Odd And Curious Images

Here are another load of odd and intriguing (and mostly inexplicable) images that might be used to spark off a creative writing class in a school, or simply to give your imagination a challenge – What on earth are they all about????

I shan’t attempt to put any sort of title or comment by these images, but simply bung them here and leave it up to you to make of them what you can….  So let your mind go free and see what you can make using these images.

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The Chickening – The Silliest Film Ever

There is nothing useful I can say about this film, except that it is wonderful, silly, superb and thoroughly worth watching – all 5 minutes of it.

As will be obvious from the first moment,it is a spoof on The Shining, which is a very different order of film.

This one is crude, rude, but very funny, and superbly inventive, and I simply had to share it with you.

If you want to find out more about the guys who made this film, why they felt the need to make it, the thought processes they went through and similar interesting points, then you can do no better than to head on to HERE to find out all of the above.

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Do let us know what you thought of this strange little film please……

Didgeridoo – Impressive And Versatile Instrument

In recent years I have become more and more aware of the music of the Didgeridoo – probably a result of having moved to live here in Australia – but whatever the reason is, I have listened to more and more music being played on this most extraordinary of instruments, and been deeply moved by all of it.

What on earth is a Didgeridoo?

In essence it consists of nothing more complex than a long tube of wood.   No valves, holes, slides or any other way of changing the length or character of the thing.  And what the musician does is essentially simply grunt into it and it produces the most extraordinary sounds.   To give you a much more details account of the instrument and its uses and history, here is a link to good old Wikipedia which tells you everything you ever wanted to know about a Didgeridoo, but never dared ask!!   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Didgeridoo

Xavier Rudd – A contemporary Didgeridoo player

To start giving you an idea of what a Didgeridoo sounds like and is capable of, I thought I would start with a young Australian musician, who uses the Didgeridoo in his music, though he distorts the sounds digitally and uses several Didgeridoos at the same time, so his music is not really typical of the music that the aborigines play on their Didgeridoos.  but nonetheless is interesting as a different approach to this instrument, which possibly is the oldest wind instrument in the world.

And this is what he did with it…  See what you think.

To put it all in perspective, here is a piece of original Aboriginal Didgeridoo music.   This is the extraordinary sound that they make with this simple wooden tube.   Astounding isn’t it?

If you imagine this sound in the proper context of an aboriginal gathering, it all makes sense, and it shows a remarkable sensitivity on a musical level.   Love it!

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More Truly Odd Videos From Deep In Youtube

Once again I have taken my life in my hands, ensured that there is a rescue plan, and headed down into the darker depths of Youtube to see what weird and odd videos I might find lurking down there for my (and your) pleasure.  And did I ever find some strange ones too!!!!

Once one gets past the first level of automatic offerings from Youtube, one begins to come across extremely odd and frequently inexplicable videos, such as this one.  What on earth did he think of as he made this video?   The mind boggles.

Do you see what I mean?  This guy sat down and created this video, took trouble to get the images he wanted, and spliced them all together behind a long shot of his face.   Not a photo of his face, but him looking into the camera for the entire 1.33 minutes that his video lasts….   Odd I think you will agree.   And all those more or less apocalyptic images behind him.  Are they meant to tell you something about him or…….

Anyhow, lets just accept the fact that it is strange and move on…

To this one, even weirder in another way.. a relatively long, very well made video that seems utterly pointless, and to have nothing resembling a plot… except this girl drawing in the air with an enormous pencil… with a face!

To be honest, I can’t think of anything to say about this one.  I enjoyed it and found it extremely compelling, but haven’t a clue what its maker was trying to tell me.   Sort of like peaceful music as a background to looking at the night sky…  Saying nothing, but being good for the soul nonetheless.

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Polyphony – The Basis Of Real Music

I thought I would have a look at polyphony this morning, as I have stumbled across no end of videos of people singing polyphonically, and to be honest, I didn’t really know what it meant.

Well, specifically, this is what polyphony actually means:-

polyphony is a texture consisting of two or more simultaneous lines of independent melody, as opposed to a musical texture with just one voice which is called monophony, and in difference from musical texture with one dominant melodic voice accompanied by chords which is called homophony. 

So, now we know, and for those of us who refer to learn from experiencing things, here is a rather neat little video that illustrates the principles rather well I thought.

or if you prefer it in words, well here you go……

And as a last bit of theory, here is a rather neat little webpage from the BBC:-

http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/music/elements_of_music/texture2.shtml

OK, so now we have seen and heard a load of theoretical stuff about polyphony, so now the interesting bit is where is it used?

