I saw Paul Winter in concert Sunday afternoon in a show down in Kalamazoo. Incredible. Really on my bucket list of people to see in concert.  After the concert he did a Q&A, it was part of a Spiritual music festival happening in Kalamazoo.  Someone asked him if he considered using video with his music when he performed.  His answer was interesting, (paraphrased)  “We live in a culture that is involved constantly with looking at screens and images, when people are looking at movies it takes their focus away from the music.  I want this experience to be about the music. To be as focused as possible on the sound.”

This reminded me of an idea I had been toying with earlier in the fall concerning sound. I still keep coming back to it. a movie with controlled visuals.

 

I also saw the other day, Francis Ha by Noah Baumbach.  Amazing movie from 2013 with roots in French New Wave and Jim Jarmusch. There was an interview posted on Criterions web site with Peter Bodonavich speaking withBaumbach about the silky black and white look of the film.  Shot digitally on not expensive equipment, he chose black and white because it filters some of the distractions away. – this is me putting words into his mouth, He and Bodonavich talk about how Paris looked so gaudy in color but in black and white, perfect.  Orson Wells said, “every performance looks better in black and white.”  We live in a world of saturation, noise, visuals, moving images, music, “conversations”, “friends”  everything is better if there is more of it. Yet, people are drowning in the sea of distraction, multi-tasking, fear, anxiousness and not enough sleep.  Too much caffeine.  We need to decaffeinate our days, to limit our attention so we can give something our full focus. Animation is in the same vein as the black and white film, filtering our senses, simple shape and drawings can distill us from the distractions, use of limited color, focus, and how sound simulates (there is no natural sound in animation) The experience has the ability to be distilled, poignant, transforming.  This, I believe was what Paul Winter was talking about.