Monday, 31 January 2011

Transcription: Researching Music

Music plays an important role in my story, so I wanted to find some songs that could fit to the overall style and to the period of my story, the 1920's. Throughout the story, as seen on the previous post, the music changes of rhythm and melody. So what follows is a previous analyse of the 4 crucial music types in the story and my own choices for each one of them. Although not definitive, He could help me set the mood in the animation.

Music Type 1

"To describe their exact nature is impossible for one unversed in music. They were a kind of fugue, with recurrent passages of the most captivating quality, but to me were notable for the absence of any of the weird notes I had overheard from my room below on other occasions."
  • Calmer
  • Fugue
  • Captivating
For the first type of music, I found 2 possible contenders for this type of music. Not being a music expert I wont comment on the music itself, though I will give my opinion in which I found that the following songs could fit the animation.

The first contender would be Bela Bartok and his String Quartet N.6

I found that Bartok's song would work really well. Although it is quite irregular,  it is also slow, calm and captivating, something presented in Zahn's music the first time he plays publicly for the Young Man, in order to satisfy him. It would serve also to contrast with the later music, as he becomes to reveal his mystery.

Alongside that song, I found Niccolo Paganini's Caprice N.21, quite similar. Although irregular at some points, it is captivating and pleasant.

This version is played by violinist Itzhak Perlman.

Music Type 2

"Then one night as I listened at the door, I heard the shrieking viol swell into a chaotic babel of sound; a pandemonium which would have led me to doubt my own shaking sanity had there not come from behind that barred portal a piteous proof that the horror was real—the awful, inarticulate cry which only a mute can utter, and which rises only in moments of the most terrible fear or anguish."
  • Chaotic Babel of Sound
  • Pandemonium
  • Awful
  • Inarticulate cry
  • Rose moments of the most terrible fear and anguish

The second type of music in the animation, appears when the mystery begins to be revealed. The young man is outside the room secretly listening to Eric Zahn's playing, when suddenly inside the room goes crazy. In an attempt to save the old man, he bangs the door, but only after a while Zahn's answers the door, inviting the young man in he writes a note explaining what is happening.

Caprice N.2 By Nicollo Paganini.

I found this song almost perfect, as the sound that comes out of the violin resembles of a crying, which becomes irregular and inarticulate. 

Music Type 3

"It was more horrible than anything I had ever overheard, because I could now see the expression of his face, and could realize that this time the motive was stark fear. He was trying to make a noise; to ward something off or drown something out—what, I could not imagine, awesome though I felt it must be. The playing grew fantastic, dehnous, and hysterical, yet kept to the last the qualities of supreme genius which I knew this strange old man possessed. I recognized the air—it was a wild Hungarian dance popular in the theaters, and I reflected for a moment that this was the first time I had ever heard Zann play the work of another composer."
  • More horrible than ever before
  • Fearful 
  • the playing grew fantastic, dehnous, and hysterical.
  • A wild Hungarian Dance popular in the theatres
  • Song from another composer
For this song, I had an idea from the beginning, to stick with the text and find a Hungarian Dance, and use it. Eventually, I did find one by the composer Johannes Brahms, I was so determined to use this song in my animation by the end.  

The song is Hungarian Dance N.5 by Johannes Brahms 

This version is played by violinist Yehudi Menuhin.

Although the choice it was almost certain, later I felt that I would need a crazier and more irregular song. So I used my artistic license, and changed slightly the choices made by the original author to better fit my animation. The quick choice for the 3rd music type was constraining me to find another song, but luckily  after some research I was able to get a song, which better fits the situation where the 3rd type of music appears in the animation.

The song his String Quartet N. 4 by Bela Bartok

And maybe not the intention by the composer, this song strongly evokes a lot of movement, creepiness and it sounds almost insane.

I think this choice better fits the animation, as it allows fast editing, minimalism and distortion.

Music Type 4

"I looked at Zann, and saw that he was past conscious observation. His blue eyes were bulging, glassy and sightless, and the frantic playing had become a blind, mechanical, unrecognizable orgy that no pen could even suggest."
  • Supernatural
  • Horrific
  • Insane
  • unimaginable to compose
  • blind
For this last song, I though I could use the previous song and edit it with Paganini's Caprice 2 track, creating a crazy composition which lead the poor Eric Zahn to insanity.

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