Continuing with the black and white musical theme, I spent a couple months of this portion of the pandemic adding electronic music to a trimmed down 1936 Russian space opera movie. If you like stop animation and CCCP rockets and ambient techno beats, this is for you.
In the year 1946, the Soviet space program is undergoing turmoil. Professor Sedikh, who is planning to lead the first manned exploration to the Moon, is denounced by his rival Professor Karin as being too old and too mentally unstable for the mission.
This journey clocks in around 12 minutes 33 seconds and sure, listening to the audio-only version is grand, it’s not as grand as the video-and-audio coupling. The music more closely follows the movie scenes whereas with my previous black and white work I wrote the music first and adapted the footage to the melodies.
Here we have a 1930s steam locomotive with drums, an upright bass, a couple of pianos, and a string section. The original video was over 18 minutes long so I chopped and rearranged to fit the music I put together. I guess this is the kinda thing I do in a pandemic.
I had originally planned for the music to go with some winter driving footage but that didn’t pan out. When I came across New York Central Railroad clip I knew that was it. I’ve always had a love for trains, might have something to do with my dad being an engineer when I was growing up.
It’s winter in a pandemic. It’s Christmas time. I’m on vacation. I sit and write and record music. After listening to The Beatles sing about Eleanor Rigby on a two hour loop, I got hooked on violins stabbing and stomping about. The music sounds best with headphones.
Nothing happens in the video. I needed something visual because most of the social medias don’t do just audio. The footage is public domain and fairly boring.
In their downtime some people like to watch sports. Some people like to sew. Some people like to forage for frogs while frolicking in the forest. I like to pretend I’m a medieval composer while Maggie puts on her cinematographer cap and we’re driving around town in the sprinkling rain.
Well, we got here is a phone call I had with my good friend Jimi, recorded earlier in the month. I mention or quote him from time to time on my blog and in my podcast. And he’s been a good friend for a close to three decades.
I met Jimi in the early 90s in Iowa when I first got sober. Stayed friends with him in the 2000s while I relapsed in Oregon. And then of course he was there after I sobered up again in Illinois in the early 2010s.
Jimi’s a saint and a scholar. He’s the big brother I never had. He’s made me think and laugh and let me in on the life secret, “everything is going to be okay.” Because… “the best is yet to come.”
So my thought going into the phone call was that it would be a test run recording, check audio levels, and see how well we both did under the mic.
Not long ago I was in the 7-Eleven in Geneva. There was maybe three other people waiting to pay. One of the guys was five-ish years younger than me and barely-stand-up drunk. He was having a party of one, talking to himself, and talking to the other people even if they were doing their best to: not encourage him. To ignore him. And wait out his staggering around non-sense. Like when you tough out a deep cleaning at the dentist.
7-Eleven had their ambient classic rock playing over the ceiling speakers and the drunk dude turned around and asked the guy in front of me, “Who sings this song? Damn, this is good. I can’t remember what they’re called.” The second guy is like, “I don’t know who sings it” in all out pretty much disgust with drunk dude.