Audio Mashup – Closing Doors

By far the most interesting part of the audio assignment was working with Brian.  I’d done work with audio in the past.  Nothing quite like this, but some similar stuff.  Most of my audio exprience has been in cleaning and trimming recorded lectures for distribution, so while I was familiar with layering tracks, I hadn’t done much of it.

Still, from a technical standpoint this wasn’t all that new, which brings me back to working with Brian.  I think that Brian is the person I’ve partnered with in comm lab who thinks least like I do.  Far from being a bad thing, this ended up pushing my creative boundaries a bit in ways I hadn’t expected.

I’ve long recongized that my thinking is highly analytical.  I tend to be focused on breaking things down into chunks and figuring out how those chunks interact.  Brian is a much more intuitive thinker, I suspect.

Before we had agreed to work together I had gone ahead and grabbed a series of audio samples from my morning routine.  I didn’t know if we’d use them, but I thought it woulld be useful to have.  I had originally envisioned a sort of linearly-sequential audio montage of my morning as a sort of narrative piece.  But when Brian and I sat down, it quickly became clear that while he liked the audio samples, he had other ideas.

Brian wanted something more poetic, and I found it extremely educational to sort of sit back and let him take over creative direction.  The first thing he suggested was taking the audio out of its context and using it to construct something like an instrumental piece.  This actually seemed like an awesome idea, and not one I would have had on my own, so I was pretty enthusiastic.  However, my vision of our hypothetical instrumental piece and Brian’s vision didn’t really match up.

Again my analytical side kicked in and I was thinking about controlled rhythms and percussion loops, just using the sounds of my morning (a project I still think could be a lot of fun).  Brian was envisioning something less traditional.  Or, at the least, less within my traditions.  Again, curious to see where this led us, I waved for him to take the lead.

The piece we ended up with was definitely the sort of thing I would have produced on my own.  It’s cacophonous and dominated by a verbal track, neither of which are things I would have been drawn to alone.  Yet it’s also a very interesting piece.  Perhaps, in part, because it’s not what I would have done.  There was alot more “that sounds right” and “that feels right” in our execution as a team, and a lot less of the “that looks right” that I would have been guided by watching the waveforms on my own.

In a lot of ways this is what I came to ITP for: to collaborate with people who would stretch me.  And while I doubt that, even after this project, I’d do things Brian’s way on my own in the future, I enjoyed working with him quite a bit.  And without further ado, here’s the ever-so-exciting piece we did.

Closing Doors

Thomas

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  1. [...] talked about this a bit when I discussed the Audio Mashup project, but the craziest part of doing our short film has been the [...]

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