Saturday, April 30, 2011

Something or Nothing

In February, while at the SFY program cleaning (it was a day in which the room needed cleaning up), they had the radio playing in the room on Bob Fm.

I wasn't really listening to it, really, but at one point after I'd gone somewhere and then came back, there was a chorus playing. I didn't know the band nor the song. I just recognized the bass line, because it was the kind of bass line I've heard many times.

I would leave the room to get something several times during the song, and like an idiot I didn't pay attention to the radio to see if the commentator mentioned what it was and who did it. So I just had the recognizable bass line, and the fact the singers had high-pitched voices, to go from.

My last post mentions this. "I went about looking for it by telling people the bass goes DACG. No one ever understood and searches on Google have yielded nothing but for a nice song called 'Something or Nothing.'"

Many songs tend to go DACG. It's a popular progression, though I don't know what it's called. Maybe it's a pop chord one? I just know it's popular. You start on D, then go down to A, or the open A string on a bass, then C, which is one full tone down from D, down to G, on the same fret as C but on the low E string. If you don't use the open A string, the A note is the same fret as the D note, but on the low E string.

I guess it's like simply hitting two notes that are on the same fret but one's a string lower. Then the other two are full tones down from each other, but doing the same thing. The movements made by the fingers kind of create a backwards 'N' - go down, then back up to the A string to C, then straight back down to G on the E string again.

I wanted to elaborate on the 'Something or Nothing' mention though. This post is intended to be my review on the song. The intro was how I got to it, after haplessly asking people about a song using musical notes to describe it.
Google didn't necessarily understand me much better than people did, but it did get somewhere. I got many results that were from music forums mentioning the letters, or notes. One result, though, was a guitar/bass website that had the notes for a song called 'Something or Nothing' with the D-A-C-G notes written down.

Knowing what to expect, I decided to find it on YouTube and listen to it.

Note: This being an audio video using images, I must warn that there are images of nude woman in the video. The uploader who created the slideshow really went for a graphic presentation to the song.

By Uriah Heep, the song was released in 1974 on their album 'Wonderworld.' It starts off simply just playing 'D,' until you get to the first verse, which then goes D-A-C-G. What's more, it also goes 'D-C-G,' another very popular pattern notably used in songs like 'Sweet Home Alabama,' and 'Werewolves in London.'

It's true that it's a pretty good song, though the thing about that is that's almost solely because of the bass pattern. It's a popular, likable sound. Anything that uses that pattern is, at least to me, very easy to listen to, to like and appeal to the ears. The guitars (many of them) follow this pattern, as does the organ. There's a piano in the beginning that starts a Dm chord but then goes to E and then G. It goes up. That's a well-known pattern as well.

I can play the song on the bass as easy as ever, but it's a very fast-paced song. I've seen them play it in concert on Youtube and the bassist's picking hand is just drumming on the strings like crazy. The drums are not that easy to hear in terms of snare pattern but it's a constant beat. And I've figured out how to (at least) follow the bass line in chord-form on the piano, using it as an organ like in the song.

Most of the song is orange and white to me synesthetically. Though I also see, virtually, the perfect girl in terms of the organ during the verses. Perfect emotionally, physically, and how I relate well to them.

The song's lyrics seem to talk about how people's opinions and points of view always differ, and that in one sense there's something, and in another, nothing. The first and last verses end with the words "we'll find the line that's in the middle and run." I guess that means we'll find the merit in both things and use it, or we'll compromise equally.

Overall the song is bright, fun, enthusiastic and likable due to it's note progression. And that's the one problem with it - the D-A-C-G note progression is the main source of most of that. But the lyrics are good too, and combining it with the D-C-G pattern is a plus. Especially having an organ to play along as well, though that could be me deriving the perfect girl out of it.

