FEATHERS

17:18 minutes

Dark mysterious woodlands surrounded the reflecting waters. The afternoon sun baked on the warm radiating stone.

Crystal and Gideon sat on a marble bench beside the estate’s smooth reflecting pond. A peaceful autumn day, the air hardly stirring. Cool air refreshed the senses. Gideon drank in a deep breath and let it out slowly. Looking at beautiful Crystal, he admired her calm serenity. He wondered if he could ever express his secret love for her.

A tear trickled over her cheek and hung jiggling on her trembling chin. Gideon touched the drop, brought it to his lips, and kissed it off. Crystal faked a weak smile and sobbing lost her composure. She threw herself on his strong shoulder weeping.

“I didn’t mean to,” she wailed.

“You didn’t mean to what – What? Tell me?” Gideon pled with a worried voice.

“I went out,” she sniffed, wiping her eyes on her sleeve.

“Out? Out of the magic realm?” he asked amazed.

Crystal stared at the brown ground and nodded her head. More tears began streaming down her wet face.

“Please. Don’t tell anyone. Promise me,” she begged.

“Why did you do it Chris?” he said.

Crystal sat up and straightened her skirt and shawl.

“It’s a long story,” she replied, “If you like I will tell it to you. I’ll give you a bit now and more later. But you must listen to the whole story – or I won’t tell you any of it at all.”

Gideon shrugged.

“Alright. I’ll listen to your entire story – provided we get something to eat soon. I have a feeling I’ll starve to death before you finish.”

She smiled. She felt better. Gideon’s not condemning her for breaking the rules was reassuring

They talked while walking. The stone path led to a multicolored Persian-style villa on the hilltop. Crystal’s taffeta skirt made funny swishing noises as she moved and they laughed. Life was still good

The majestic river bordered by distant mountains opened a pastoral view. The breathtaking wide-open landscape emerged from the trees. They stopped to admire the picturesque beauty of it all.

“So, how does this mystery story start?” asked Gideon.

“It starts in the garden behind the mansion. You know my favorite spot where the white roses grow.”

“Ah, yes. Are you sure you didn’t imagine you took a trip?” asked Gideon.

“No. This is very real. Wait and hear.”

She paused to remember, as they started walking again.

“Sitting near the frostbitten white roses, I noticed something colorful flopping about amid the fallen white petals. I stood up and as I got closer, the colored blotch spoke with a whistling voice.

“Pretty girl. Cut the string.”

“It kept repeating that over and over. It was a large parrot all bound up in kite string. A regular mess. Imagine a tropical bird in these northern parts. So, I took him out of the flowers and untangled him.”

“Didn’t he bite you or claw or do something vicious?” asked Gideon

“No. Not at all. He was a friendly fellow. Very bright and witty. He said the funniest things. But, I suppose I wish I’d never met him. He talked me into leaving the magic realm and breaking the rule.”

“Chris, be serious. A parrot mesmerizes you into doing something crazy?” Gideon said in disbelief.

“Gid, he was very bright. He said he needed my help. Little by little, we moved closer to the boundary. I told him I couldn’t cross the boundary. But he made it sound as if I didn’t, the entire region would be in grave danger. And maybe it was.”

“You must cross. Pretty girl,” said the Parrot.

“Honest, I can’t. It’s forbidden,” said Crystal.

“Cross. Cross. The world lost,” replied the Parrot.

“What do you mean a lost world?”

“Magic sky. All die.”

“You mean everyone will die if I don’t cross the boundary?”

“Aye, matey. Pieces of eight.”

“Why should I trust some silly bird?”

“Pluck feather.”

“That’s going to explain it? It’ll hurt.”

“Aye, matey. Walk the plank. Pluck.”

Gripping a feather, Crystal closed her eyes and yanked.

The Parrot squawked and disappeared.

Crystal stood holding the feather with a quizzical look. She heard a swoop behind her. Without warning, a Giant Eagle snatched her up.

Crystal screamed.

“Fear not, fair maiden,” soothed the Eagle, “I am mighty and will not drop a small person.”

“You talk too?” shouted Crystal, as the scenery whizzed by.

“I talk superbly, my dear.”

“Have you also always been so egotistical?”

“I prefer the word “strong”. It has a more masculine quality. Don’t you think?”

“Did this parrot feather bring you here?” asked Crystal, in the wind.

“Yes. That wimpy Parrot is the one who protects my identity from the world. Someday I’ll be rid of the puny bird.”

