Thursday, November 06, 2008

New Harry Potter Video

Before you ask, yes it is a $5 harry potter wand duct-taped to the end of a nintendo wii-mote.  This piece is a great example of why youtube is terrible.  As hard as Case Western tried, and as good a job that they did recording and mastering this - Harry Potter Returns to Hogwarts is a piece that absolutely relies on surround sound.  There are things constantly being thrown around, spinning and moving - and almost all of that is lost on youtube.  Case Western did a great job of presenting the piece in full surround sound (and Amasa Stone Chapel is a perfect venue for a Harry Potter piece), but youtube just can't hack it :)

Putting that issue aside, the video turned out to be pretty cool!  Check it out below.

Update:  I think it's worth mentioning a specific element of this piece I really liked.  As my much tech class can attest, I am constantly complaining about two things: uninformative titles of pieces and using tech for the sake of tech.

I won't attest to the quality (or lack thereof) of my title, but I can say that what I like most about this piece is that there is no visible computer (or other tech).  From the perspective of the audience, there is no intermediary - no system of translation between my intent and their perceived meaning.  Modern wireless protocols allow us to break down that computerized barrier that separates (often times physically) performers from audience.  You are not staring blindly at a set of speakers.  You are also not starring at a person who is staring at (or at least focused on) a computer or other automated system.  Everything becomes organic.  It's personal.

This is a piece without score, largely improvisatory - which requires the tech I used (and nothing more).  It is also a presentation that draws the audience and performer together.  This is the future of electronic (electro-acoustic) music, or at least this is what I hope it will be.  I don't want people to have to draw meaning and musical sentiment from inanimate objects; I want to establish a connection (a mechanism of trust) between performer and audience.

These thoughts are rough hewn and extemporaneous; I may post a longer, more thought out version on the Cu-Pendulum blog.