Saturday, October 29, 2011

The Wiggles of Spring

A terrific new video has been making the rounds on Facebook and Twitter:

The first time I saw it, I'll admit I felt sad that I hadn't thought of this idea first. It's an absolute natural, and it's not like I haven't been exposed both to the Teletubbies (I have three kids) and Pierrot lunaire (which comes up in a class every year and to which I'd already done this). Four days later...I'm still kicking myself.

So tonight, I did a little thinking about what other projects might work this way and, a little YouTubing and Quicktiming later, I had this:

I'm not pretending it's nearly as inspired as the moonstruck tubbies - this is more of a humble homage to a great work of art. (Which is the great work? Stravinsky's music? The Wiggles' dancing? Daniel Capo's mashup? You be the judge....) It's certainly not as creepy as the first video, but I would say the Wiggles dancing is at least vaguely reminiscent of the kind of thing you see in this recreation of the original choreography for The Rite of Spring. [should start about 3 minutes in.]

And, we have ample evidence that kids can dig Stravinsky, so the Wiggles might want to put The Rite in their rep. In fact, while I was sitting on the couch putting this video together, my four-year old son sat nearby watching and eventually started intoning his own little "bump, bump, bump, bump, bump, BUMP, bump, bump...." which, by itself, made up for the countless hours of Wiggles videos I've seen and heard over the years.

Honestly, I wasn't even intending to post anything, but I was pleasantly surprised at how nicely the Wiggles and Stravinsky aligned without me doing much of anything. I just tossed the two together and all the nice little synchronicities fell into place - like Captain Feathersword (yes, I know his name - remember, I have three children) showing up just as the music changes and doing a little jump on the first big accent that follows his entrance. Pure serendipity.

So, my point here is not to show off some finely crafted mashup - it's to make the point that sometimes the mashup makes itself. I've explored that idea often before, here and here for example, but I'm still pleasantly surprised when things work out nicely.
Thus, I chose not to do any re-aligning, and I didn't even take this over to a nice video-editing program for elegant fades in and out. What I saw is what you get. Except: I chose this Wiggles video partly because the set reminded me of Nicholas Roerich's design (shown at right) for The Rite of Spring, so I layered a Roerich painting over the Wiggles, but fairly transparently. Just adds a few ominous cloud textures. I can't explain the bee at the end...

For the record, this is at least the third Rite of Spring mashup that's found its way to my blog: I'm still proudest of The Rite of Appalachian Spring (which makes Roerich's design the video star), and just days ago I was merging Stravinsky and Beethoven. And there's this Stravinsky-Schoenberg mashup from last spring.

See also: Webern in Mayberry and a whole bunch of Rite of Spring posts here.

P.S. YouTube is telling me my video is "blocked in some counties," ostensibly because of the blatant copyright infringement (René Köhler told me this was his recording, but YouTube thinks it's Boulez), but possibly because it's just wrong.

P.P.S. If you like the first Pierrot/Teletubbies video, there's another one.

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