Tag Archives: Terry Gilliam

Of paperless-chases and half-lives

One of the joys of reading and writing blogs is the feeling of things linking together. The apparent link between ideas, topics, resources etc. may be ephemeral or even illusory, but who cares? If it sparks some vaguely creative thinking then its half-life has not been in vain. The following paperless-chase occurred within the space of a few hours:

Alex Ross, award winning author of The Rest Is Noise, flagged up two interesting videos on minimalist composer Steve Reich. These were housed courtesy of Pitchfork who also have an archive of music videos, including this creative piece entitled Furr by Blitzen Trapper. The video style reminded me somewhat of Terry Gilliam and The Mighty Boosh – but also of the excellent explanatory videos offered up by Common Craft. What I feel these three sources of video have in common (no pun intended) has to do with the following phrase:

“you make it look so easy!”

This phrase, depending on inflection, can point in two opposing directions:

  • you have made this look so easy that I feel inspired to have a go

  • it’s easy for you – there’s no way I’ll ever be able to do that

Now, it’s difficult to say how much of this is in the mindset of the beholder as opposed to the intention of the practitioner, but the collage-based, low-budget (in the most positive sense of the word) work of the above people seems, to me at any rate, to embody the spirit of the former interpretation.

That’s why, a few hours later, I was inspired to see this post on the blog of David Gilmour – the technical brains* behind eduBuzz. What struck me particularly were the plans to use Flip video in primary schools. It’s clear that the aforementioned, collage-based videos are the fruit of skillful, painstaking and artistic editing as opposed merely to point-and-shoot but, nevertheless, I feel that the mood and spirit of them is what is being hoped for. It’s certainly what I imagine in my hope that primary school instrumentalists (and those responsible for them) can be convinced to film their definitions of musical concepts for wordia.

Those who have winced at the awful and forced puns I’ve contrived to use as blog post titles over the last couple of years will hopefully share my admiration for the titular imagination of this fantastic film, directed by Erik Werner. The song, by Christian Kiefer, comes from the album Of Great and Mortal Men – 43 Songs for 43 U.S. Presidents and the song is called Washington Dreams of the Hippopotamus.

* it is possible that being known as “the technical brains” can suggest that the bearer is at one remove from the inspiration, ideology and artistry of a project – in the case of David Gilmour and eduBuzz, nothing could be further from the truth.