I've been fascinated with Portland based musical artists Green Hills Alone and Harlowe. The two singer/songwriters of the creative collective Sleepy Volcano performed a particularly engaging set of their musical collaboration on this west coast tour . I could hear in the music before I even talked with them that Chris Miller ( Green Hills Alone) and Mark Roberston ( Harlowe ) have a healthy awareness of the sound of emotion.
Back at my house, after their performance, we talked about their residency in Iceland and how music has been such a changing force in their lives. We shared our genuine views on the essence of music convergence, the way location and culture support music and story, as well as partaking in several bottles of wine and Brennivín ( a popular Icelandic liquor ). That conversation really would’ve been the one to record, but instead, my mistake to learn from, I had planned to shoot a video interview in the morning when there was better lighting.
The next day we got some coffee and I set up a video interview with them next to the creek in Lithia Park here in Ashland with the intentions of mixing it with some of their concert footage from the night before and making a Lithia Park Session While our conversation the night before about location was more about location effecting the mood and creation of music, in my ignorance, the actual proximity from the camera to the creek to Mark and Chris produced a recording with the sound of the creek much louder than their voices. Yet, again, Chris and Mark spoke so eloquently about music convergence that I had to save it somehow, so I transcribed, to the best of my ability, what they said and although the overpowering sound of the creek washed over some of their words, the collaboration of creek and composer itself, speaks to the heart of the conversation:
I asked them how they think music is important to emerging media
and how sound and music effect emotions.
Mark: It’s the natural progression of music following technology and there's a lot of new avenues that there weren't because of that, like my housemate who is scoring video games, those are avenues that, for composers, wouldn't have existed 30 years ago, so it's nice to have these new creative outlets for musicians and that turns out to be a big part of the final product.
Chris: I think of music as world expanding, all art is world expanding, you share that with someone and that gives them an unknown to explore which happens on so many dimensions and when it combines with media it's still there it's beautiful on the grand scale, people collaborating, and the beauty of that collaboration can still exist with a commercial aspect. I feel music grounds a film in a very human and relatable experience.
Mark: I think that's the most interesting part in general with music is how it skips the filter of the rational mind and goes directly in, and that's what's fascinating to me is being able to feel something that you can't put into words.
Chris: I think the sound of rain, that's one of my favorite sounds, rain on a rooftop, there's something comforting about it, we actually have it on the record. We make these distinctions between sound music but it's just a perspective that we choose to separate.
Mark: We recently became obsessed with this technique called binaural recording which implies the same thing, of capturing the sound of the environment in a really specific fashion and that has had the same effect on me as music by just capturing those environments and whether we are playing music in those environments or not, just the sense of space really transports you to a place without having to see it.
listen / visit: http://www.greenhillsalone.net/ http://harlowemusic.com/
#lithiaparksession #thesoundofemotion #magneticwestmusic #soundtracksession