Multiple Medias Meditation

Art changes, new mediums arrive and the best players synthesize new forms to become icons of the vanguard. I consider myself to be lucky to have been around to see the first home computers transform into the latest powerhouse processors; to have seen film become pixel and sound become waveform. With the whole country fearing H1N1, I had to stay home today and recover from a wickedly bad head cold. A combination of sleep and Nyquil is always an amazing catalyst for creative thought, so I thought that I would reflect on my mind’s meanderings beneath the covers.

Photography and video are about to blur into one new specialized field, wherein journalist, filmmaker and artist just capture it all and edit later. The new sensors being developed by RED, Canon and Kodak will undoubtedly provide some ground-breaking new HD opportunities for the world. But…I fear that it might happen too quickly, and that we might too readily abandon some of the art form before we realize the new media’s limitations. In many ways that is what has happened in the Pro Tools world of music: the artist can be spliced ad infinitium until it sounds clean enough for iTunes sales.

My brain is dancing with these concepts because I spent an hour recording a backing track for a vocal of my brother I recorded this weekend at the studio.  I could not help but be amazed at the sheer quality of the digital instruments, the richness of the reverbs and the overall ease of production in the latest ProTools 8. In comparison to the old cassette tape recordings I did as a kid, it sounds like Abbey Road. Positive experiences like that are like sirens singing in my ears to explore deeper waters, to fall back in love with recording sound, to adapt my photography to film and thereby merge my interests into one big…failure.

If there is one thing that I have learned in the past year, it is that you can only follow one path at a time, and that too much is lost in the translation of trying to become everything to everyone. At the moment, I am learning about glass production and how that translates light onto film. Learning how to use the Hasselblad 80mm CFE lens really inspired me to learn more about the production of the tools I am using. It is like reading about alchemical secrets from foreign lands in imaginary days.


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