Music-Video: Combining Sound and Images
a system is failing
Music videos have been a reliable source of commentary and controversy since the moment they began to exist. But as much as can be said about the more typical things in this medium, like MTV, or actual music videos, I want to ensure the scope of the discussion is expanded to include everything within the category of "combining sound and images", including AMVs/VGMVs, experimental films, tiktok, twitter "edits", whatever else you can think of that focuses specifically on the effect music has on moving pictures. 

The hypnotic effect caused by combining the two is increasingly a defining artistic feature of our era. Music itself is already starting to bend around the demands of video and more visual mediums...tiktok being a primary engine of music discovery for many people now, and I think the results speak for themselves. It's clear that even minor visual aids to accompanying music make the current generations more capable of receiving it, and may as well be making the music sound BETTER. 

Many individual artists in this medium are worth discussing as well. Michael Jackson is one person who has come up many times in chats about mass culture and the visual and kinetic component to his music and perfornances is certainly unquestionable. Many film makers also often indulge in what is essentially just music video, and this can be very influential on the art of cinema itself. 

Not knowing where to begin here I will leave off with a simple one by NobodyTM, a contemporary rightward artist whose work is a deep exploration of this paradigm. There will be a proper post about him later on this thread, but for now the OP is going to remain broad. 



Kasarix
Not wanting to turn this into music poasting 2.0, I'll share the video only as an example of my own perception of this phenomenon: I will contend that for some, it is as simple as a delight had by receiving visual stimuli that is made to compliment the audio. Vidrel, one of the ways to accentuate the sort of "sanguine" pleasure gotten out of modern music is to combine it with flashing images that are well-timed with the song's rhythm, sound design quirks, and noises. This video's substance is nonsensical, but its purpose is merely to make the sounds "hit" harder, which is an important goal for the pre-described "sanguine" music - music that is not "noble," as it does not dispose the listener to contemplate higher concepts, nor was it made to tell a story or serve some cause, but is merely designed to sate man's passions, emotions, and "atmospheric sensations." This can range from the emotions of joy, calm, anger, melancholy, etc, and serves to amplify the situational moods that one may be in; for this reason I consider lo-fi, power metal, and most genres of EDM to be sanguine. This is not said disparagingly: I am describing my own taste in music.

Having that said, this is a phenomenon I think we can witness quite often. Most "twitter edits" where a track overlays a slideshow that transitions with every beat fits into this category, both because it gives the track context and because it amplifies the rhythmic effects of the track. I think this technique will become more frequent as music becomes more abstracted, and imaginative-aid is needed to help the listener connect with the track; I think this is already the case with the rise of visualizers and screenshake that became popular with EDM uploads in the 2010s. People enjoy using their imagination to give a track "life" by contextualizing it in some mood, scene, or story, and so they will like it when tracks that are abstract and don't have an overt theme have these desires sated with visuals that convey these things in some way.
a system is failing
(02-20-2023, 01:16 PM)Kasarix Wrote:
Vidrel, one of the ways to accentuate the sort of "sanguine" pleasure gotten out of modern music is to combine it with flashing images that are well-timed with the song's rhythm, sound design quirks, and noises. This video's substance is nonsensical, but its purpose is merely to make the sounds "hit" harder, which is an important goal for the pre-described "sanguine" music

This is one part of the hypnotic effect described. In music it is very possible and even common to have many layers and channels in the song which are NOT EXPLICITLY heard, and adding a visual accompanyment to synchronize with various sounds brings them to the forefront, without changing the way the tune is mixed. This effect is also present during live performances of music. You become much more drawn into music seeing someome create it before your eyes, and this even works with abstractions like in the video you linked, even if they don't depict instruments or players, they depict motions that sync with the music and appear to be "creating" the sound. 

The other part of this is how music and drastically change the mood of a given piece of footage. This would seem obvious, but logically there is no specific reason why sound should take precedence over images, yet this is what happens. You can easily change the emotional response people have to the same clip of a person getting hurt by changing the music, yet you can't significantly change the mood or a song by associating it with different images. 

The combination of these two effects is what interests me, and why I think discussing this is worthwhile especially for the future. You can control a person's mindset while they watch a clip and emphasize things with rhythm that they otherwise would be unable to perceive:



It's not so much that I want a focus on the propagandistic effects of "music-video", but more just the way it enables you to convey messages that otherwise will be filtered out by thought terminating cliches, and the inherent power and potential of that. It has a unique ability to bypass programming in a way nothing else does. Between videogames and this concept, I predict that most effective higher artistic expressions of our time will be in this domain of "combining sound and image".
KV55
"Staging" and contextual control should be pursued wherever possible...

