Offbeat: A Resurrection of Crimes Unpaid

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Audio from a film. Watch it here: https://vimeo.com/292243431

Features new music from John Barner. Stream and buy the record here: https://americanresiduerecords.bandcamp.com/album/darker-places

Tape Extracts:

I used to dream satisfaction in quiet commerce.

Past experiences made new.

Wandering the aisles - no one there.

Belief a strange buzz - energy left over from all that's typical.

 

I'd rarely buy.

Just look. Touch.

 

Comfort.

Comfort.

Offbeat: Earlid - Under the Skin

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Erasure is violence. Ever, always, being justified: “The director said she made the changes so as ‘not [to] show them.'”

Sun Yung Shin is the voice in the piece. She is a writer and educator living in Minneapolis where she co-directs the community organization Poetry Asylum with poet Su Hwang. When The Beguiled was released in 2017, she was part of a conversation about the whitewashing of its narrative and the violence of erasure that is justified everyday.

The 1966 novel had a black female slave as a supporting character, whom director Sofia Coppola removed from the film; and for a biracial character from the novel, she cast white actress Kirsten Dunst.

This piece was originally produced for Earlid as part of their 2018 Liminal Sounds exhibit Skin Rubbed Smooth.

Tape Extracts:

Garrett Tiedemann: Forever there…

Sun Yung Shin: What is complicated about it?

Archive Tape Adult Man: Let’s see if we can explain it. [Fact of communicating] You an I have a coat of armor that protects our bodies from the outside world. It’s our skin.

Archive Tape Young Girl: Who is it?

Archive Tape Adult Man 2: Tissue.

Archive Tape Adult Man: But, did you know that you really have two skins.

Sun Yung Shin: Probably in this…moment. The hatred of women is surging. Certainly the discourse of misogyny seems really prevalent with our new administration unleashing and giving people permission.

Archive Tape Young Girl: What?

Archive Tape Adult Man 2: Is one of the most deadly and elusive enemies ever faced by man.

Archive Tape Adult Man: Body juices flow and withdrawn into the head. Never to be seen or used again.

Sun Yung Shin: So I think, you know, Sofia Coppola is at the intersection of all these things that people are interested in. You know, the Coppola cinematic inheretance. Here being a young, wealthy, beautiful woman. Her making films that have been reasonably successful that have women protagonists. And then this film, at a time when we are increasingly or maybe the same as ever divided on whether racism exists or is morally right; for her to take on this civil war, post-civil war film and people it only with white women, make them what’s interesting in their sexual intrigues and competition and whatever else is cooking in this film. But, erasing black women’s bodies, erasing black labor, erasing the cause of the war, erasing what enabled these white women to live as white women - keep their dresses clean and all that - does seem appalling to me, it’s really truly appalling to me and I got very upset about it.

Archive Tape Young Boy: Alright!

Offbeat: These Fair Possessions of Democracy

America is less. Resist.

Tape Extracts:

Orson Welles: To be born free is to be born in debt. To live in freedom without fighting slavery is to profiteer. My plane last night I flew over some parts of our republic where American citizenship is a luxury beyond the means of the majority. I rode comfortably in my plane above a sovereign state or two where fellow countrymen of ours can't vote without the privilege of cash. Surely my right to having more than enough is cancelled if I don't use that more to help those who have less.

My subject today is the question of moral indebtedness. So I'd like to acknowledge the debt that goes with ownership. I believe, and this has very much to do with my own notion of freedom, I believe I owe the profit I make to the people I make it from. Any public man owes his position to the public. That's what I mean when I say I am your obedient servant. It's a debt payable in service of the highest efforts of the debtor. The extension of this moral argument insists that no man owns anything outright since he owns it rent free.

A wedding never bought a wife and the devotion of his child is no man's for the mere begetting. We must each day earn what we own. A healthy man owes to the sick all that he can do for them. An educated man owes to the ignorant all that he can do for them. A free man owes to the world slaves all that he can do for them. And what is to be done is more, much more than good works, Christmas baskets, bonuses and tips, and bread and circuses.

There is only one thing to be done with slaves: free them. If we can't die on behalf of progress we can live for it. Progress we Americans take to mean a fuller realization of democracy, the measure of progress as we understand it is the measure of equality and joy by all men. We can do something about that. 