Song overall: A-

By the way, I still haven't found that original song that my searching for led to this. Because searching for songs that use that progression has proved unfeasible, I've switched to locating songs by artists who sing in high-pitched voices. I've gone through the BeeGees, Seals & Croft, Journey, The Police, and a few others. No luck. Then again, I haven't listened to every single one of any of their songs. If you read this and know what song I'm looking for, don't hesitate to direct me to it.

Justin C.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Final Video, The

Yesterday night I went out to see the final outcome of my project with Evan Mochizuki at Longfields-Davidson Heights.

To recount how it happened, late last Summer I got a message from the drama teacher asking if I could help with something video-related. Then I met up with him and we discussed the nature and direction of the project. That was late August. It's all written down in posts from that time, here.

In September, and lasting through to early-mid November, I would meet with him almost once a week at the school to present the new footage and imagery I had and how I'd implemented it. I went downtown on Thanksgiving Weekend to shoot footage, though that became lost somehow and it was never used (which was maddening because it was the only actual downtown footage I'd accumulated).

In result I simply took a lot of older footage I had spanning several years, as well as filming new night footage near my grandparents at Bruce Pits. Around November 21st (I know this date because I did a time-lapse at my grandparents with my SLR and it's on YouTube) I went out with my cousins to capture them running around in the dark with the lights taken from solar-powered garden lanterns. I set this all to the music that Mochizuki provided me, which was a song called 'Gobbledigook' by Sigur Ross.

The finished product was put under Mochizuki's use in early December and from then on it would be used to coordinate the actors' sequences and moves as well as (according to the teacher) show other people. It was tested on the auditorium's screen and arranged and all that stuff that goes on as the play it put together. Finally, starting on April 14th I believe, the play opened and people went in to see it. I followed last night.

Because I didn't care to export the actual video I did to my computer and only to the DVD, I filmed the opening sequence myself as I watched. Partly so I could watch my own video myself (along with the actors' involvement) and partly so I had a record of it.

This, then, is the final product of my work. The whole video. Watched by people of the school as well as members of the community.

It was pretty cool. I ended up laughing (the unseen source of the laughing in the video is actually me) because people I didn't know, locals, everyone, were seeing footage I'd collected everywhere over the years. Things from a sped-up drive down Greenbank Road in 2007 to me mowing the lawn in 2009 to several scenes of the sun coming up - over my yard. I wish I was more diverse in that manner. There was a shot of the Algonquin cafeteria I'd time-lapsed one Thursday in late 2009. Another very brief one consisted of a pool in a backyard, as my half-sister zooms around the side with my half-brother on the diving board. That was my uncle's place in probably 2007.

I found it very funny that large amounts of other people I didn't know where seeing this stuff. And enjoying it or marveling at the fact this play had such a 'professional' video introduction (that's how Mochizuki always went about it). The photos were funny to me too, because I didn't expect camping photos over two years to be viewed like this. They'd all been taken at night.

Remember how I'm doing those traffic camera things where I take an image from them once a day? Six months' worth of photos ran together time-lapse like where in that as well - of Merivale Road, Woodroffe, and West Huntclub (though that one was over the course of several minutes). If anyone saw me on January 10th, 2010, on a late route 95 with a camcorder in my lap, they wouldn't know that in over a years' time they'd be (flittingly, within a microsecond since it's so fast) viewed on screen in a play. I'd taken a time-lapse of my bus ride home one night and ended up putting part of it in there.

It continues to show me that it's always good to get record-like footage of places and scenes like that over time, particularly time-lapsed. I had a diverse and large range of footage I had at my disposal already for this project, as well as photos, and it's inevitably been put to special use and actually shown to all the people going to see the school play.

It's pretty cool. And so fun and neat that it makes me happy, to the point I laugh. This closes the whole project, and ultimately it was a success.

Justin C.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Old-Fashioned Writing 2: April Edition

The following was written in my notebook during lunch today:
Once again, I am sitting here in the bright sun at a table located within the large, bright room within the building in near Hintonburg, probably Mechanicsville.

