Tuesday, July 06, 2010

In defense of that effeminate Asian bass dude

I don't want to turn this blog into an explication of "things I've seen on Facebook," but like that damned drummer video, this movie of a transvestite bassist is something that a number of my Facebook friends have seen fit to post recently.

Why now? Beats me. The thing has been out there for a while. I guess sometimes viral video goes in fits and starts.

Anyway. The responsive commentary generally adheres to the expected script. (You know the one: "My eyes! They burn!" and "I'll never be able to unsee that!" and on and on, blah blah blah.)

I'm not even sure whether this video qualifies as "safe for work" or not. Guess that shows how far out of the loop I am.

Anyway, I get it. You're grossed out. (And perhaps a little homophobic too?)

But what about the music? Many years ago I attended a film scoring seminar in which one of the other attendees (I forget who) described how he had been challenged by a teacher to compose while other music was playing in the background. It was an exercise, not a recommended technique, but the point was clear: musicians need to have a high degree of concentration.

And yet, even among some of the best musicians on the planet (as I can say without a doubt some of my Facebook friends are), it is hard to get away from the steamroller of visuality. Sometimes it seems that the image crushes everything, even for people whose auditory senses are pretty freakin' fine-tuned.

Maybe I'm an idealist, but, all things being equal, I'd assume that committed musicians could completely tune out visuality when the moment called for it. If we're interested in the music, great: let's talk about the music. And if the music's no good, well, then, fine: move on.


Chris Kelsey said...

I want the last 4:30 of my life back.

Andrew Durkin... said...

Sorry, Chris.

ohdotoh said...

I was asking the other day why everyone says "I'm going to go see (play music)." We don't generally say we're going to the art museum to hear paintings.