If we waste that gift we won't have anywhere to hide from the indignation of history.

I want to say this: the morality of the auction block is out of date. There is no room in the American century for Jim Crow. The Times urge new militancy upon the Democratic attitude. Tomorrow's democracy discriminates against discrimination. It's charter won't include the freedom to end freedom.

I come with a call for action. American law forbids a man the right to take away another's right. It must be law that groups of men can't use the machinery of our Republic to limit the rights of other groups. That the vote for instance can't be used to take away the vote. It's in the people's power to see to it that what makes lynchings and starts wars is dealt with. In a people's world the incurable racist has no rights. He must be deprived of influence in a people's government, he must be segregated as he himself would segregate. Our liberty has every day to be safe from marauders whose greed is for all things possessed by the people. Care of these possessions is the hope of life on this planet. They are living things they grow. These fair possessions of democracy. And nothing, but death can stop that growth. 

Let the yearners for the past, the willfully childish, learn now the facts of life. The first of which is the fact of that growth. In our hemisphere the growing has begun, but only just begun. America can write her name across this century and so she will if we the people brown and black and red rise now to the great occasion of our brotherhood. It will take courage. It calls for the doing of great deeds, which means the dreaming of great dreams. Giving the world back to its inhabitants is too big a job for the merely practical. The architects of freedom are always capable of hope. The lawmakers of true democracy are true believers, they believe quite simply in the people in all of them.

Be of good heart. The fight is worth it. But, what will be here when we are gone. America is the less. 

Offbeat: Sounds of La La Land

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Part of this year's more diversified Academy Award nominations, Ai-Ling Lee and Mildred Iatrou Morgan have been nominated for Best Sound Editing for La LA Land; becoming the first all-female team nominated in the category (Ai-Ling is also nominated for Best Sound Mixing along with Andy Nelson and Steve A. Morrow). As sound supervisors and designers on the project, their job was to lead the teams that brought every sound you hear. With a heavy emphasis on using production sound versus pre-recorded mixes of music; the performances in the film often feel more organic and real, not so decentered from the overall sound of the narrative as is customary with the genre. This approach informs every step of the audio process; a fine balance of imaginary realism, with key components of audio that connect to the makeup of our everyday living.

Tape Extracts:

Taken from the print version of this piece, which appeared on YourClassical.

Morgan: Ai-Ling and I were both working on a film by Cameron Crowe called We Bought a Zoo. I was working at Fox and I was brought onto the show by one of the mixers, Doug Hemphill, who had worked with her and thought she'd be perfect as a sound designer for the film. I was already supposed to be the sound supervisor on it and I was going to supervise with another person, but [that other person] couldn't do it. So as we were working really well together, I asked her if she wanted to supervise it with me and she said yes — so that was the first time we worked together as a sound supervising team. Since then we've done four [including] La-La Land, and now we're also working on Battle of the Sexes, which is about the Billie Jean King versus Bobby Riggs tennis match.

Could you briefly explain the difference between a supervising sound editor and the distinctions that get broken down in the final credits?

Lee: I would think a supervisor would have more of a direct relationship with the filmmakers: going to meet with them to discuss ideas to see how the sound can help with the storytelling and to try to take everyone's ideas, including your own, and work on it to make it come to fruition. Typically in a sound editorial department for features it's composed by a team of sound editors; mainly broken up into dialogue, ADR [dialogue re-recorded for better sound quality], effects, and Foley. So, the sound supervisor would then coordinate with sound editors to try to achieve the vision of the filmmakers — and sometimes the sound supervisor also edits the sounds together or gathers everyone's work together to present it.

How does your collaboration work?

Morgan: Usually when we supervise together I focus on dialogue and ADR — all the spoken words, for the most part — and Ai-Ling deals with sound design, sound effects, backgrounds. Then there's usually a Foley person or a Foley supervisor, but she supervises that Foley supervisor to tell him what the director wants because the first thing we do is meet with the director and picture editor and we have a spotting session and we play the whole movie and take notes and they give us their vision of how it should sound.

So, what were your first thoughts when you saw La La Land?

Lee: You could tell, even early on, with how it's shot, the directions, the choices that [director] Damien [Chazelle] made, and all the beautiful original music that it was going to be a really beautiful, personal movie. It's a very brave choice for Damien.