This is why I started in on this discussion, since I kept coming across polyphony all over the place as I was wandering around the web looking for music of various sorts and origins.  From the middle ages through pygmy tribes in Africa to Estonia and the Balkans, the whole world uses it, in all manner of different ways.   Paradoxically, by and large Anglo-Saxons whenever they get together and sing (such as in pubs or football matches, seem to avoid polyphony like the plague and stick firmly to singing in unison (monophony).. boring.

So to start with a rather beautiful example of polyphony, here we have some Caucasian cossacks……  Such peaceful sounds.   Bliss to listen to with your eyes closed.

As you will have noticed, they also seem to go in for a sort of yodelling sound, this type of polyphonic singing is beautifully demonstrated by this bunch of pygmy women (who also in passing, demonstrate a serious need for dentists).

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Dark And Disturbing Animations

This time I have selected some very dark animations for your pleasure.   One thing that all these animations have in common is that they deal with the more unpleasant or worrisome aspects of our lives.   No cheerful mice or penguins doing the Charleston to be found in this lot.

The first one, created by Jonny Lawrence which is called Mothlight deals with a young boy trying to get to sleep, and in the words of Jonny, it is basically a study in light and shade.

Whilst it is a very short film, and nothing nasty happens, it still manages to create an atmosphere that is spooky and laden with the idea that something horrible is about to happen. Quite clever to manage that in a film that only lasts 1 minute and 20 seconds.

Anyhow, here it is, watch it and see what you feel about it.

Next on the list is a very odd film called The Passenger, which was made by Chris Jones.  I am not sure quite what to make of this one – it is truly strange, the story line is equally odd.  The drawing style seems to be a pretty standard sort of computer rendered animation, and if it wasn’t for the setting ( a dark and gloomy street) one would expect it to be a cheerful little film about a character walking home whilst reading a book – which is exactly what is happening, but then it takes a turn for the worse, and starts to be downright Gothic and alarming….  I shan’t spoil it for you by describing it further, but I would simply say it is very well worth passing some seven minutes in the company of the very odd hero of this little film….  Enjoy it!

And now for a truly weird film, a sort of Cyber Punk (ish) film, which on the surface is about a machine, a sort of robot, wanting to become human, and failing….  On the technical level, this is a truly remarkable film, and one that its maker – Andrew Huang – has every reason to be very proud of.

And on the level of its story, he has succeeded very well also.   The motivation of his robot, and its struggles to become human are horribly easy to see and identify with, and its ultimate failure is depressing…

A complex and intriguing film I think you will find, so click away and see what you think of it.

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Djelem Djelem – A Couple Of Haunting Gypsy Songs

Occasionally I spend a happy and enjoyable hour or so simply following links on Youtube, with no idea of where I might end up, nor what jewels I shall stumble upon as I wander along.

So this time I was looking for a particular video of a sort of musical duel between a Jewish Kletzmer band and a Russian peasant one, and on the way to that video I came across a number of other simply beautiful pieces of music that I want to share with you guys.   So brace yourself and get ready to click away on the links below and enjoy what I have found for you.

The first is a song called Djelem Djelem, which appears to be a sort of general title in the Balkans and gypsy world for a piece of music that is especially beautiful, but I am not really sure about that – If you know, do tell me.

Other than that, I know nothing about this piece, except that it is very beautiful to listen to…. Soulful to the Nth degree I think you will agree.

Nice eh?

And here is another version of Djelem Djelem, this time sung with wonderful passion by the almost completely spherical Macedonian singer Esma Redzepova.   A superb, passionate rendition it is too!!!

In passing, I would like to draw your attention to the Wikipedia entry for her, it seems that she has had a very interesting life, done no end of good things for the Roma People (she is actually a genuine gypsy in fact) and among other extraordinary things she has done, is she and her husband fostered some 47 kids!  Anyhow, if you follow this link, you will discover what a remarkable woman she is.

And next, we have Parno Graszt ~ Káde shukár….  That is all I know about this one, I think that Kade Shukar is the title and Parno is the name of the group.. but it could well be the other way round… Who know?  Or cares?   In any event, it is a superb piece of spirited music…. impossible to keep still while listening to it.   Love it!!!

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