Friday, 27 November 2009

Perspective, music, setting

So I'm watching a youtube, thinking "Man, this music really suits the video. It's like the video's been shot to the music." (Even though it's obvious that didn't happen.)

Then the thought hits me. Maybe it's not the music that suits the vid. Maybe it's the way I'm interpreting it all.

I'm reminded of a video I was shown at school in like year 3 (I can't have been more than 7 years old). It was about how directors use music in film. They showed a close up of a spider walking across the screen, with no music. It looked quite simply like a spider walking across the screen. Nothing special. Just like in a David Attenborough.

Then they showed the same sequence, but with scary, tension building music, lke from Jaws or something. Suddenly the spider seemed really scary. Really on the prowl. Dangerous. Intent to kill.

Then they showed the same sequence, only this time they had fairground music. Suddenly the spider, the same one that had me soiling my undies just a minute ago, looked comic and silly; like a clown bumbling around a circus ring.

Each time it was the same spider, but the differing music coloured the scene very differently for me. And each time the music seemed to really suit the scene.

So back to my youtube. I was thinking what if the music was completely different? What if it wasn't the classy swingy music they were actually playing, but a bassy or moody piece. Would I still think "Man, this music really suits the video?"

Is it fair to assume that a different piece of music, carefully chosen, will have me perceive it (totally/slightly) differenly, and that I'll believe that the music really suits that new perception of the video?

Maybe I'll think twice before thinking "Wow, that music must have been written for this scene."

Unless it's a proper film. In which case it probably has.

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