My own child is too young to properly remind me that I’m approaching middle age so I turn to YouTube to fill the void. Here are some of my favourites from the amusing Kids/Teens React Series.
There is also an ‘Elders React’ series but it’s usually either too predictable (old white guys hate rap) or too unbelievable (former 1960s adolescents shocked by twerking) to be amusing. However, I did enjoy watching elderly people play Grand Theft Auto 5.
Over the past few months, I’ve spent some time listening classical music (shout out CBC Radio 2’s Tempo & Shift) and thinking about pure abstraction. So, I guess it was inevitable that I’d find myself revisiting ‘visual music’. I’ve started with the NFB archives and the world of Norman McLaren. From there I remembered Oskar Fischinger, and the magic algorithms of YouTube recommended a New Zealander, Len Lye, who seems like a bad ass.
Below are three introductory films, visit The Center for Visual Music (seriously, it’s a thing) for more about visual music artists and research papers.
Norman McLaren – Spheres
Oskar Fischinger – An Optical Poem
Len Lye – Kaleidoscope, A Colour Box, Colour Flight (excerpts only)
After posting this I realized put up a broken link to the Len Lye video and YouTube recommended this Walter Ruttman work, Lichtspiel Opus I.
Ruttman was an Assistant Director to Leni Riefenstahl’s filming of Triumph of the Will and died on the front, working as a war photographer during WWII.