Elevation and pushing beyond the fringes of the medium through additive chaining and entwinning of other mediums into/out of a particular art is also a noble goal... (4D creation)

Cultural Encirclement is one of my interests when it comes to the future of The Sphere, but I will save this for another time.

Yngwie Malmsteen brings up an interesting point...


With regards to the operational utility of instrumentalizing music videos...

Beyond the obvious need for beauty and radical departure from the contemporary into the sublime, I think #subharmonics are going to play an increasingly important role within cultural production moving forward.

Straussian embedding (wrapping) of "content" into a medium as viscous as visual media, especially something that is seen as a second-order condition/state of the actual thing itself (a song) like music videos is wide open and almost totally unimpeded... however this is only fit for a very specific capable few... spergs will inevitably overplay their hands with this kind of thing.
Zed


One of the finest music videos I've seen in recent years.
a system is failing
(02-23-2023, 12:32 AM)KV55 Wrote: "Staging" and contextual control should be pursued wherever possible...

Straussian embedding (wrapping) of "content" into a medium as viscous as visual media, especially something that is seen as a second-order condition/state of the actual thing itself (a song) like music videos is wide open and almost totally unimpeded... however this is only fit for a very specific capable few... spergs will inevitably overplay their hands with this kind of thing.

Now someone's really getting it...and good clip of Malmsteen as well...the openness of it is what I find so interesting...very low barrier for entry, yet at the same time what I feel like I've witnessed as its cieling of possiblity is extremely high...to put on a musical performance or write a book or etc capable of equivelent ability to captivate people's attention would require far mpre practice and years of hard work. Television is of course well known for its brainwashing effects...and music-video in the online world feels like a distillation of those effects, concentrating what really causes the hypnotism to take root. With how shut people's minds are, it becomes an appealing medium in an artistic sense itself, not for the purposes of brainwashing people, but bypassing their idiotic sensibilities to express deeper and truer things to them..
Corvid
There's a lot of fun stuff to talk about with respect to this topic.

For one, I find that there are "open" and "closed" visual aids to music. An open visual aid is more akin to the aforementioned "sanguine" type where it typically serves to amplify the music itself, but a "conceptual" experience is certainly possible. The concept is left semi-ambiguous, nothing in the video makes a "definitive" claim to be the absolute or objective message of the musical piece. It follows that a closed visual aid is a video which confines the musical experience into one interpretation or narrative.

I think the concept of a "music video" as a discrete thing is a wrong way of looking at it and would prefer to speak of an audiovisual continuum. In certain audiovisual compositions it is possible to say that the visual component takes precedence with support from the audio, or vice versa. Take, for instance, the soundtrack to a film being complementary to the images to the point that when people listen to the soundtrack they immediately conjure up the image of the film that they watched. Whenever a 'nerd' talks about how he listens to anime and video game soundtracks, he is doing so with reference to the entire composition, not the music in itself.

A soundtrack can be conceived of taking the concept of the music video and flipping it on its head... another word for it could be the video music. As in, this is the music to complement the video, inverted from the music video which is the video that complements the music. Usually "soundtracks" guide the composition much less than the visual elements, which is why people deride the soundtrack-listeners as not taking in "real" music. But it isn't a discrete distinction. In a Kenneth Anger film the soundtracks aren't clouded out by dialogue and therefore have a greater role in conveying a message than the typical movie soundtrack. Of course, the visual element is still central but the choice of music serves to amplify or imply something about the visual composition.

Someone could throw interactivity into the mix and turn it into an audiovisual-interactivity map, or in other words create video games; so any point about the creative potential of a mixed composition is equally true and in greater degree for interactive multimedia.

The Pet Shop Boys' cover of "Go West" is a very fun one. I recommend listening to the original while keeping in mind that it was written by Village People and contrasting it with the music video for the cover.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Go_West_(song)
Zed
(02-23-2023, 01:11 PM)Chud Wrote: ...The former is unfortunately something that doesn't lend itself to video...

As an alternative:



Still Life lacks subtly - but I don't agree with your read. Lopatin plays nostalgia against it's own toxicity, and the frailty of memory - that became more and more clear after Echojams. Eg, Falling Into Time has songs that recalls the experience of playing an RPG on the PS1, seeping through layers of distortion. Something you felt you played. Images half-remembered seeping to the surface. But something that was never there. It is innately visual, but manifestly imperfectly so. Something without music that recalls a similar sense:

Guest
I will add a little side-note. In an orchestra hall, the (often austere) visuals contribute a sense of gravity to the music. I have fallen in love with a violinist in the local orchestra. I watch her play every time and it seems as if we make eye contact relatively often. She plays with a smile in her eyes.

The audio-visual of a screen is different, self-contained, sinking into oneself. I'm not sure if it's generative...although maybe it can be. The inherent vagueness of this type makes it difficult to know what the effect on the audience is. All I can do is look at the audience. It's very difficult to see who that "on-the-cusp" type is and how these sorts of mixed-media efforts change them.
For reinforcement it clearly works well. However, how much of this is idle enjoyment and how much is strengthening? It's not an important question...Both are good ends. The only importance is to the end of such creations. The mixing can only do so much. But if one was capable...of making an earth-shattering visual or musical piece FIRST...then you would have something beyond the usual and even the usual exception.
Yes, it's easy to say and difficult to do. Still, we will try!
parsifal
(02-28-2023, 01:24 AM)Guest Wrote: I will add a little side-note. In an orchestra hall, the (often austere) visuals contribute a sense of gravity to the music. I have fallen in love with a violinist in the local orchestra. I watch her play every time and it seems as if we make eye contact relatively often. She plays with a smile in her eyes.

it's dangerously easy to fall in love at the symphony. music of the romantic era is the most effective emotional tool ever developed (it's not called that for no reason) and performances are one of the few surviving instances of somewhat formal dress codes, in this context a pretty girl becomes the perfect eye candy to occupy the sight while listening. it's only been 50 or so years since orchestras became sex-integrated, so this perilous coupling is quite novel.

recently i've experimented with a similar sort of experience wherein i listen to specific pieces which elicit certain emotions in me while i stare at an assortment of beautiful images (ai assistance has made this possible) and i have found this to be the emotional equivalent of pornography or hard drugs. not something to be trifled with.
a system is failing


I have been watching this video a lot today after it popped into my head earlier. I think this is actually a very clever demonstration of the concept as a baseline. Sometimes music videos get into more fuzzy territory, trying to be artsy or tell some kind of story, but this is more re-focused on the fundamental idea of a moving picture to compliment audio. It doesn't take a genius to see how the various troupes represent different sounds in the song, and in spite of being confined to such a small stage, with such a restrictive concept, the moves evolve and change in a way that is actually pretty satisfying and makes it enjoyable the entire way through, no filler or moments where things get stuck or hang up. 

Dance itself is of course a pre-video way of attaching visuals and movement to music. So to use that as the sole content for a video is actually one of those strokes of simplistic genius. It's already working from a long established tradition in many ways, even if you would never consider anything about this "traditional". As far as the song goes, it's simply much better with the video than without, which accentuates my point earlier about how certain music in certain cases needs a visual companion in order to be fully received. I don't like Daft Punk, but they are decent "vertical" composers and so individual layers to their songs do often interact in ways that are neat or worthwhile, but they're often very deficient in structure and progression. The song taken by itself doesn't really have enough evolution to be impactful, but the video actually covers these shortcomings almost perfectly, and makes the entire thing seem complete in a way it simply wouldn't be otherwise.
anthony
Going to crosspost this here from tbc because I think it's a line of thought worth exploring.






Kota Hoshino's work on Evergrace, an early PS2 game (a launch title in America), is something that I first discovered through /v/ threads on bad video game music. I listened and was struck by it sounding very unusual. But it's not at all displeasing. And the visual art for the album cover is similar in tone. Very unusual. But aesthetically foreign, not incompetent.

The more I looked the more fascinating it got. It's an old From title. The guys who are now world famous and successful with even normal people for Elden Ring. And every piece of visual art associated with its production and advertisement is in this beautiful and unreplicated style. Everything about the game feels like an entire aesthetic movement contained within the one work.


[Image: image.png]

The work is on the whole remembered rather poorly, if at all. Mainstream reception was bad and unremarkable. By most conventional and quantifiable metrics the thing is bad. It's sparse, awkward, feels unfinished in places. If you want to play a fun video game full of video game stuff you won't have a good time. But despite this the game is remembered very fondly by a few of the people who had it in its time. And more than that it's even developing the very beginnings of a cult following now. I'm always ahead of cultural curves. This game will probably be an artfag icon in a couple of years.

But for now it's still rather obscure, no prestige attached to it. I've found a couple of Evergrace fans out there. And what they have in common is that they're big general appreciators of the arts, not necessarily huge video game people. The thing is a failure at being a fun video game for the masses. But it's an incredible and lasting achievement in multimedia aesthetic harmony.

The history of video games is full of works which truly have aged. But most people get this wrong and confuse the movements of popular taste with genuine deprecation of appeal. A cynically made work which is just trying to work out the most optimised way to hold the attention of stupid people will be replaced by later efforts working towards the same thing. There's no reason to play FIFA2003 when FIFA2023 exists. It's just outdated and less efficient slave-fodder. The same cannot be said of something like Evergrace. I would actually say that in its case the opposite is true. If you're looking at old video games now the question of easy entertainment value is solved by newer games. The only parts left that have any value are the parts which are personal and idiosyncratic. There's no accounting for taste. A game which is no function and all personality will age better than any other.





In line with the comments I've been making on film recently, this game's strength is its disregard for convention. Even if this wasn't intentional, more like something which emerged from the circumstances of its production. From wrote two novels worth of story for Evergrace, but about a page of that got into this game. It's simply not the unifying or driving element here. And neither is the "game" part which you play. It all comes back to the music. Every other part of the game is rendered subordinate by the focus and passion of the soundtrack. To the point the word almost feels inappropriate. Evergrace is not a game with a soundtrack. It's more like a concept album that comes with visual art and a game.

[Image: image.png]

And it gets better. It got a sequel. With another score by Hoshino which iterates upon the first and is arguably even better.




[Image: image.png]



Evergrace is one of my favourite combinations of sounds and images. You might be thinking there's no "gameplay" in the above media I've linked, and you're right. I read the thing as multimedia and consider the played part less essential, but still recommend taking it all in together if you're interested (that would be playing the game). There's such a striking amount of focus and character in the external parts of Evergrace, the 2D art and so on, that what is mere ornament in so many other "video games" is in this case the driving force of the total experience. The "game" called evergrace which you "play" I consider to be a kind of ornamental accompaniment to the music and still images.
chevalier
(06-22-2023, 07:53 AM)anthony Wrote: Evergrace is one of my favourite combinations of sounds and images. You might be thinking there's no "gameplay" in the above media I've linked, and you're right. I read the thing as multimedia and consider the played part less essential, but still recommend taking it all in together if you're interested (that would be playing the game). There's such a striking amount of focus and character in the external parts of Evergrace, the 2D art and so on, that what is mere ornament in so many other "video games" is in this case the driving force of the total experience. The "game" called evergrace which you "play" I consider to be a kind of ornamental accompaniment to the music and still images.

Great observation. I started playing Evergrace because I have been a fan of the OST for a while and your love of the game finally made me take the plunge.
Slinkamalink
"Jumpstyle"



A video recorded in Fortaleza, a city I didn't know of until watching this video despite it being the 4th most populous in Brazil.

[Image: image.png]

Seems that it is quite a racially mixed city even for Brazil. Also very few Asians. Despite this the best dancer in this video is the one at least using a Japanese name. (see 0:38 and 6:23)

Here are some more:

(Russian)



(More Brazil)



(Miku)

Albicacore
Slinkamalink Wrote:"Jumpstyle"

Jumpstyle reminds me of the guy I believe combined audio and visuals in the most interesting and beautiful way, Yabujin:





He's responsible for the resurgence of jumpstyle in the '20s. Like with all good things, poser FAGGOTS came in, ripped him off, doxxed him and forced him into exile. They gravitated towards him because his stuff is the opposite of mainstream not because they liked it or could even begin to understand it. Anything new will get squashed by normalfags or corrupted and rendered inert by poserfags. 

Yabujin is also an interesting case of marginal orientalism. He's Lithuanian.
[Image: HfVqWXY.jpg]
I simply follow my own feelings.
FlyWithYou
Albicacore Wrote:Yabujin is also an interesting case of marginal orientalism. He's Lithuanian.

Very interesting artist.



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