Whenever I’m facing a tough challenge, the same advice comes up over and over again: “It’s all about perspective” and “It gets better!” In fact there’s an entire campaign based on the idea that it gets better, the “it” referring to adolescent anti-queer bullying. My project explores applying this life mentality and perspective to listening.
I recorded a vocal reading of the statement, “The taunts, rejection, and depression will fade like your bruises. Your will to live, that’s yours forever.” The two sentences are weighed down by heavy use of very negative words despite having an ultimately positive and empowering message. I deliberately included these negative words because my composition slowly reveals the statement, allowing the listener to possibly dwell on these moments. If the listener cannot move past the individual moments and see how the passing negativity actually serves to amplify the entire statement’s optimism, then he/she/ze may feel sad after listening to the composition. By comparison, a listener who does view the full scope of the statement may feel empowered.
I decided to cut out the majority of the recorded statement, only leaving “The taunts, rejection . . . will fade . . . Your will to live, that’s yours forever.” The redacted version I selected still captures the emotional impact I wanted to convey, while allowing me to focus more time on trying out new effects given my limited time frame. Every sound in the composition was created using only the original vocal recording which was manipulated in Spear and Reaper. Rhythm plays the role of invoking anxiety, while pitches emphasize dissonance or triumph. I consider my Proto-Project to be a sample of what my ideal composition would be. I tried to pack many different ideas for manipulating the vocal recording within a short period of time. While I believe it does stand alone as a complete project, it admittedly feels rushed to me. I’d like the recorded statement to unfold much more slowly and less bluntly, but I made the decision to explore different effects and manipulation techniques in lieu of extending the composition’s length.