Play it again, Sam

Playing with image, text and narrative are some of my favourite ways of making creative music, whether in my own practice or in facilitating creative music with amateurs. The last blog post featured some of the innovations in image and sound dating back to the silent film era. This blog post features a few ideas on exploring video and sound using the digital device many of us have in our pockets, the cell phone.

Play it again, Sam

Group activity, ages teen to adult

Technical needs: your participants cell phones and their willingness to play video/songs from their playlist

Depending on the context, you may want to preview participants’ video and playlists in advance.

One participant cues up a familiar music video with the sound off. All other participants to cue up their favourite song on their play list. Play the video paired with the various songs.

One participant cues up their favourite song. All other participants cue up their favourite music videos with the sound off. Play the song paired with the various music videos.

What works? What doesn’t? What’s funny? How does your perception of the video/music change with the different pairings?

Tips for going further:

Using the selected videos and songs from the previous exercise, play with the following elements of timing and affect (emotional content):

  1. in sync (image and sound match, or I see, hear the same thing at the same time),
  2. out of sync (image and sound are in contrast, or I see, hear different things at the same time),
  3. offset (I see, hear things at slightly different times, e.g. hearing an oldtime radio before the image appears).

These simple variations can make big differences in our perception, and are as close at hand as your participants’ play lists. What do you want to say? How do you want to say it? Your participants and their preferences will tell you quickly enough.

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