I am a fan of videomusic. What is videomusic? Well that’s simple, it’s music made from videos. It’s a fun concept, which is basically “seeing what you’re hearing” and the instrument is the editing. The first time I was ever really influenced by videomusic was when I saw the Kutiman You-tube mashups. Basically, he downloaded a bunch of youtube videos of people playing their musical instruments in front of their webcams and cut them together into cohesive songs.
It so inspired me when I saw them that I decided to delve into a six month process of learning Max/MSP so that I could create my own live version of the concept for the monome, called 64(video)fingers (which is in dire need of a serious update). But this post is not about that. No, this post is about another artist that I find super inspiring who has been creating music with video for quite some time. His name is Gabriel Shalom.
I was first made aware of Gabriel and his videos after he left a comment on my demo video for 64(video)fingers. He linked me to a couple of his own experiments in creating Videomusic. One of my favorites by him was a video called “Small Room Tango” where Gabriel walks into a room and begins playing the piano. Except, through editing, he makes every part of the video a part of the music, like the sound of the door opening, the opening of the piano lid, and ultimately the piano keys themselves.
Beyond the concept, musically Gabriel’s videos are excellent. “Small Room Tango” is a unique and interesting melody. I think what I like most about Gabriel’s videos is actually the rhythms and melodies that he creates. They are complex to say the least. Also check out his video “Beardbox” for a good laugh and a funky rhythm.
His latest series of videomusic films are some of his best, I think. It’s a series of three short films called “Object Oriented”. They are shot with high quality gear in a black room with simple, straight-foward lighting. The mix of sounds, images and humor make them extremely entertaining. It seems to me that Gabriel is putting all of his prior experience to work in these films.
One extra little technical tidbit: I’ve always liked Gabriel’s videos for they’re unique sounds and rhythms. At times, he’ll take a sound from an object and sort of granulize it. I’ve always wondered how he accomplished this effect in a video editing software because the smallest they can get is a single frame. A single frame is really not that small in auditory terms. He enlightened me when I posed the question to him. He uses Vegas Pro to edit his videos. I have very little familiarity with the software. Apparently, what makes Vegas unique is that it touts itself as both an editing suite as well as an audio mastering tool. Every audio production software on the market absolutely requires the ability to zoom deeper into the sub-frame scale. So, how cool is it that while you are editing you’re video you can simply zoom right into it and create these miniscule rhythms and edits. Check out his film “Wash, Choose, Peel, Chop, Rinse” for some serious micro-editing.
Without further ado. Please enjoy his three short videomusic films called “Object Oriented”
Production Stills – Object Oriented by Gabriel Shalom
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