Sunday, August 14, 2016

Miyazaki Influenced Music

Man, time escapes me.  It seems I spent the better part of last week trying to get a Weed Eater working again, and buying parts, etc.  I've also been looking for a replacement, but nothing really strikes me yet.  I might end up buying a electric edger or something like that.  I still may try and get the current edger/ weed eater running, and I've even toyed with the idea of getting it fixed.  Decisions, decisions.  The thing is for probably what someone would charge me to work on the Weed Eater, I could probably buy a new one.  So I might just do that.

The above album artwork is to a new album, Ears, by a new synthesizer musician, Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith.  I think it is quite lovely, and really depicts the music that she has created.  It's preformed all on synthesizer and you'd expect perhaps it to be cold and sterile, but actually it's quite lush.  She does a little singing on it as well, but again, not what one would normally expect.  It's closer to maybe a phonetic style of singing and less lyrics oriented.   She states about the album, "Gestures echo the musical tropes used by early minimalist composers, the world she creates on EARS is uniquely hypnotic and full of life, not unlike Miyzaki's film Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, which she cites as an inspiration."   I can hear some of that.   Whenever I hear the music I also am reminded of some of those comic characters like Prince Namor, the Sub Mariner or Aquaman that had under the sea adventures and kingdoms.   It's a pleasant surprise.

 I've also been a Tangerine Dream fan for many years.  I think the first album I picked up by them was Phaedra, and then Rubycon.  Those are still favorites, among many of their others.  But lately I've been listening to Zeit.  It's a dark, space album that starts out the album with four celloist.  It's not something you'd expect from a synthesizer band.  I remember the first time I listened to it after I'd already bought Phaedra and Rubycon, and it totally took me by surprise.   I didn't know what to make of it, no less that first track takes up a whole entire side.  It's rather brooding and dark, and the synth doesn't really become predominate until the second disc (on vinyl, it's a two-disc set).   But now in hindsight, it's a very avant-garde thing to do.  That cover, by the way, depicts a solar eclipse.  It's a classic.

Movie-wise, I watched an odd, creepy documentary last night called, Cropsey.  It was about some children that were murdered and missing up in the Long Island area back in the mid-80s.  I don't recall that incident on the news, although it may have been, I just don't recall it.  It's a rather dark, documentary, but sort of interesting on some level.  It also talks about the mental hospital in that area, and raises the speculation about one of the workers and how he may have committed the murders.  He certainly looked the part, but looks alone should not convict a person of a crime.   The subject matter of the film probably won't be to everyone's taste, but I tend to like documentaries anyway.
I also recently watched the older anime, The Dagger of Kamui (1985), and enjoyed it pretty much.  I've heard it described as a treasure hunt, but I think it's more than that.  I think someone described the plot as a treasure hunt because the main character, Kamui, goes on a journey to find out who murdered his foster mother and sister.  At the same time, it's also about the growth of the main character from boyhood or teen into manhood, and his discovering that the world is not always as it seems.  Even though it's an older anime, the art in it was very well done and eye-catching.  The colors sometimes bathe the flashback sequences in a hallucinatory, dreamlike way.  His journey finally takes him to Russia and then America, along the way meeting many people.  It's quite an emotional story in parts, and worth a watch.

A couple of other films I caught recently are:  Cobra--a Sly Stallone action flick. If you haven't watched it before it's okay and worth a watch once.  It's not a great movie when compared to some of his other more well known movies, like Rocky, Rambo, and others, but for a B-movie, it's watchable if a little silly.

I used to watch the Dark Shadows series when they were showing them on the SciFi  Channel, sometime back in the 90s (you know back when they were good), and started re-watching them again via Netflix. There's something about the Gothic atmosphere I really enjoy, although I'm not sure what modern audiences and teens would think of them now.   For me though I can still enjoy them.  It has a great cast that works well together.  It was a soap opera, so the story plots move pretty slowly.  What can I say, I like them. 

Also I've been watching the Game of Thrones series five episodes. This series just keeps staying interesting for me, and you never know where it's going, which I love.  That's probably why so many fans of the show enjoy it as well.  It's an adult take on fantasy, and sometimes I think they may go a bit overboard with the sexual situations or violent depictions.  But it's not a program for kids though, and overall I've enjoyed it a great deal.

Fantastic Planet--the Czech/French animation. Hadn't seen it in a while, but it is still amazing  cerebral for an animation.


At 8:16 PM, Blogger Richard Bellush said...

Gasoline small engines for weeders and blowers and the like are troublesome – carburetors gunk up, fuel lines clog, spark plugs fail, etc. Only my Stihl chain saw runs reliably and that only because I constantly fuss with it. I prefer electric when distance allows it despite cord/battery limitations.

Tangerine Dream is one of those groups I appreciate without really liking, if you know what I mean. They did some interesting stuff ahead of its time.

I liked Dark Shadows back in the 60s but only could see it in summer and on vacation days: the school day at my school ended at 5 PM. The movie with Johnny Depp isn’t as bad as its reputation if you are familiar with the original series and accept that the movie is a parody. I can see why newbies were baffled and why fans who wanted the same tone as the TV series were disappointed though.

At 8:59 AM, Blogger El Vox said...

Yes, I really don't mind parts of yard work "if" everything is working. I don't like messing with mowers and such other than overall general maintenance. Like you said though, weed eaters and the like are troublesome. I may have to break down and get an electric model. I've had them before, but hate messing with a chord, though some now come with batteries. I'd agree Stihl does make a good chainsaw, I have one as well and would recommend the brand.

I've got the Dark Shadows movie as well. Since it was directed by Tim Burton I was expecting a light parody. Maybe due to it being Dark Shadows I gave it more leeway than some other movies of that type. If one wants a more serious tone in line with the original series I've seen there's a new DVD set out with the two movies included: The Vampire Curse and The Haunting of Collinwood. I saw one of those movies sometime back on TCM and it was okay.


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