Friday, February 03, 2012

Music and Film for ASD/OCD and life as Alice.

Michael Nyman is a successful modern composer, whose name you might not know but who did the score for the film The Piano (among dozen’s of others including the horror/Wendigo film Ravenous). With my OCD and ASD, I found his use of repetition with emerging themes soothing. I took his score for The Heart Asks the Pleasure First and would use the rooms at the music college or library to self teach myself the piano (I thought as I could read music, it couldn't be that difficult - the score requires different beats for each hand, just to start). Plus he alternates so that most to all the instruments have the themes, even though they might all be doing different beats. It is hard to understand a band where the pianist is playing 7/5 with one hand and 11/11 with the other while the viola is playing 16/11 and the violin is playing 9/8, etc. So here is one of the more interesting pieces to watch: Chasing Sheep is Best Left to Shepherds.

My favorite of Nyman's compositions is MGV, which you need to buy (available on Amazon, used in two collections), but is a musically account of a rail journey on a French line. Here is (after about 20 seconds), the scenery which the music is composed to give you the essence of combined with the real scenery (as the journey time and the music time is the same).

His films with Peter Greenaway were a combined effort as Greenaway filmed around his music. For me, Drowning by Numbers is on of the top films of my mind structure. First, a girl skips counting and naming the stars, to 100, “once you've counted 100, all the other hundreds are the same.”(this kind of statement which is both true and false is typical of Greenaway) The film is voiced by a boy who makes games with odd rules which only he and some sheep seem to play (like sheep tic tac toe). Meanwhile, in sequence, the numbers from 1 to 100 are see or spoken somewhere in the film, and the colours red and yellow are seen, and later the boy notices and starts sequencing these along with the days people die (Thursday is the highest). Zed and Two Naughts (ZOO) is another one about duality and the films tend toward the OCD mindset. I think the one film I haven’t seen (The Cook, The Thief, his wife and her Lover) is his most popular. You can watch The Daughtsman's Contract in entirety starting HERE (it opens with Castrati, and includes living topiary.

Personally I am in an odd place where I keep trying every day to get up and go with Linda to the Library. So far, I am on attempt seven without success. Sometimes health, sometimes Linda is away, sometimes there are other circumstances. I have also not had a 6 hours, nap and 6 hours up, so this week has been done in 4 hour to 7 hours awake a day, making it fly by. I find I am in another month. It tends to make me feel I have very little control of anything as no matter when I go to bed, or what I sacrifice to get up at 2:00 pm and see the sun, it never occurs. Indeed, my life seems to be mimicking Alice in Wonderland to a large extent right now.

I hope you are having more success than I.


Lene Andersen said...

I know very little about music so this post was an education for me. Must get more music by Michael Nyman (his last name means New Man in Danish so there must be something to this, right?

I hope your Alice in Wonderland days get better.

Anonymous said...

Hey Alice did have some good times in wonderland ( teaparty maybe?)
a hug for you and encouragement to keep fighting..

Anonymous said...

natures anarchists are worried today as white stuff is falling from the sky! sending you love
Nicci xx

Kate J said...

Posting this or trying to for the second time...
Glad to hear you like Michael Nyman, I do too! He did an interesting new score for the old Soviet silent 'Man with a Movie Camera' a few years ago. I got it on DVD. Thanks for the links - lots of his stuff I haven't heard before or not recently.
Hope you and Linda manage to get to the library OK. National Libraries Day apparently here in UK but ours was closed due to snow. Pity.
Love & peace

GirlWithTheCane said...

Thinking of you, Beth...wish I could go to the library with you.

- Sarah

Raccoon said...

"Drowning by Numbers" sounds very interesting.

I haven't had a chance to watch the music yet. Maybe tomorrow.

You know, I think that most people don't think about movie scores. They might pay attention to the "soundtrack," meaning "attention grabbing," but not the "score," meaning "incidental or atmospheric."

Hrm. So is "Darth Vader's March" soundtrack or score?

JaneB said...

Hope you get to the library soon... and that they have some wonderful things waiting for you to borrow.

PinkPhoenix said...

*hugs* There is nothing worse then feeling that sense of loss of control over our tiniest moments. Being able to get up when we want, go to the library when we want, instead of having our bodies at times inprison us, stopping us from doing what we want to do, not listening to our mind, having almost a will to themselves. "No, I'm not well, and I'm not moving. So there!" *hugs*

At times like these control and empowerment comes, as you know, in the details, even if it's just sending out a postcard or blogging. I know its hard at times, because every single moment is such a struggle.