Do you approach a film like this any differently than, say, Planet of the Apes, or any of the big-budget superhero films you've done? Is the process any different?

Morgan: Well, I think any time we approach a film and start working on a film you have to think okay, what is the style of the film? What is, as you said, the palette? What is the mood of the film? The textures of the film? And we do the sound work according to that.

In the case of La La Land, because [Chazelle] made it very clear that he wanted the sound to be very naturalistic and then had to seamlessly transition into the musical numbers, on my side, because I was doing dialogue and ADR, I tried really hard to use all the production sound that was recorded with the images and not replace a lot of it with ADR and dubbing — because I knew that he didn't want that, he wanted to sound real. Even with the singing there were several places where the singing was done live on set, for the more emotional numbers like her audition number at the end.

I did cover some of that in ADR, but sometimes I would just use a word or a syllable so that I could keep as much of the production as possible. But, on other movies, like Planet of the Apes or an action film, you know they're going to use a lot of ADR and you cover it and you record all the ADR and you try to get it in the movie. But, in this case I held back — I really tried to make all the production [dialogue] work and [with] Andy Nelson we decided we can make this production work, even though it sounds really noisy. We're just going to make it work and maybe sprinkle in a couple of words of ADR. That helped anchor the film and keep it in reality until it took flight and went into a musical fantasy world.

It really did. It didn't feel separated out like some musicals can — you get that feeling of the space in the room not being manufactured.

Lee: They wanted to make sure the music doesn't sound too Broadway-ish, so having a live recording helps ground it too.

Did it change how you worked, rather than if you had everything contained from studio recordings?

Morgan: Certain things. For example, the duet number where they're dancing overlooking Los Angeles, the first dance they have together where she's wearing the yellow dress; that duet goes from production speaking and there of course is background sounds, the noises of Los Angeles.

Ai-Ling put more backgrounds on it and then it transitions into the musical, but I don't know if it's Ryan Gosling's voice or the way it was recorded (possibly), but the quality of his [studio-recorded] voice was very similar to the quality of the production, and so it was this gradual transition. So, on my side I had to make a background fill of the noisy background that was with the dialogue. And we continue that over the transition to the music, and Ai-Ling did the same thing with her sound effects.

Lee: Yeah, basically for that scene I would maintain the background, the city sounds, and insects through their singing and as the song goes they slowly taper down so that the music would take more precedent. So, we established Foley cloth movement, back movement, footsteps, hand grabbing the lamppost, and stuff like that that helps ground them rather than just prerecorded singing voices. The Foley helps make it feel like it's a live recording, that they're really singing there.

How do you pinpoint those moments?

Lee: With a musical you have to be very selective. Even when you edit these Foley, you have to be really careful to make sure they are in rhythm to the music rather than too much in sync sometimes because your eyes can fool you because your brain just connects to the rhythm rather than what you see and sync sometimes. And, of course the pitch and tone of the sound, it should not clash with the music. Otherwise either they just get lost in [the music] or just poke out like a sore thumb.

For the opening number, even though every so often the dancers would be walking around while dancing, we were careful not to play all of the [footsteps] all the time, it's only used to accentuate the music or a particular move that you see. And Damien is very specific about that. He's very meticulous, down to almost an exact science — so even though sometimes, like in the middle of the traffic song, a group of them are dancing on the cars, we did not play that because sometimes those sounds may overpower the music. For those I opt not to play up the stomps at all, but later on in the traffic song when you see the wide shot of all the dancers on top of the cars, for that area I played some of their stomping and dancing on the car roofs.

That's after they introduce the percussion band in the truck, right? Which kind of justifies a shift in the sound.

Lee: Yes, yes. So you know, things like that — or even like the crowd, suddenly you hear them cheering and clapping in rhythm to the music. Little moments like that helps ground it and actually makes it more fun on the track.

Is working with someone who has that sort of sensibility you talked about, where he's really specific on what the sound is going to do, different than someone who maybe doesn't seem to really know how to talk about it?

Morgan: Sure, because sometimes you work with directors who will give you some notes but they're not very specific. And then it's up to you to bring them something, and then once there's something in front of them they can bounce off of what you've shown them or played for them and then they give you notes on that and you build from there. But with Damien...I mean, there was a really nice give-and-take, but he started off every scene and told us what he wanted. Then it would evolve, but we would usually start with that.

