Update #9: Back in Business, kinda.
Welcome back everyone, it's been a little longer than usual but twice as much to natter about, and a few new features I hope to continue with, feel free to let me know if there's anything new you want to see in these posts.
Sorry for the delay, unfortunately I had Covid-19 and had to spend a little time recovering, and didn't want to release a half baked update. Now with that out of the way I have been able to spend some time self reflecting on myself, where I am at currently and the obstacles in my way to continuing doing what I enjoy and to find a way to implement that into a career. Many of the steps are those which have unfortunately been put on hold since March last year, which limits my range and wider space for opportunities to work, let alone in the creative industry.
With the two weeks sat inside, apart from staring out at the snow wishing to film and trek about, I focused on what I need to do and ways to prepare myself for when the world becomes more available, them being being fully able to drive before so can just book for a driving test, and to get myself a cheap car to practice in. Operation Shitbox is in full force.
With the time inside I have managed to spend some time working on more and myself more than external work with others which isn't my forte but interesting to see the differences between solo and collaborative work. Looking at the contrasts of the attitudes and energy between is a quite chalk and cheese. Collaborative work is interesting through being able to push each other and give feedback and build alongside at certain times. Solo work feels like you have a mountain to climb and aren't sure where to start, and chipping away at the mountain of to-do's can be exhaustive yet somewhat relaxing in a sense of the free time and availability of just working on it for occasional 10-20 mins on it.
Through this I have found 2 more opportunities for funding and a chance to showcase my work to further audiences, one of which being one to support new artists with a funding to help finance ideas in which they wouldn't of been able to independently and recommend experts to help their creative process. The other is a online showcase focusing on the theme of 'Discovery', I've taken this is in a way of the time we have spent inside all this time, as to discover the mundane, dull rituals we have as people, and to celebrate these rituals of the mundane as something we take for granted, such as our morning cereal, or brushing your teeth, etc.
Painting has also become a pastime through my recovery from Covid, the nature of painting has always been somewhat therapeutic and calming, even if the end product isn't presentable, its process is what I enjoy about it.
I have also been looking into more propagating, Black Bamboo, and herbs are in the roster. I am not sure what draws me to this, but the idea of commitment that plants and growing requires is a skill that's transferrable to the work and the projects I am in and soon to be working in.
Currently, a lot I am working on is very much in the starting phases. Those of which are developing skills and learning new styles of drawing, such as sprites and objects, pixel art and creating detailed images with a limited pixel count. This is a task I am currently learning. I have never really been much of a drawing sort of person, but I enjoy the messy and free nature of sketching. Pixel art is very much on the other side, taking you with providing recognizable appealing sprites, with the limitations of minimal detail. It's a new task for me, but a welcome challenge at that, next update I will provide one of the very first assets of this project.
I have also been working on sound design again, making sound effects for a project from scratch. Personally this is one of my favorite to create. As seen in the Archive section 'Freddy B Baseball', Using effects through recording and mixing, panning and implementing royalty free sounds. This was a pleasure to make and create, and helps me further understand the necessary steps to creating a professionally edited soundbite. One of the most important rules for me is to make sure that the sound you are working on editing is of a high quality, as editing it can improve it only to an extent. With sound and music design the creative freedom and creation process, especially of those in a professional field has been a highly imaginative and incredible field to explore in. Examples of Dooms soundtrack, where the producers was told he was not allowed to make any of the tracks using a electric guitar, so used chainsaws instead or the way Mortal Kombat X used fruit to simulate the sounds of overtly violent and gruesome actions on the screen.
For a side note of interest check out Midnight Mushroom Music, which uses nature as a method of performance, they used the pulses given through the fungus and hooked it up to a MIDI allowing the corresponding pulses to play a synth note and hear what we can't see and the reactions and changes in composition when watered or different conditions.
Moving to music, I am still currently in the process of mixing some of my personal work to be at a position in which I can record vocals over when I have the chance to, given my current living. Most of my music is leaning into the acoustic folk side of genres, whilst also looking into other genres such as DnB, techno, chill-hop and blues. With music, I am keeping it more of a personal project from myself as of yet, but in the future I intend to share more of what I have come up with, so keep tuned.