They were soaring higher and higher.

“If the Parrot is so weak, how can he protect someone as strong as you Eagle?”

“People like him. They think he is amusing. I frighten people. They think I am a killer. Which of course I can be. But only when somebody doesn’t do things as I like it.”

Crystal began to shake a little.

“See even you are afraid,” said the Eagle scowling.

“I’m getting cold,” pretended Crystal.

“I am the powerful one. I am the protector. I am the steely one,” recited the Eagle.

“Yes. Of course you are. But, I am getting dizzy from the height. Do you think we can go down now?”

“Weakness. I loathe weakness. I prey on weakness. It is my delicious cuisine.”

Crystal was shaking more now. She knew she had lots of weaknesses. She cringed thinking about digesting in the Eagle’s stomach.

“Where are we going?” she asked.

“We are going to the magic sky. But, now pluck a feather. Choose a small one, please. I am very proud of my feathers.”

Once again, Crystal grabbed a feather and pulled. The Eagle disappeared.

“Help me!” shouted Crystal as she parachuted down on the eagle feather. Plump! She landed near a river. A beautiful Swan circled in the flow.

“Welcome, Crystal,” said the Swan, “You are now in the land of dreams.”

“Why am I here?” said Crystal.

“I cannot tell you an answer,” said the kindly Swan, “You must look inside yourself. Then you will find meaning.”

“Oh,” said Crystal, “But, the Parrot said there is a danger to the earth.”

“Yes. Well. Never trust everything a parrot says. Deceptive tricky birds,” said the Swan.

“Then how can I trust you?” asked Crystal.

“I am a Swan. Transformed from an ugly duckling to what you see now. I am genuine and proven. Protected by royal decree. I always speak the truth even when it is painful. That is why I also hide behind the Parrot’s funny protection. People fear the truth. Some get angry. But, others are very kind.”

“So what is the purpose of three birds, an Eagle, and a Swan, protected by a Parrot? It all seems so mysterious,” asked Crystal.

“It is the way of life and survival. So sad, but true,” sighed the Swan.

“How can I get home?” asked Crystal.

“You must… “

“Pluck a feather,” interrupted Crystal.

“Very good child. You learn fast. Goodbye.”

Crystal and Gideon sat before the evening fireplace. Watching the reddening clouds over the river. Gideon finished his last bite of cake.

“So. Then like magic you reappear back in the Rose Garden, I suppose?” asked Gideon.

“Gid, I know it sounds like I dozed off and had a dream. But, I promise it’s true,” replied Crystal.

“It’s too bad you don’t have some proof – like those feathers you plucked.”

“But, I do. Here they are in my purse,” said Crystal rummaging through her handbag. She produced the feathers one at a time from the purse, laying them side-by-side. The Parrot. The Eagle. And the Swan. Gideon stared in disbelief.

“It’s incredible,” he whistled, picking them up one at a time.

“Do you suppose there’s still some magic in them?” he asked.

“What do you mean – magic?” asked Crystal.

“What if you took all three feathers and held them together in one fist like this? Do you think … “

A glowing aura began to throb in the room. Rugs and lamps floated bobbing about in thin air. A low rumbling rattle started near the floor and began working its way up the walls, louder and louder.

“Gid! You’ll destroy the house. Stop,” shouted Crystal.

“I can’t separate the feathers. It’s like they’ve become one.”

Crystal grabbed Gideon’s hand and pried at his clenched fingers. A strange glow began to flow up their hands through their arms and into their bodies. A sudden silence fell over the room. Crystal and Gideon sat motionless staring into each other’s eyes. Their eyes glowed in ghost-like light.

“Gid, I feel very strange,” whispered Crystal.

“Me too. What’s happening to us?”

“I think I love you Gid,” said Crystal in a hushed tone.

“I love you too Chris.”

“Integration … unity of the feathers brings power. Empowered to feel love,” said Crystal.

“Can you feel the influence of it?” said Gideon.

“Yes. Giving and receiving. How long will this glorious feeling last?” asked Crystal.

As if in answer, the three melting feathers disappeared. The room returned to normal. The glow faded.

“How do you feel Chris?” asked Gideon.

“I feel good … fine. And you?”

“I feel warm inside.”

“I guess the feeling will stay for awhile then.”

They walked to the broad veranda. They watched wondrous sunset colors bounce across the river. The red twilight disappeared in growing mountain shadow. Silent, they sat together holding hands, thinking about their magical discovery.