Lee: He would tell us what he would like to have, his vision. In the opening sequence, for example, he wants to slowly build up the horns and the car radio, built into this cacophony of sound, real sounds, and then through that the musical number comes in. So he would say "I want to make sure people know it's in a traffic jam. The cars are standing still," so he doesn't want to hear any sounds of cars driving by, just cars idling, not any kind of moving since we were trying to sell through a soundscape to the audience that we are in a traffic jam in Los Angeles without seeing it visually until later on when the camera pans down to the individual cars.

From the very beginning, when you introduced Mia and Sebastian you articulated who they were and who they were going to be through their sounds so she's driving a Prius, very clean and sort of non-disruptive — whereas he's driving an old car that's loud and he's rewinding tape and making all these sort of noises until he honks at her and it's like that archetypes how they're going to come together. Was that the forethought going into it, or was it that just worked for the opening?

Morgan: I'm sure that that's how Damien wrote the characters. It's funny, I never thought of it 'til now, but when you described it I thought, yes, Sebastian's very analog and she's a little more modern and digital even though they're both dreamers and they both love old Hollywood. He loves jazz and she loves old Hollywood but he's a very analog character.

Lee: Thinking about the dinner fight scene, though, and Damien having such a good concept and idea about music and rhythm...you could even tell in his dialogue scenes, such as this dinner scene, that there's rhythm between Sebastian and Mia: how they paced that fight, the dialogue between them, and how Damien liked to use the production almost like production Foley props, like all the cutlery sounds or the drinking in between the lines to help accentuate the rhythm of that scene. It's not like obvious that it's music, but in the way it has this musical rhythm in there too.

Morgan: The thing I love about that scene is I have watched that scene hundreds of times, maybe, and I never ever notice exactly when the music goes away because I get so sucked into the argument every time, but then at a certain point you realize the music has stopped. But for me, I don't hear it when it stops. I realize "oh my gosh, the music stopped." And I think when Ai-Ling brought in the sound of the record, the record hitting those grooves...

Lee: Oh, yeah, the hiss.

Morgan: It doesn't start right away when the music stops. It starts later on.

Lee: Yeah, so you have this tense silence, moment of silence, between the two of them. And then you hear the hiss of the record coming in.

I realize films today have a lot of music in them, but did it feel like this had more music than you're used to working with, and did that complicate it at all, or since it was a musical was it kind of like "nope, this is the world"? Morgan: Yeah, I don't feel like it had more. It's funny because especially when you work on some of these bigger action movies, they have so much music in them and often when we're at the final mix on movies like that, inevitably someone, one of the producers or the director, says what if we took that cue out and we took that cue out. But in La La Landit was different because it was all mapped out ahead of time and maybe because the music was so integral to the story, I didn't feel like there was more music than usual. I felt like the music...

Lee: ...was just such a big part of the story.

Morgan: It was very organic. It's the best. It really is the best-case scenario in terms of doing sound for a film when it's organic like that and it's all of one piece and everything goes together so well.

Offbeat: Status Update

Cover art for this episode provided by Dana Elizabeth Gerber-Margie from  Bello Collective .

Cover art for this episode provided by Dana Elizabeth Gerber-Margie from Bello Collective.

Caly McMorrow is an interactive art and sound artist based in St. Paul Minnesota. Immediately after the 2016 presidential election she participated in social media catharsis by covering a well referenced Leonard Cohen song and sharing it for those who it may benefit. In this episode she talks about the post and her continued efforts to unify and connect people together through the complications of life and art.

To see photos of the piece Status Update visit: http://www.calymcmorrow.com/status-update/

Music in this episode by Caly McMorrow is from her album All of This is Temporary and can be found here: http://www.calymcmorrow.com/music/

Tape Extracts:

Caly McMorrow: So when I learned piano, it was very much classical and I didn't really play popular music growing up. And so when I sit down and play, I often just play - I joke not joke that I got good enough at piano to play Beethoven sonatas badly. 

But, interactive installation art...means making for people to interact with. So, there's a lot about museum culture that's look and don't touch or you're the audience and I'm a performer and so I'm the creator and you're the consumer. And the thing I like about interactive installation art is that that line is blurred or goes away entirely. So, creating experiences or environments that an audience is invited to participate with and the purpose of the art work isn't really realized unless they do that. 

