Monday, November 26, 2007

I think I may get myself in over my head with this idea...

Okay, so...

Something in class today lead me to this brilliant idea which isn't that brilliant and is definitely something that I will most likely not be able to accomplish. Anyways, here is the idea I came up with:

So, earlier in the reading of House of Leaves, Adam mentioned the album ("Haunted" - Poe) produced by Danielewski's sister which can be considered a counterpart to the novel. I was thinking that maybe I could do a continuation of my original project (the awful CYOA) by somehow creating a soundtrack to the story. For each different page of the story, I would have a track that somehow enhanced or furthered the mood or idea of that page.

The only problem is that my musical background consists of two years of cello and three or four years of trumpet. I can play all of NOTHING on the cello. As for the trumpet, I think I could produce something close to a normal scale. I guess I wouldn't have to know how to play the instrument I used, as long as whatever I played went along with the story in some way.

If I chose to do this, I would further screw myself by figuring out what instrument to use, and how to get it from the instrument, to my computer and on to a CD. It seems like this idea pretty much isn't going to work.

However, if I were somehow able to figure that all out, I would also write some sort of an essay to explain why I chose to do this and what the soundtrack does for the original story. The only problem with that is that I don't see much more than a two or three page essay coming out of that, and I'm not quite sure that is what Adam is looking for.

Anyways, that is my idea. I would greatly appreciate it if anyone was able to offer any suggestions or ideas as to how I could get it started. Thanks guys.


Adam Johns said...

I love an ambitious project. Did I tell you about the guy last year who did a full length music cd of electronic music (which, incidentally, might be easier in some ways if you have have any understanding of music at all, which I don't).

Here's one more idea, which might also help with the essay. Your CYOA was meant to mock the narrator and the reader: it's deliberately ridiculous and often rude.

Here's where marginally competent music might come in handy. You see where I'm going with this? It doesn't necessarily have to be _good_ to be _funny_. You might prefer a mix of music and sound effects, too.

As far as the essay goes, it would all depend on the music. You might, for instance, have a couple friends read it both with and without music, and see how their reactions changed - and then write about that change as, maybe, analogous to the change from silent to talking movies?

That's not a great idea, but maybe it'll inspire something...

JamesGz said...

awesome idea nik, but definitely way too difficult in my opinion to actually compose music and record it before the project is due.

how about you instead just use the album "haunted" by poe? i just looked up the album, and perhaps you could specifically investigate tracks like exploration b, 5&1/2 minute hallway, and dear johnny (looks like they are available individually through itunes). these tracks sound like they correspond directly to the novel and it might be easier to make connections instead of using the whole album.

i'm sure there has been research done about the psychological effects of music and perhaps you could use that to relate the effect of the narrative.

either way, i think this could definitely work. tell me what you think!

ps - also weird that the album is called haunted - makes you think of more of spooky ghosts than ghosts from your past

JamesGz said...

ha, i just read lance's post...pretty much the same as my suggestion! sorry nik

LSack said...

Uh, James, this is TIMMY'S idea proposal.

A. Benevent said...


If you're still doing this and want some help...

I've played guitar for about forever, bass guitar for about half of forever, and can fill in your basic 4/4 drum beat. I don't own a drum set, though, but I've got plenty of guitars and a Marshall half-stack amp.

If that's not what you're looking for, I've been involved in practically a million shoestring-budget bands that wanted to get their music out there, and I'm sure I can come up with some cheap ass solution to get your music recorded.

Let me know if you need any help.

JamesGz said...

sorry about that tim, i read nik's post beneath yours right before i posted

A. Benevent said...

Well, Tim, another thing I was thinking about this project is that the cello is probably the best instrument you could pick for something like this. I've got a cousin who played for a few years, and that instrument in particular has such an excellent creepy range.

The music doesn't have to be Grammy material, you know. The book is paced slow overall so lots of long, sustained cello with vibrato would perfectly give the feel.

This is going to be a pretty lame example, but the music from Resident Evil 1 is a pretty good example, if I recall correctly. There was lots of what I'm talking about. The point of the soundtrack for that game wasn't so much to be musical as it was to be ambient, and I think that's exactly where your project could head, especially given the book.

You could even play around with acoustics -- maybe the music echos profusely at times and maybe at other times the sound is flat and doesn't resonate at all. Maybe the cello is the groaning sound we hear when the house moves?

Or maybe I'm just spouting shit off in some sort of psuedo-intellectual spree of bullshit?

Adam Johns said...

Whether Alex is spouting off in a fit of insanity or not, I think his suggestions are good. Tim - you may not want to do this project, ultimately, but I think Alex's take on it is very worthwhile if you do.