Apropos, a friend sent a link to the Facebook page for MajorScaledTv. You can jump directly to their Vimeo page here. They've somehow figured out how to digitally transpose songs from minor to major keys. The result is quite stunning.

Here is an A/B between the original and the transposed of REM's "Losing My Religion":

Here is The Doors' "Riders on the Storm":

Here is Metallica's "Nothing Else Matters":

h/t Brent Harger

No comments:

Post a Comment