No, no. It was, actually the line in the song, in the chorus, one of them is forget your perfect offering. And so I thought, well this is not perfect and here you go anyway.

You know, everybody was quoting this line from Anthem. I didn't really know it very well and I went and found it and listened to it and read the lyrics and it just one of those things where; oh man, this really captures what I'm feeling right now. And it's kind of prescient because he's gone.

I like having something that's prepared, but still has that random thing in it as well. But, having that safety too I felt like putting this recording up took a lot of that away and so it was a scary thing for me to do actually.

It was a link that a friend of mine...and this was like  Tuesday, Wednesday morning when I couldn't sleep and I was up at like four in the morning. I kind of wanted to put Facebook down, but at the same time it was this...I knew that other people were awake and posting and going through the same thing so I wanted to sleep but I didn't want to put it down because I felt connected to these people that way. 

And a friend of mine said, you should Google Amanda Palmer reading Goodnight Moon,and I hadn't seen her do it. And there's just a bunch of videos when really terrible things have happened in the world where she would say a lot of bad stuff is going on right now, but I've got a baby and I've got Goodnight Moon and I'm gonna read Goodnight Moon and there is something about these simple comforting things, especially as somebody who that was my favorite bedtime book as a little kid. That was just really cathartic to watch and kind of the same thing, this imperfect spur of the moment thing that she did; I think maybe to comfort herself and hopefully comfort other people. And it did, for me, so I thought OK, maybe if I do this thing. It's kind of crappy, and the music nerd in me is AAAH, there's parallel fifths and I missed that note and all whatever.  But, maybe people don't care a much as I do.  

Garrett Tiedemann: So, I guess the first thing we should probably do is what did you actually do?

Caly: What did I actually do?

Garrett: Yes.

Caly: I decided to make a video of a Leonard Cohen cover, kind of to help process feelings about the election, feelings about so many awesome creative people dying this year. 

Garrett: So, it's a performance a  Leonard Cohen song. What was the Leonard Cohen song?

Caly: Anthem.

Garrett: OK. Why Anthem?

Caly: Kind of a lot of reasons. I was thinking about why I did it because it was a really spur of the moment thing and...After he died...It affected a lot of art friends and the thing that people kept posting was the refrain from that song which is: there's a crack in everything, that's where the light gets in. And it occurred to me that I didn't really know that song very well. And I went to find it. 

So, I listened to it and then I actually tried to find covers of it that kind of spoke to me, maybe even a little more than his version, and there really weren't any. So, I found the chords and wrote it out and played it a couple times and then I just decided to put it online. It was, you know, a crappy sloppy cold rainy day and I decided to work from home, from my job, and I like playing piano when nobody's around.  And no one was around and so I woke up wanting to do that because I was kind of the mood of the day. 

Ok, I'll do this thing and then I'll go. 

Most of the music that I make is electronic and has a lot of layers and has a lot of production behind it. And I also, I'm an introvert, I kind of dislike playing live and especially singing in front of people makes me feel really vulnerable. But, it feels like everyone is feeling really vulnerable. So, it was kind of like, well, if I share this maybe it will help somebody.

Garrett: Well, and you told me, you hadn't posted music in a while, like you hadn't exercised that or at least released that to people for a while. 

Caly: Yeah I really hadn't. The last time I played a show was July and just, in general, I make less music than other kinds of artwork lately, but it's still a big part of who I am artistically. 

This one that's actually in front of us on table... 

Garrett: That you set fire to

Caly: That I set fire to accidentally. Yeah. This has almost completely just been a project for me to learn how to do stuff. And it's an interactive twister board. There's panels that light up that have pressure sensors in them and as you play the game they light up, so it's kind of a play on a disco floor. They light up and each one has a sound associated with it. So, it's a remix - you remix audio based on where you're stepping on the board. And then I have multiple sets of sound loops.

The biggest piece that I did called is Status Update. And it was a spiral of vintage light bulbs and at the center of that was an antique desk with a candle stick phone. The phone would ring every once in a while so the idea was for audience participants to walk into that spiral and pick up the phone and there was a prompt and people could record thoughts or answers to questions and the installation would collect those recordings and then play them back. Every light bulb had a speaker attached to it and it would replay what they recorded back. And then two speakers at the entrance to the spiral played a collage of any of the recordings that past participants had left. So, the longer the installation was up the more it collected and hopefully the more interesting it got through the life of it.

