I can’t seem to go very long without mentioning something about Nine Inch Nails, probably because the band is up to some interesting shenanigans as of late and I happened to get hooked on NIN’s music mid-creative stream. The latest news from NIN is that the band will be ditching its paid membership fan club, The Spiral, in favor of having a free fan club. Which totally rocks in an industrial way, imho, but which is peeving paid members of The Spiral no end. They figure that by paying a membership fee, they get Trent and Company to themselves and the rest of us riffraff can just stay the hell out. While I’d be ticked to have just paid the yearly fee only to find out that the club was becoming free, I can’t say I like the whole exclusivity racket. Smacks too much of class warfare and we’ve got enough of that in the world. There will be issues with ticket scalpers to work out, however, which I hope NIN can navigate gracefully.
Now that I’ve gotten sidetracked from my original post topic, let me get back on track. I’m currently listening to Ghosts I-IV, having received the CDs in the mail last week and figured out how to load them into iTunes over the weekend. You’d think this would be an easy task for me by now, but it isn’t. I had no trouble downloading the free version of Ghosts, which includes songs 1-9, but for some reason couldn’t figure out how to get the data associated with the CDs into iTunes. Eventually I managed and discovered that the songs I’d loaded off the disks were given Roman numerals in iTunes, rather than the Arabic numbers that came with the download. Further confusing the issue is that when I play the CDs (there are two) in a CD player, the songs are numbered 1-18 on both disks. Try keeping track of which song is which when all of this is going on. Sheesh!
As I listen to the various Ghosts within the machine, I’m trying to select one that would be appropriate for the NIN film festival idea I have. I’ve been listening to the music in a couple of different ways. I’ve done a full-listening with Ghosts 1-9 (the free download). During the full-listening, I didn’t do anything but listen to the music and take notes. I jotted down whatever thoughts came to mind with each song. It’s the sort of exercise I did once in a drawing class, only in drawing class we used lines to convey a song’s feeling, rather than words. Amazingly, or maybe not so amazingly, in drawing class the drawings that resulted from this exercise turned out to be similar from one artist to the next from song to song.
Here are a few examples of my notes from full-listening:
Ghosts 1 – sad, melancholy, silence after utter devastation – muted siren wail – walking a street alone, no one else around – dark – a few flickering lights, maybe going out
Ghosts 4 – discordant – off key -irritable, cranky – chin out against the world – don’t f**k with me
Ghosts 5 – sounds sneaky, careful, controlled – western bad guy – gunslinger, black hat
Ghosts 8 – solid – thud – heavy psychedelic – circular buzz saw – throbbing – could be horrific, controlled horror, not mayhem
I haven’t had a chance to do this with the rest of the songs from Ghosts; there are 36 in all. Instead, I’ve been doing a half-listening. I’ve had the music on while doing other things, not paying much attention until the music itself grabs me and makes me pay attention. A few songs have done this to me, notable number 4 and 10 on the second CD, which translates to what on iTunes? Hmm, XIII & XIX? No, XXII & XXIX? (Hang it all!) I also perk up as soon as I hear song XXVIII, which has a banjo. Ooooh, song XVI just came on! Funky from the word go, but not appropriate for the film fest idea I have.
Full-listening or half-listening, whichever method works, I still have to find a song that’s appropriate for the movie in my head. Then I have get myself up to speed on the inner workings of movie-making software. My idea is probably the sort of thing that would be easy for a knowledgeable graphics person to do, but may end up to be too complicated for me to figure out. If so, I’ll at least have had the joy of trying to think like a movie-maker with an interesting soundtrack as my resource.