Friday, December 10, 2004

Creative Process and Truffle hunting

the life of a truffle hunting pig

The life of a truffle hunting pig is a very boring one. It consists of using one's proboscis for long periods of time, close to the ground, in all weathers, sniffing for a rare and costly fungus. All the truffle hunters I interviewed, have requested that there names not be mentioned for fear of being eaten. Or did I dream it.

The porject, (ahem) project is based on a student I had once who did interrupt me to constantly to yammer at me in the I say, I say, How I say manner which you hear in the piece. I thought it was a funny concept to work with. Often, I will record a conversation in the middle as opposed to the beginning or end and see how much information I can slice and dice and make into a narrative of sorts. In this case, I recorded myself mimicking the student, while explaining in places, what vaguely is going on. After working for several hours on using just this voice mingled with effects and some kind of bed track, I couldn't find a creative strand strong enough to hold my attention for three minutes. (Or perhaps even for a minute.) So, I abondoned this project and recorded a conversation of nonsense, a la Laurie Anderson, with the intent of making a 'Vib Gyor' or a 'Bunnyrabbits, Satan' piece. Now the problem with recording deliberate nonsense is that it is difficult to make it interesting or witty. If this is to be achieved, it has to be clever and almost invariably, well thought out. I once saw a version of MacBeth called MocShplat which was written in Gibberish. The program too was written in Gibberish. It was so cleverly done that at the end of the play, you could read the program in Gibberish and it actually made sense. My point is that recording nonsense takes time and/or a happy accident. The happy accident came to me when I went back to the 'I say, I say, I say' theme. To give it a context, I recorded a conversation of sorts that would comment on the antics of this student. But due to time constraints, and complete lack of creative reasoning, the volumes of the voices are not equal, nor are they all recorded in mono. This was my learning curve. In my headphones, it sounded fine. When I listened to the hard copy through speakers, there were problems with consistency. Further, the recording of the I say, I say text was made on a reel-to-reel deck that emits a hum (I should have used the Notch filter!) everytime it is played. Also, some of the fade files got nixed in the final mixing session, so ends of words are cut off in places, which is a drag, because had they been checked it would be a lot smoother.

Those are the words of the truffle hunter and sound text for four hours of sleep and two ten-page papers to go......

December 10th 2060