It is April 12th, 2011. Things are certainly different from what they were like in January. Back then I was more clueless, lost, empty and insecure.

Brent, still a friend, has wandered off to Subway as well as that √Čtoile character. I am alone at my table. A girl named Tiffany sits at a table to my right and adults (3 of them) occupy  the table in front of me, to my north.
The Other Justin is no longer around.
The Habon woman has stomach issues.
My new HD camcorder sits on the ledge, time-lapsing the scene.
Currently, I am set to begin the photography program in September. I was conditionally accepted by the program coordinator himself based on his observance of my strong passion and aptitude for the art. Originally, I was to take a math assessment. I have a math tutor. Now, though, it seems like I have simply been accepted on the basis of sheer enthusiasm.

I arrived at the motivation to apply to that program through extra effort on my part in figuring out what I definitely want to do with my life. I studied a book I'd found. I'd eagerly participated in the self-learning and interest portion of this program. I thought a lot. Now I'm on a course with things. Photography program at Algonquin. Then maybe screenwriting or Broadcast - TV. Or I could be just content with photography. Who knows? But the future-planning aspect is dealt with. And it took a lot of proactive planning and activity on my part.

As for the job aspect, I am currently doing a co-op at Blockbuster. It's okay. Only 4-1/2 hours, really.
As for my physical surroundings, the adults and Tiffany have left the room. A young woman took the adult's table. My camcorder is still time-lapsing.

My plans and dreams for the rest of the spring and summer are to have a part-time job and have as much fun as possible. I might get back into kayaking. For some reason, there are a tonne of old CRT television sets sitting behind me. Some with old VCRs.
Right now, the cafeteria is deserted.
Well, there isn't that much else to say, and it is now quarter to 1pm. Things are in much better shape than before.
It's good.
The reason I wrote this was because I felt that an update to the original was in order; a lot of things have happened and a lot of them are pretty good.

As for what I reveal within that prose - that I have been accepted to the photography program on 'sheer enthusiasm,' that part is definitely true. I've somehow managed to squeak through some very discouraging barriers in life thus far, and this is one of them. It came out of my meeting with the coordinator himself, as well as a variety of other people at Algonquin, last Thursday. I feel like, having been discouraged from a band of vocal artists, I simply came right back and sang my way into it and guaranteed my way in with my sheer effort and brilliant melodies/tones that proved my proficiency.

I also wrote that because of the difference between the two: Originally I didn't know what I was doing or where I was going, and I was fresh from the very end of a complete relationship (the end of which happened only one night before I wrote it). Now I have a plan, a future education for a potential career, and I'm just now striving for a part-time job. My original goals were to 'figure out what I want to do, get the education for that, and get a job.' That's half-done. Now for the job part.
I have a co-op at a Blockbuster downtown, though that's all I'll say on that.

I wrote it, also, once more, for this final reason: There is a distinct difference in style of writing when you do it by hand than when you do it by keyboard. Keyboard, you can put your ideas down fast and in a straightforward manner (unless you don't know how to type). By hand, though, it's more manual labor, and it's easier to write down what you really intend to write than to just type a fleeting idea up. You don't want to have a lot of erasing or crossing out in your handwriting, much more work, so you think more and it comes out in a different style guided by exactly how you want to put it. When you type, if you make a mistake that magical vertical line can delete it in a microsecond. It's easier and so ideas and thoughts come flying out and you say a lot more than you would normally say.
Like what I did in that above paragraph just there.

There's a distinct style to it, and it's favorable. You can see the difference between the prose in italic and the normal writing beneath it - it's more thought-out. Plus, when you write on paper you may feel more creative. I know that's how I feel.

I'm sure it would be quite interesting to compare the two together and see how it appears. I say this for both the italicized prose and the normal prose - and the two different handwritten journal entries (original was done on January 10th).

I might just do a third in the next few months. It's fun and exercises the mind.

"My camcorder is still time-lapsing" -it's in HD.

Justin C.