Thursday, November 11, 2010

Public Lectures: Adventuring while sitting down, learning.

Have you ever attended a lecture?

Not your own lectures for courses you're enrolled in. You're supposed to go to those, dumbass. I mean a public lecture hosted by an institution, academic or otherwise. Like these, or these, or any of thesethese, these, and these.

A composer with the most spectacularly bird-like hands named Robert Robertson (you couldn't make that up) presented a two part seminar entitled "Eisenstein and Synaesthesia" and "Eisenstein in the 21st Century" in the Huston Film School today.

Synesthesia as a concept has fascinated me for a long time now. The creative possibilities for interpretation are almost endless! Loosely defined, synesthesia is a confusion of the senses, so one would see music or hear a colour. Words become associated with visual representations of sounds, colours and images to the extent that it is difficult to reassociate the word with the intended meaning. As disabilities go it's bordering on super power. I mean how cool would that be?

Robertson actually uses synesthesia creatively in his own music, working with film-makers to produce film accompaniments to his pieces. No, not video, this isn't pop music kids, film. He uses terms like "audio-visual poly rhythm" and "montage of attraction" (he yoinked the latter from his man Eisenstein. In practice it looks like this: Empedocles.

What follows is my very own synesthetic reinterpretation of the above blog post:

I stamp my foot. It shoots up jagged blue waves which smack the faces of my friends. Georgian buildings.

Colourful blobs dance Pink Floyd. I open the dictionary and it is musical notation. When I read the notes they bite me on the nose, and hide under my desk. It is ok, Spiderman gets them.

Mr Instantcoffejar with the budgie fingers gives the colourful blobs a hug, and when they are not looking jams them into the television and turns them on. Annoyed by the loud static erupting from the back of the machine they fling themselves against the grass, which begins to crack. In practice it looks like do ray me fa so la tea do.

All my friends in blue blazers and purple polos sit in a row before me. I stand on a loud dissonant soap box in the key of F, and look at their eager faces.


Mr Instantcoffeejar has budgies, robbins, and bluebirds who run up and down his piano and make him brilliant. The guy from the genius bread ad watches. The lady from The Adams Family is there too. They are all smiling green, holding hands, and skipping.


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