Crystal and Gideon discovered a secret world. A world few know. Yet, all desire. The world of self-acceptance and faith. The feathery union unlocked this hidden inner power. Self-discovery always waiting like a knickknack on an old shelf. Thundering ready to explode when finally empowered. Their eyes open to the beauty around them. Love. The power of nature. Peace. Inner strength – and weakness.

A loud booming undulated, swirling round the stone porch startling Gideon and Crystal. A voice.

“Who has gone out of the realm and used magic without permission?” said the overpowering Voice.

Crystal’s face blanched overcome with shaking fear.

“I have gone out of the realm,” she whispered terrified of the consequence.

“And, I have used the magic of the feathers,” said Gideon as he searched for the voice with his eyes.

Crystal trembling sobbed a gasp at this confession. She never meant to endanger Gideon.

“You both transgressed the Law. You must pay the price,” boomed the Voice.

Two Angels of Death with shrouded faces materialized out of the darkness. They stood menacing on the porch, one on each side of Gideon and Crystal.

“The punishment will be death, but only one need die. You choose,” commanded the Voice.

Crystal and Gideon stared into each other’s teary eyes. For a long silence, they said nothing and motioned nothing. But during the nothingness, deep communications washed between them.

“Choose now!” demanded the Voice.

“We would choose life together. So if it is to be death, we choose death together,” said Crystal with determination.

The Black Angel of Death closest to Crystal threw down his scythe. Its long curved blade shattered on the stone with a crash. The other powerful Reaper drew back his death weapon high over Gideon’s head. Crystal shrieked and threw herself against Gideon. Her small arm outstretched as if to deflect the bloody hand of Death. She begged mercy for her budding love.

“Hold!” commanded the Voice, “Death will not be necessary.”

Both Reapers and their instruments of Death vanished into the darkness.

“A strong love like yours is a rare thing. From where does it come?” questioned the Voice.

“We discovered our true selves. We embrace ourselves and are then empowered to embrace each other without fear,” replied Gideon.

While nodding in agreement, Crystal hugged Gideon and rested her head on his chest.

“Then when will you marry?” asked the Voice again.

They gazed into each other’s happy eyes again.

“Very soon I think,” said Gideon.

“Maybe sooner than that,” said Crystal.

“Very good,” said the fading Voice.

Crystal and Gideon stared out into the starry night sky. The moon was rising, big and full. Their moonlight silhouettes joined, as one, during the warmth of a long kiss.

PERFECTION

4:51 minutes

All 48 illustrations used in this video montage were created by Midjourney AI. The sentences from the voiceover were the AI prompts with default settings.

No copyrights were harmed in the making of this video.

Perfectionists are picky and preoccupied with making sure everything is flawless.

This leads to attempts to control situations or people.

The stress caused by perfectionism leads to feelings of anxiety.

Perfectionism leads to low self-esteem, eating disorders, sleep disturbances, and psychological distress.

“Almost perfect” is a failure to perfectionists.

We’re critical, judgmental, and hard on ourselves and others when “failure” occurs.

We live in fear of private shame and public humiliation.

We can’t enjoy growing and striving because of the dread of failure.

We wallow in negative feelings when our high expectations go unmet.

Paradoxically, perfectionists are prone to procrastination.

That trait is detrimental to productivity.

But perfectionism and procrastination go hand in hand.

Perfectionists worry so much they become immobilized and fail to do anything at all.

Imperfect performance is so painful and scary, we’re defensive to constructive criticism.

Our own critical nature and rigidity push others away.

Perfectionistic traits often arise from the psychological wounds of childhood.

Repeated trauma involves control by an abuser.

Childhood emotional trauma, especially from neglect, means we must prove our worth.

Trauma survivors engage in perfectionism as control of one element of their lives.

Compulsive perfectionists have a boiling rage inside driving them to prove they’re worthy.

Discovering PTSD and childhood trauma helps reduce the pressure.

Self-sabotaging behavior often stems from feelings of anxiety, anger, and worthlessness.

Perfectionists don’t want to stop compulsion – it makes our lives orderly.

How do you tell if you’re a perfectionist?

We’re perfectionistic in all things.

We’re an all-or-nothing person.

We crave approval.

Feedback makes us defensive.

We’re critical of others.

We’re a big procrastinator.

We’re full of guilt.

A learning strategy to combat self-paralyzing perfectionism is embracing conscious mediocrity.

Perfection is the antithesis of progress.

We need to release our work when it’s not “good enough.”

To achieve excellence, we start with mediocre.

Mediocre work doesn’t make us a mediocre person.

Free yourself from the responsibility of making something incredible from the get-go.

Allow yourself to evolve with it.

Let other ideas and experiments influence yours.

Even when you know where it needs work. Share it.

Then moving on to the next step helps us be braver and hold ourself accountable to create.

It’s hard to settle for mediocrity when we know it’s mediocre.

But settle anyways.

Then don’t stop there.

Do it all over again.

Make and remake and start over.

Try something new and fall on our faces again and again.

By sacrificing quality, successive projects improve and we gain new skills.

Future achievement grows from adaptive practice.

To be prolific and productive, we need to let go.

“Embraced Mediocrity” is our new guiding principle.

Fire

3:40 minutes

“Fire”

Lonely shadows following me
Lonely ghosts come a-calling
Lonely voices talking to me
Now I’m gone, now I’m gone, now I’m gone

And my mother told me, “Son, let it be.”
Sold my soul to the calling
Sold my soul to a sweet melody
Now I’m gone, now I’m gone, now I’m gone

Oh, gimme that fire
Oh, gimme that fire
Oh, gimme that fire
Burn, burn, burn

Oh, a thousand faces staring at me
Thousand times I’ve fallen
Thousand voices dead at my feet
Now I’m gone, now I’m gone, now I’m gone

And my mother told me, “Son, let it be.”
Sold my soul to the calling
Sold my soul to a sweet melody
Now I’m gone, now I’m gone, now I’m gone

Oh, gimme that fire
Oh, gimme that fire
Oh, gimme that fire
Burn, burn, burn

Ghosts and devils come a-calling
Calling my name, oh, lost in the fire
Sweet Virginia blood is calling
Calling my name, oh, lost in the fire

Oh, gimme that fire
Oh, gimme that fire
Burn, burn, burn

Oh, gimme that fire
Oh, gimme that fire
Oh, gimme that fire
Burn, burn, burn

Glitter

3:31 minutes

TRACK

V2 dizzy logo and titles
V1 excerpt for “Oh Brother where art though” escape from chain gang scene, road scene MP4, dream montage, money montage
A1 stem of female vocalist unknown A flat Major 85 bpm singing Glitter and Gold cover
A2 Barns Courtney original track “Glitter and Gold”
A3 stem A flat minor 85 bpm accompaniment track from A2 track.
A4 heavy chains SFX 82 bpm
A5 Anvil and Hammer SFX
A6 Chisel and hammer SFX
A7 A flat Major Ambient Pad

LYRICS

Glitter & Gold Lyrics

[Intro]
I am flesh and I am bone
Rise up, ting ting, like glitter and gold
I’ve got fire in my soul
Rise up, ting ting, like glitter

[Bridge]
Yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah
Like glitter and gold
Yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah
Like glitter

[Verse 1]
Do you walk in the valley of kings?
Do you walk in the shadow of men
Who sold their lives to a dream?
Do you ponder the manner of things
In the dark
The dark, the dark, the dark

[Chorus]
I am flesh and I am bone
I’ll rise ting ting like glitter and gold
I’ve got fire in my soul
Rise up, ting ting, like glitter

[Bridge]
Yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah
Like glitter and gold
Yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah
Like glitter

[Verse 2]
Do you walk in the meadow of spring?
Do you talk to the animals?
Do you hold their lives from a string?
Do you ponder the manner of things
In the dark
The dark, the dark, the dark

[Chorus]
I am flesh and I am bone
I’ll rise ting ting like glitter and gold
I’ve got fire in my soul
Rise up, ting ting, like glitter
I am flesh and I am bone
I’ll rise ting ting like glitter and gold
I’ve got fire in my soul
Rise up, ting ting, like glitter

[Bridge]
‘Cause everybody in the backroom’s spinning out
Don’t remember what you’re asking for
And everybody in the front room’s tripping out
You left your bottle at the door

Cause everybody in the backroom’s spinning out
Don’t remember what you’re asking for
And everybody in the front room’s tripping out
You left your bottle at the door

[Chorus]
I am flesh and I am bone
I’ll rise ting ting like glitter and gold
I’ve got fire in my soul
Rise up, ting ting, like glitter

[Outro]
Yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah
