September 18, 2013

Because Why Not?

The whole "AMV Hell" concept, where multiple creators make short AMVs (sometimes less than five seconds long!) and they're put together in one long video, seems to have maxed out somewhere between AH3 and AH4.  AMV Hell 5 was, despite some laffs, pretty much a disappointment.

However, there was one clip that was so sublime, so perfect, so right, that even now, two years later, it makes me laugh out loud just thinking of it.  I am proud to share it with you now.

Bravo, Person Who Came Up With This Idea, bravo.

The music, if you're unfamiliar with it, is the theme to the movie Koyaanisqatsi, which I loved the first time I saw it, despite the crippling handicap of being neither high nor stoned.  Said theme was composed by Philip Glass, the master of taking a handful of musical nothing and making repetitive musical nothing out of it.  When I was a student at Duck U., lo these many years ago, I had the opportunity to attend a speech-cum-music theory class-cum-concert featuring Mr Glass. 

After the first fifteen minutes or so, I had never wanted to sneak out of something so badly in my life.  Unfortunately, I was attending with my Music Appreciation (aka "Clapping For Credit") class, the event was in Madison, WI, and we all rode together in a van.  I was trapped.  All I remember was the incessant "tweedlytweedlytweedly" sounds coming from The Maestro's keyboard. 

Despite this, the clip above is still hilarious to me.  And, I hope, to you as well.  Enjoy, won't you?

Posted by: Wonderduck at 08:22 PM | Comments (16) | Add Comment
Post contains 263 words, total size 2 kb.

1 Aw come on, the movie was amazing, I mean, all those people going through the banks of escalators justaposed with the images of hot dogs squirting out of parallel sausage makers....  Brilliant stuff.  Really.

You'll never make it with the Artsy girl if you don't get with the program. :-)

(I was laughing just reading the title before I even ran the video.  Could have been worse though.  There's always Terry Reilly's "In C".)

Posted by: Mauser at September 19, 2013 03:47 AM (TJ7ih)

2 Oh, the AMV Hells, a concept that truly did run its course. I think 4 was the last one I watched, though I may have 5 downloaded somewhere and just never got 'round to it.

That clip, though. Utter brilliance, and I had to stifle laughter or risk alarming the roommates. (Yes, I watched "Koyaanisqatsi." In the theater.) (Also "Chronos," an IMAX presentation in a similar but much shorter vein.) (I really wish "Chronos" was available on BluRay.)

(Wait, it's available on BluRay?!? HOT DAMN.)

(Got parentheses?)

Posted by: GreyDuck at September 19, 2013 07:27 AM (CUkqs)

3 From a riffing session between sets at a cello Masterclass Recital I went to:

Knock knock.
Who's there?
Knock knock.
Who's there?
Knock knock.
Who's there?
Knock knock.
Who's there?
Knock knock.
Who's there?
Philip Glass.

Posted by: Mycroft W at September 19, 2013 10:46 AM (Z484j)

4 I must be missing something, because I don't get it.  (I did see Koyaanisqatsi years ago.)

Posted by: RickC at September 19, 2013 12:28 PM (A9FNw)

5 I didn't want to be the first person to say that, but I agree with Rick.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at September 19, 2013 12:29 PM (+rSRq)

6 Many years ago, during an epic battle with insomnia, I tuned in the local college station in the middle of the night. I didn't recognize the music playing. The instrumentation was eccentric, with a tweedly keyboard, if I remember correctly, but the band was tight and they kept a good beat as they played the same phrase over and over. I waited for the lead guitar to come in. And waited. And waited. The chords slowly changed and eventually the piece ended without anything much ever happening. That was my introduction to Philip Glass. I've heard several of his other works since then. Since I'm usually the opposite of stoned, I've never been able to listen to any of them all the way through.

Posted by: Don at September 19, 2013 02:43 PM (NwobM)


Philip Glass is the charlatan who inflicted a piece called IIRC "4:34" on the world. It's a piano piece in which the performer sits silently, doing nothing, for four and a half minutes. Then everyone applauds.

I thought his music worked well in Koyaanisqatsi, but that's because it fitted the visuals, which were also about repetitive and apparently pointless motion. But I've never even tried to listen to anything else he's done. "Minimalism" is the most stupid thing to happen to classical music. In 50 years it will be a forgotten footnote.

Glass is the musical equivalent of those modern "artists" whose art is a plea for attention with no apparent artistry involved. The message, to the extent that there is one, is "Stop ignoring me!"

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at September 19, 2013 09:50 PM (+rSRq)

8 Steven, you're thinking of John Cage's 4'33".

Maybe because they got to me early with Geometry of Circles on Sesame Street, but I've rather enjoyed Glass' work over the years.

Posted by: JP Gibb at September 20, 2013 06:40 AM (VSD03)

9 I once had the pleasure of witnessing a performance of one of Cage's works, "Inlets." Several musicians made gurgling sounds for 25 minutes by pouring water in and out of conch shells, while a tape recording of burning pine cones played. After 20 minutes, one of the instrumentalists stood up and blew on a conch until his face was purple.

Posted by: Don at September 20, 2013 07:50 AM (NwobM)

10 Quite right; I stand corrected.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at September 20, 2013 11:33 AM (+rSRq)

11 Oh Em Gee, you *have* to hear the Metal Cover of 4'33".  He just Kicks It. And it works So Much Better at real METAL SPEED.

Posted by: Mycroft W at September 20, 2013 02:31 PM (Z484j)

12 Argh, meant to add: "Seriously, though, the comments are hilarious."

Posted by: Mycroft W at September 20, 2013 02:32 PM (Z484j)

13 Dammit Mycroft!  Now that song's going to be stuck in my head forever!

Posted by: Mauser at September 21, 2013 03:27 AM (TJ7ih)

14 And for the "don't get it" folks:

There's a bit in the movie where part of an exploded Atlas rocket (no, not a Space Shuttle as is commonly assumed) is tumbling to the ground in slow motion with that bit of music in the Haruhi video you see in the post, droning on as the flaming debris tumbles.




Or it feels that way, anyway.

Posted by: GreyDuck at September 21, 2013 04:17 PM (CUkqs)

15 GreyDuck, ok.  It's been about 20 years since I saw the movie and I've never seen the sequels, so I would never have remembered that.

Posted by: RickC at September 21, 2013 09:16 PM (swpgw)

Posted by: Wonderduck at September 21, 2013 09:57 PM (dM817)

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