I've also been keeping in mind scripts, and connecting with friends from university with the hope of finding something to perform together, which would be interesting to see and discover methods in which to perform, and what can be translated into the situations we are in both performative and globally. One script I have been reading is Martin Macdonough's, dark comedy mystery 'The Pillowman' Following a interrogation of a author and his mentally handicapped brother looking into the murder of children whilst highlighting the interrogation methods, intimidation and misconduct of police, misinformation and reflection to modern day policing.
Further from the last section, I have been working on ideas for the OSCA call for artists on the theme of 'Discovery' So far I have one draft idea of a short video/ performance piece along with other mediums to create and submit, this is an exciting opportunity to create something new or further tinker with previous ideas I had.
I've been watching a lot of films recently and something me and a friend do is enjoy rating them, so for this week I thought about reviewing two films in which I have been meaning to watch recently and give my opinion on them, and see how it goes.
Snatch, a film best described as how not to commit crimes, bargain with 'pikeys' and mess with people who own pig farms. The roster of incompetent criminals in the underground illegal boxing game, gun runners and gem peddlers, is on par with the witty one liners and foolish blunders interwoven in a clever, well presented plot. After the 2 main characters esteemed boxer gets knocked out before a big rigged fight after trying to purchase a caravan from travelers, they are forced to rely on one of the travelers in promise of a caravan for his mother. Whilst a plot goes wrong on the hunt for a large very expensive diamond heist goes wrong, and are forced into a wild goose chase following and chasing the diamond as it passes from hand to hand of dangerous, wacky and blundering criminals.
The strong points of this film is by far the dialogue between characters and plot. Through the dialogue we see a clear understanding of relationships between companions, associates and feared crime bosses. The comedic timing and blown out of proportion finale of interlinked storylines coming into one single tapestry is incredible.
The Lobster 8/10
Directed by Yorgos Lanthimos, a dystopian world where if you do not have a romantic partner, you have 50 days at a center to find a partner otherwise you get turned into a animal. Through this concept we see an interesting development and faint resonance in our world in regards to romance and relationships.
Through the film we see that the protagonist sees both sides of this world focused on coupling and forced relationships. All ways given in this world to find a partner feel unnatural and pressured, which contrasts to the actual process of letting relationships naturally form. It also shows the desperation to be someone that they are not, for example forcing themselves to have nosebleeds to be considered a romantic partner.
The theme I mostly connected with this film and reality is the increasing dehumanization of romance and relationships, for example how we are more digitally romantic finding people through dating apps and falling in love with people we have never seen in person, and the natural chemistry becoming more of a back feature.
The processes in which people are forced to find partners didn't work, yet when are protagonist does, it is in a situation in which it is forbidden, leading a ironic tone to the film.
The main pros I would like to point out in this film are atmosphere, musical accompaniment and delivery of dialogue. Through the narration, and the majority of the dialogue, emotionless and mostly monotonous, alongside the jarring atonal ostinatos of the musical accompanist for scenes of tension, generated an atmosphere with a threateningly uncomfortable aura throughout the film, in which I feel is masterfully crafted.
SOTW- Never (Lagos Gonna Be the Same) - Tony Allen, Hugh Masekela
The main reason for this song to be SOTW is the slick drum patterns and catchy tunes, along, through this next lockdown dancing, and going out, pre-drinks, shower beers and that buzz of anticipation for the night, which this song reminded me of.
AOTW- The Stag at Eve - Dr Seuss (Midnight Paintings Collection)
Well known for his wild, gravity defying structures and charismatic drawings Dr Seuss created for his collection of children books are implemented in a lot of peoples memory when they were younger and current generations enjoying them alike. This piece is one of his 'Midnight Collections' work, which was not to be released to the public till after his death. These contain a lot more darker backgrounds and more solemn nature to the work. The Stag at Eve especially resonates the idea of comfort in isolation, and tranquility. The colours of gold and black and the elaborate non-sensical structures, give the vibe of the Art-Deco period of the 20's. Combining the idea of these works being secret to the public for so long, these being personal non-commercial work and changing the mood to a more dark and solemn nature whilst maintaining Seuss' characteristic mythical creatures makes this a intriguing piece.