Last Thursday (in Fragments) - "Interpretation"

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"Everything is to be had at such a bargain that it is questionable whether in the end there is anybody who will want to bid."

Tape Extracts:

Don Chambers: Andrei Tarkovsky talks a lot about poetics in film and the idea that he's making something that, the interpretation has as much to do with the audience as it does to do with the filmmaker and that they are trying to make a piece of art that, a piece of film, that is participatory and he's not giving you. It doesn't have a, it's not telling you what it is. It's allowing you to make it something. 

I don't believe any technology should be a limitation. Dylan was a huge influence on that early on. I admire people who are willing to follow what's important and the monetary part of it is really not all that interesting. It would be lovely, but it's not interesting and it doesn't make good art. It might make a cooler looking video or get into a better studio, but...

It's Werner Herzog who, he talks about, he stole the camera from his film school to shoot his first movie. This kind of we've got to do this any way we can possibly do it and if you don't have the burn to be able to do that then you won't do it.

Garrett Tiedemann: The films that you did for these, did you make them or did you have other people help you make them?

Don: I made them. They're all over the place though. Some of some of them I filmed, some of them I took YouTube stuff and messed with it, mashed it up together, so it's a little bit of it's kind of across the board.

Garrett Tiedemann: And then when you play them would they be background or would they have their own place where the point was just...

Don: No they would have there they would have their own place.

Don Chambers (in film excerpt): I was recently hired to copy the Encyclopedia Britannica. My name is Jobez Wilson. I'm a pawn broker. My assistant recently drew my attention to an advertisement in the paper for an opening in the League of Red Headed Men. A foundation established by the late Ezakaya Hopkins to promote the interests of red headed men by paying them to perform small tasks.  As my pawn shop had been in decline of late, this was a welcome opportunity. While there were many other red headed applicants waiting in line the day of the interview. Miraculously I was hired.

My job was to copy the pages of the Encyclopedia Britannica. I only had to provide pen and paper.  I went home that evening in high spirits, but soon became perplexed. This must be some kind of hoax, or fraud. He's paid so well for such a simple task. This copying the Encyclopedia Britannica. 

Well, the next day I arrived to the office at ten o'clock and everything was as it should be. Duncan Ross, my employer, started me off on the letter A and at two o'clock bid me good day and complemented me on the amount I had written. Every day I work a four hour shift copying and I was paid handsomely. The only stipulation of the job was that I must not leave the room during my shift.

Every day was the same and it suited me well.

Eight weeks later I was nearly finished with all the A entries and looked forward to moving onto the Bs when it all stopped. I went to the office that day only to see a sign tacked to the door. I was disappointed, I was confused, bewildered, so I turned to the only man in town who I thought could help.

Don: Second month was random. It was the theme. Pretty sure that's the month that I just with my iPhone I filmed clouds in the sky and for like ten second pieces of clouds in the sky. And I did that for the month. And then at the end put that all together and coupled it with some Charles Fort, the guy who wrote the first book that was all about anomalies and he collected frogs falling from the sky and you know just strange anomalies so I kind of mashed those two up together just to bring up some ideas. 

I've gone through periods of time where I wished I was someone who could just get a job, buy a car, and have a nice house and come home and we'd have dinner and then we'd watch a movie and then we'd get to bed and you get up and do it again the next day. 

Last Thursday (in Fragments) - "Making up a mystery"

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"Getting lost is the best way to find something."

Tape Extracts:

Garrett Tiedemann: The ability to film and photograph so easily has created this thing where we are always at a distance in this ever need to document that we were there to begin with. But then you can't actually, even in being there, you can actually talk about what it was to be there so you can't narrativize it, you can't put it into your own story. That's what's really interesting about what you did. You created this microcosm of moments that people can then turn into their own story.

Don Chambers: Which is going to be better than what they were at. 

It was like I set up a thing that I wanted to do. Initially it was only going to be three months and then it turned into the longer thing. Initially it was just going to be a winter thing. Even though it was crazy, from my point of view the first one was like beautiful and a fiasco. It had moments of beauty and moments of like utter terror. But, I was I want to do that again was my immediate response. I want to do it again, I want to get better at it. At this point I want to be a lot better at it and I'd like to do. But, that's down the road at this point. 

