Who can forget the gorilla in the Cadburys advert rolling his head back, eyes closed, nostrils flaring, ready to hammer out Phil Collins’ ‘In the Air Tonight’? The emotive power of the music was palpable and the ape turned into a sensory, somewhere hairy humanoid engulfed with passion for his music… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TnzFRV1LwIo
Working on that as a general idea for the assignment, I thought about taking the idea of music as an invisible life force, capable of changing our mood; meditative and relaxing us, or energising us for the day ahead as we dance in the front seat of our cars. In the images the music would obviously have to be ‘invisible’ for it to apply to the brief for the assignment, so this would mean music coming from earphones, speakers, radios.
In the images it would be more effective if the source of the music was invisible too, so this would mean closely cropping a portrait to remove the ear phones, or hiding them under hair, and the portraits would just display the emotions evoked by the music. This might be difficult to achieve however.
My images would be a series showing all ages enjoying music, from the very tiny toddlers attending their first ‘Rattle: Baby disco’, to images of older people where the music has taken the person back to events and memories of the dim and distant past. In researching this option I was fascinated by a website explaining the benefits of music to dementia sufferers. The Sundance Music festival, in 2014, showed a documentary on how music can help Alzheimer’s sufferers ‘wake up’ their memories.
I felt it would be fairly straight-forward to create a series of images based on the ‘invisible’ force of music. I could go out and take some street photography images perhaps of people so immersed in their music on their headphones they wouldn’t notice me… I could approach an old people’s home doing an entertainment afternoon of war time music for the residents. It seemed to me there were a lot of options, but sadly none of them entirely original and if I’m honest, it all felt a bit obvious. In the end I did drop this idea fairly rapidly.
Raymanldy, R. 2014. At http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/film/film-news/10585977/Sundance-2014-Alive-Inside-A-Story-of-Music-and-Memory-Documentary-shows-how-music-helps-elderly-remember.html Accessed on 29 October 2016.