Monday, May 16, 2011

The Time Capsule

When I began thinking about what I would focus my creative project on, I had a choice between the Eichmann in Jerusalem trials or the music we studied in this course. I love to sing, and after Dr. Laird shared with me how she thought that showcasing a talent of mine to display a theme of the course would be a great idea, and I agreed. I had really high ambitions initially: I wanted to have a few of my friends who played musical instruments to accompany me on a CD-release of different songs. I created a green screen so that I can put different backgrounds behind me as I perform using iMovie technology. But after Professor Laird put timing into perspective, I realized that I probably wouldn’t be able to work around everyone’s schedules. So I decided to condense my project a little. I began looking up artists who represented the different styles of music (i.e. spirituals/sacred music, jazz, blues etc.) to see what songs had I personally heard before to make sure that I could clearly distinguish between them. I was reminded of W.C. Handy, Etta James, Mahalia Jackson, Duke Ellington, and many others who were notable representatives of the different changes that African American music has undergone. As I applied this to my creative project, I decided to incorporate snippets of a performance that we, the LBC Gospel Choir, did earlier this semester. The Negro spirituals we performed are an example of the sacred music that we talked about over the course of the semester. As I began to think further about the themes of this particular humanities course, I immediately considered the relationship of the present to the past. I wondered how I could display this in my project, and decided I would create a time capsule for my grandchildren, giving them a small, yet significant view, of how music has changed over the generations. Rhythm and blues (R&B) is a prime example of an offspring of a style of music. Music is often shaped by grasping the fundamental basis of one genre and “changes it up.” I implored my grandchildren in the video to examine the music of their day and compare it to the music of my generation, as well as the songs during slavery.

After doing this time capsule, I'm actually considering during a time capsule of my experiences at Mizzou. I encourage you all to do the same!! It's been great, and have a great summer!!

Click here to see the video:

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