The one thing that this did, the whole process did, was it didn't allow me to write. I wrote, I mean I wrote I was writing for the thing, but I wrote like two songs last year which in my work mode that's basically I took a year vacation from songwriting. And so I was really hungry to get back to that, which is what I'm involved in now. 

You always want everything to come out exactly how you imagined it in your head. And of course, that's never the case. The best part of the Last Thursday was, or one of the things that I took away from it was that reminder of like, making art is not, you don't sit down and plan it out and then six months later you made what you planned out. If you do that, you'll be bored out of your mind.

Although, that was not my intention when I was doing the Last Thursday, but it was a good reminder of even though I thought I'd left things pretty open ended, it was a good reminder that if you're doing something that that has some life to it then it actually has its own consciousness about what it's going to do that you cannot control at all. And so that's when you're caught up in the thing and that's where the good stuff happens. That's where the sandbox is for you making something is when it's too much and you don't understand it. And. It's creating its own ideas. That's what you want to do in general whatever you're doing if you're a painter or a song maker or whatever. I mean it's all about getting outside of yourself. And If you can't get to the sandbox then you're the the person who planned something out, executes it, and that's great if you're a chef, but it doesn't work for art making. Then there's no strings showing, there's no vitality to the thing. 

I've written plenty of songs that I knew as soon as I finished them, oh it's nothing more than what it is. It doesn't have any mystery in it because I didn't allow it to become wild and run away and do bad things and become out of my control. I need to not understand what I'm doing in order to make. 

That's kind of key to what I do. 

Making up a mystery that I don't understand and then playing around with it some and then if things go well it'll give me something back and I think this whole thing did that and gave me things back. 

Getting lost is the best way to find something.

Last Thursday (in Fragments) - "It was, in some ways, a total disaster"

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Certain that she had made a good painting at last, she pedaled home from the studio in the moonlight, fervent and giddy with glee.

Tape Extracts:

Don Chambers: The first month, so I had never shown a film at Flicker before, at the place we did the thing. And the first month I got there and they're like oh well this cable doesn't work and this one doesn't work and we don't have a laptop. So I ended up, like, at the last minute, an hour before the show started, I drove around and someone said that I could borrow their laptop and I drove over to their house and they weren't home anymore.

So, then I ended up going to my house and getting my computer, bringing it in and setting it on a chair and just showing the film on the computer. And I didn't even get there until after the show had already started. So it just kind of set this tone.

People seem to enjoy watching someone else in a slight state of panic. I found myself, I did, I found myself at least for the first three or four months...then there was sound. You know one month the PA just didn't work; halfway through the show, stops working.

And you're trying to do this show that I was really thinking of, I wanted to present, like, to create an atmosphere. So those interruptions for me were terrible, but from an outside point of view audience people were like: 

Oh that was great. I loved it that that happened.

Oh really, well I was panicking. 

That happened, that happened for the first six months. And it was nobody. I mean it was everybody's fault and it was nobody's fault. It was just the way the shows seemed to go. But, that also created you know weird, like, I had my schedule of the show printed out for every show, but I would get so flustered by something not working and then I'd forget something else that was actually key to something that happened later in the show because they did have within a two hour window they would have some things would happen early on that needed to be fulfilled later. And I would just forget about one part or the other. So, it was in some ways a total disaster that I learned a lot from.

You know, we're doing these things in one month. And it would take me three or four days to recover from the last one. And then I'd find myself, like, all right. I didn't have any kind of pre-scheduled I want to do this or that. I had, I had a few notes on one page here; building office stuff and it was kind of little what do you want to do next every month. But I didn't really have a... I didn't have any kind of timeline for what I wanted to do for the year.

I made a theme's page and that was based off of either a theme, a story for my life, or a trick that I wanted to do. 

Probably something I was reading at the time.

Well, the first one was hidden in plain sight and that was, the theme came about after I went out to Scull Shoals, John and I went out there, which is an abandoned town outside of Athens. It was abandoned at the turn of the 19th century. It was a town on a little river and it was flooded twice. And eventually the residents just gave the place up. So there's still some of the, there was a cotton mill there, there was a hospital there, there was like 3000 people lived in the town that eventually was abandoned. So, we went there to film that cause it's right outside Athens, not a lot of people know about it, and made a short, little film about it and that was the impetus for the first one, which was hidden. 

