25 March 2011


Had a nice talk with the animator yesterday afternoon, and we watched the current state of the animation. (Some of the artwork is crude, and obviously just a ‘place-holder’ for work she is fixin’ to finish later . . . still, she was apologetic and rushed to assure me, “I really can draw!”)

One thing is that she would like the music to be practically continuous throughout (with the exception of one scene, more on which later) . . . which does not ‘inconvenience’ me, though one of my presuppositions was an occasional judicious silence. What the animator wants, though, is the ‘temporal depth’ which a steady musical undercurrent gives the whole. Which suits the piece well; and certainly, I can write whatever may be wanted.

One of the few questions I carried in the back of my own mind, going into yesterday’s meeting, was the ‘found’ sounds (an alarm clock, an electrical zap, e.g.). The a. will find them on her own, which suits me very nicely.

The overall sense I had from the ‘cold, silent’ view I had of an earlier version of the animation was: that while the story plays out as a series of incidents, everyday activities which the protagonist briefly imagines as an incident where she manages to do herself a mischief, so that there is a series of fantastical violences . . . the climax of the story is a minor bicycle accident which (the girl finds to her surprise) happens in the real world, and she shakes herself off and walks away from it. Now, the impression I had was that, while what is wanted through most of the piece is a sense of undercurrent brooding and threat, the ending, though would be brighter-hued, unshadowed. And to my pleasure, this is in complete harmony with the animator’s idea for the piece.

Originally (a month or more ago) I was thinking of combining the need for music here, with the new alto flute, clarinet, cello trio to be performed in May. But I have allowed How to Tell to take on its own necessary life. My idea now for the soundtrack is to create an ‘accompaniment’ level in Sibelius, export it as a sound file, play it back on a CD; and there will be a ‘live’ clarinet part which I shall play ‘against’ it, and record the lot.

One curious coda to yesterday’s meeting was the animator’s request for some ‘distorted’ sound in the opening. My idea there, is perhaps to make use of a trumpet which used to belong to my nephew (a school which I’ve never succeeded in selling off, or even giving away . . . not that I’ve vigorously tried the latter) . . . that I can make use of the trumpet in ways which will be, in effect, a ‘distorted clarinet’.

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