Monday, December 15, 2014

Vertical Christmas Medley (The 12 Musings of Christmas #3)

Today's feature is something both old and new. Even before I had a blog, way back in Aught Five or so, I created a little online greeting card titled "Merry Christmas from the Ives Family," which effectively reduced Charles Ives to the idea of throwing a bunch of tunes together in chaotic simultaneity. (Be warned that music will play automatically if you follow that link.) I made a blog version in 2007 (same warning) which added the option of hearing the individual tunes in isolation. It was designed rather cleverly but clumsily as a webpage with embedded audio, back in the days before YouTube had become a ubiquitously effective multimedia delivery system.

So, I've figured for years that I should bring this, perhaps my first-ever mashup, into the more user-friendly world of YouTube; that day has finally come. I've even updated the hard-working little pianists so that they are, more or less, in synch with their own tunes - and you can still click on each pianist to hear what he's doing. This lets you experiment with the interesting concept of how seeing affects what you hear. If you focus on just one of the pianists below, does it help your ear isolate the tune he represents?

This old audio/new video makes a nice companion to yesterday's In Season. It even shares a flaky background with the "In Season" snowman webpage. Both mashups allow you to consolidate your holiday listening in an efficient and engaging (?) manner as you tune your ears this way and that. As I've written before, a favorite feature of this feature is "the way it illustrates the tendency for tunes to be more rhythmically active in the middle of measures/phrases; there's this sort of frenetic undulation as the rhythmic activity quickens and then slows. It definitely puts me in the Christmas spirit."

The 12 Musings of Christmas (so far...)
  1. Christmas Time is Here
  2. In Season
  3. Vertical Christmas Medley

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