Don Chambers (from show recording): Well, we've been doing this for ten months now. This is our tenth and final month of the Last Thursday.  I think we're gonna need some duct tape. John can you grab some duct tape in the back, I think I left it on the shelf there. Always good to have duct tape for these shows. 

I want to thank you for coming out. So these last ten months, among other things, we've had poetry, films, painting, and scripts; readings, body doubles, Shakespeare, and a little bit of murder.  And finally tonight, with your help, we're going to try and recreate an early twentieth century, good ol' fashioned seance. We're going to try and conjure the dead. Anybody who is not comfortable with that, well you should have read the flyer.

Offbeat: Bellhop (#ShortDocs 2016 Submission)

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"We were lied to." This short audio work was produced for the 2016 #ShortDocs competition held by the Third Coast International Audio Festival. This piece was inspired by the "film noir" mini-movie produced by Manual Cinema. In addition to original music by Garrett D. Tiedemann there are music tracks by Manual Cinema within the mix as required by the competition for this year. To learn more about this year's competition and view the film inspirations from Manual Cinema visit Third Coast: http://thirdcoastfestival.org/competitions/shortdocs/2016

Tape Extracts:

I awoke from a dream. Trees lined the city. Night turned on. And we were still.

Kids playing.

(whisper) Why are they so loud?

There is no anxiety. No trace of despair. No pain. No regret. Or any sadness as one falls from great mountain heights. 

Instead the person who is falling often hears beautiful music while surrounded by superbly blue heaven that is filled with rosette clouds. And then suddenly, and painlessly, sensations are extinguished immediately from the body at the exact moment that the body makes contact with the ground.

I awoke from a dream. 

On these tapes was a man. A wall of a man. Held up.

(newsreel) Clearly this is going to have psychological importance.

In the story she asked the most fundamental questions. I work myself to keep from receding into the distance. To find her, playing in the streets, oblivious to the goings on of a tired old man. 

Fingers bleeding. Looking for a burial. Sunlight long in the distance. 

(deep voice buried in newsreel and other audio) Alright, we have to take him away.

Offbeat with Heather McIntosh

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Heather McIntosh talks about her upbringing and what choices brought her to work on the films Z for Zachariah and Compliance, cornerstones of her evolution and increasing prominence in the musical communities she lives. This piece was produced by Garrett D. Tiedemann. Music was by Heather McIntosh and Garrett D. Tiedemann. To learn more about Heather's work visit: http://www.heathermcintosh.com/

Offbeat with Brian Reitzell

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Brian Reitzell talks about his work on the show Hannibal and what went into the 3rd and (as of now) final season. Find his music for seasons 1-3 wherever you buy and listen to music. This piece was produced by Garrett D. Tiedemann. Music was by Garrett D. Tiedemann and This Line. To hear more from This Line visit American Residue Records.

Offbeat with Paul Fonfara

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Paul Fonfara is a local legend of the Minneapolis music scene, having developed the band Painted Saints and playing with bands like Dreamland Faces and Brass Messengers. This after long travels with Devotchka and Jim White on his way to the current musical travelogue. Shifting more to a film composer role he received a grant to develop a record and make the leap. The record became its own thing that speaks further to his composer sensibilities and why this is in many ways where he belongs. 

The Yokai Trilogy - Goodbye Yokai

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This episode is the end of season 1. We say goodbye to Yōkai and go brave into the future. Covering the final films - Funayūrei 4 and 5 we see a full circle narrative arise from the combination of fifteen films. 

The Yokai Trilogy - Let's Talk About Bees

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This episode is Funayūrei 3. Longest of the series at almost ten minutes. The film had a few stages of completion as it worked to become an extensive excavation of the life of bees and coordinates the narrative carried from the second through the third.

The Yokai Trilogy - Last Nine Seconds/In America

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This episode covers Funayūrei 2. Continuing the painterly approaches to image combination, this film also devolves into some of the most abstraction of the entire series with an ending that reframes the whole. 

The Yokai Trilogy - Discovering Buried Ideas

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This episode looks exclusively at the last film for Aokigahara and how it took making the feature film KliKt to excavate buried ideas feeding an understanding that informed the development of The Yōkai Trilogy's films.