You are a wonderful, caring woman so full of love, and your love is and has been felt around the world. I know you are a fighter and I know your instinct like mine, is to always fight back. But you know, Elizabeth, it's OK to let go. And I don't mean "go kill yourself," LOL I mean it's okay to let go of the constant need to fight and getting down on yourself when your not able to fight.

There is power in surrender,let others help you out, and be gentler with yourself. What would you say to a friend in your situation? Figure it out, write it down, and then, read it to yourself.

As long as you THINK for yourself, are Independent in THOUGHT, you are Independent. Even if you can't jump, box, run, do other physical things like go to the library, you can still go to the library online. Not the same I know, but this is what I'm saying. Your body is in control now, and thats hard to accept when we're so used to our minds controlling our bodies. But regardless of what your body will or will not allow you to do, as long as your can THINK for YOURSELF you ARE INDEPENDENT.

To define Independence and strength only through physical abilities is Ablist. You THINK, therefor, you ARE. *hugs* I love you and I love your insites my friend, but sometimes, you drive me crazy with this focus I perceive you sometimes have, of defining Independence within physical ability terms.

There are people who have lived their whole lives as quads: needing help dressing, needing care for the bathroom, their bodies refusing to allow them to run, jump, walk as they may dream in their heads. Like Stephen Hawking. And yet would anyone consider Stephen Hawkin to be "dependent?"

I know there are so many things you want to DO physically like get up and go to the library. But thinking and writing, blogging, philosophizing, etc. is DOING as well. I'm going to challenge you, and ask you "Why are you still defining your Independence in terms of physical ability?"

You can't get to the library for the last six days, sure you can, go online. You can't "do anything?" Sure you can. Write Me a Poem.

Write me a Poem. Use that brain of yours. As long as your are thinking for yourself, you are Free. So write me a poem. I'm specifically asking you to write me a POEM, because its a form of writing I don't think I've seen you do much, and so write me a poem, and push that brain of yours to think harder, to think faster, to think so fly.

A wise Warrior and Amazon knows when to Surrender in order to conserve energy for the longer fight. *hugs*

Elizabeth McClung said...

Raccoon: william's score for vadar's march is part of his composition for Star Wars. The movie was pre-screened before the score had been added and people were laughing and talking and it was considered a dud.

Much of cinema scoring (as opposed to 'needle drops' of hit or obscure songs by artists) is done with the same composition as an opera or symphony, with a core theme, individual themes, an introductory music piece, etc. Top composers are Encino Morriconie (who did not just the Spaggetti Westerns of Clint Eastwood but The Mission and many more), Hanz Zimmerman (who did Backdraft and lots of top Blockbusters) and John Williams.

PinkP: a decent poem for me takes a 1 out of 5-7 poems, with 2-4 weeks per poem and about 30-60 drafts.

Rilke's Duino Elegies took 10 years for 10 poems and of these 2 and parts of 2-3 others seem worth it. (I personally only like Stephen Michael's Translation - which took 3 years to get 'just right')

"I believe in all that has never yet been spoken.
I want to free what waits within me
so that what no one has dared to wish for

may for once spring clear
without my contriving."

Linda McClung said...

When you first intoduced me to Nyman's music years ago, I didn't particularly like it. It seemed so chaotic. But the two pieces you posted in the blog, plus the theme from The Piano swayed me to liking him.

The train piece is my favourite because I can hear the train chugging and can image being on a train and feeling the train pick up speed and the scenery racing by. It reminds me of our Amtrak summer where we crossed the US a couple times by train. Lots of good memories despite being late to almost every destination.

I am really glad you found a train youtube video to go with the piece. It was a perfect fit. It was cool to see some Spanish scenery seeing as it was one of the European countries we never made it to.

Pink Pheonix, Elizabeth writes some amazing poetry and has had several pieces published over the years.

While I agree that Beth takes not being able to do something as a sign of failure too personally, I think it is pretty selfish of you to expect her to dedicate the few precious hours she has each day to a project you have arbitrarily demanded she do. Don't hold your breath waiting for it.

She has so many other things she would like to do, both physically and mentally, which will take priorty.