{Like Spinning Leaves: Shouldn'a Left You, Left You, Without a...

Like Spinning Leaves

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Shouldn'a Left You, Left You, Without a...

Things have been quiet for a while for a number of reasons. To be completely honest, a lot of that can be attributed to alternating bouts of procrastination, excessive gaming (Dave just bought Okami), and playing catch up on some editing. But more important than all that is that the fact that I wasn't ready to talk about a lot of the stuff I wanted to tell you.

There have been a lot of empty promises regarding updates over the last week so, to all those to whom it applies, my apologies. Here, in no particular order, is what's going on:

[8-Bit] Not To Be Confused With [Play]

Doesn't really make sense to start anywhere else. If you and I haven't spoken over the course of 2006 thus far, you should know that I've been working on Play, a documentary about video game music. It covers the progression of music within games, exposes the various niche genres it's spawned among a generation of musicians who grew up with Mario, and examines the effect it's had on more "mainstream" artists (Beck / David Bowie, if I had to rattle some examples off the top of my head).
We'll be speaking with professional composers from around the world, video game cover bands, rock/funk/jazz/rap/etc groups'n'aritsts that incorporate 8 bit sounds into their work, independent musicians who repurpose old video game hardware to create their own original compositions* (see "Random" in the Recent Video section on the left), and so on and so on. Sounds interesting...it's been going on in one form or another for nearly 25-30 years but it's still very underground...your average viewtiful joe hasn't really seen it before, right? Wrong.
About 3 weeks ago, Owens, M, and I went the September Pulsewave show. Pulsewave is a monthly event held here in New York at The Tank, a non-profit performance space. For the most part, it caters to the Chiptune crowd (see * above). This would be the first Pulsewave show we'd attended where we weren't filming the event. We were free to relax and enjoy the music. It was one of those rare moments where you're almost guaranteed a good time. Unfortunately, that was also the night we found out someone else had already made "8-Bit," a documentary about the cultural impact of video game music, and it was premiering at the MoMA in less than a month.

You can insert whatever metaphor for shock your comfortable with here. I think the sensation of a sock full of loose change to the groin is appropriate. Actually, that little montage in the beginning of Return Of The King that shows how Smeagol withered away into the Gollum we all recognize and love works too. And we wept, precious.

But not for long. The guys came up to NY and we saw the film. It was good. But it wasn't our film. We were dealing with a much broader scope. It was as though they had taken a portion of our intentions and stretched it out into a feature. I could break down the entire kaliadescope of emotions I felt leading up to, right before, and during the movie piece by piece but what's the point? Speaking in the most basic terms, 8-Bit takes a more PBS style art critic approach and keeps its distance while our perspective is on the same level as the scene...more of a paean to video game music.

anyway, there's a lot more to discuss. I'm meeting some friends for dinner. I'll be back.


Blogger hemlock said...


9:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Get up to the minute x box video game cheat code information!!

6:45 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home