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Colors of the Wind 11.27.11

Posted by Sound Semantics in 2011songoftheweek, cover lovers, music video.
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This week our work window was a bit abbreviated, with Thanksgiving stuck right in the middle. We were seeking inspiration for a Thanksgiving-related-cover rather than one of our own songs, and our stellar friend Brittany immediately came up with “Colors of the Wind” from Disney’s Pocahontas. Despite some other suggestions, this one stuck out as too fun to pass up. More about the video and the process after you watch it:

In this week’s song and video we wanted to try out a couple of things that we’ve been interested in, but haven’t gotten around to yet this year. For one, Eran worked with a mix of animation and video. Although we have done this before, the interactive element of the video and animation in “Colors of the Wind” was new. We had lots of fun experimenting. Not surprisingly, it’s tricky to interact with things that aren’t really there, in an empty room, along to musical cues. But it tested my on-screen capabilities. Plus, I’m glad to have had a chance to work with a wolf and a bobcat.

In terms of music, Eran has been thinking about playing around with a bossa nova for some time, but it just hadn’t come together. So we thought, what better way than to apply a familiar form to a familiar song, and make each one stand out in a new and unique way?

Hope you enjoy this week’s song, and a happy belated Thanksgiving to you and yours!

Allie

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In The Basement 11.20.11

Posted by Sound Semantics in 2011songoftheweek, music video, videosong.
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Through this year, we have time and again been fortunate enough to have great friends, ready and willing to help us out when we need an extra body, an extra sound, an extra ounce of inspiration. This week we called on those friends yet again, but this time there wasn’t such a strict demand. Just… dance! Here’s the party, more info after the video:

This song was born of the catchy riff you hear between the verses, and all other sections grew out from there. We got to play with another new sound this week as we just acquired (thanks Gina P!) our very own electric organ.  We also did a bit of voice-as-instrument on that riff, which was a fun experiment.

And for the recording and awesome dancing, we would like to extend a very special thanks to Brandon, Aaron, Kyle, Gina E, Brittany, Gina P, and Jessie. You guys are great, and we so appreciate your help!

Allie

My Strong Suit 11.13.11

Posted by Sound Semantics in 2011songoftheweek, music video.
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As much as I want to, I can’t manage to come up with a nice, succinct post to tell about this week’s song. It doesn’t exactly have one story. I suppose you could say it has a few themes. Stream of consciousness (much like this blog post, after a night of little sleep). Striking images. Bright color. And, lastly but most importantly, plainness and emptiness.

Here’s our song “My Strong Suit” and the video, which we’re both really proud of. What follows is my tired mind’s attempt at giving you the context of its birth.

So here are the little stories that make up that 4 minute one you just heard and watched. About the song: I was recently looking through scraps of paper, hoping for some lyrical gold that I’d somehow forgotten. Eran was working on this harmonic idea and I paired some old stream-of-consciousness ramblings with it, which was the beginning of this song’s lyrics. Eran was struck by the dichotomy of clear vivid images (blue ink, red pain, porcelain limbs) paired with all those dull and boring words (humdrum, ordinary, bland). After we filled out the rest of the song with simliar pairings, that strangeness took on new life in the video.

Each verse shows you some relatively normal, typical scene, but there is something a little strange, unusual about each one. We took each phrase and did our best, with somewhat limited resources, to evoke its strangeness and sharpness. Instead of working toward a story, we worked toward a few scenes, living paintings maybe, to give you colors, a mood, a feeling… and then depart. And let me just say, we had a great time doing so.  I don’t know when I will next have the opportunity to put my feet in the Willamette in mid-November, or lay down on the grass, in the pouring rain, singing. I’m glad I got those chances this weekend.

One last bit about the video. There’s still the bridge section, entirely separate from everything I’ve described so far. It’s an empty room. A lonely girl. And no way out. It might be that that this room is her emptiness, loneliness, in the video. The room is all the regular, mundane, dull things in life, keeping her trapped, keeping her from the strange, vivid, vibrant colors out there in the world. And, when you find yourself wrapped in dull normalcy, without the right imagination, it really can be impossible to escape it. Often the only way out is to fold into your own mind, let go of what you see, what you’re trapped in.

Or it might be that we’ve got an empty room in our house for a week, and didn’t have any better ideas for what to do with that bridge.

I’ll let you decide.

Thanks for taking this stream of consciousness journey with us this week. If you enjoy the song, the video, the stories or anything else we do here, you can share this post with your friends and subscribe for email updates.

Allie

PS – We have fewer than 10 videos remaining in our 2011 challenge. And we have every intention of going out strong. Stay tuned in the coming weeks for more great songs and great stories!

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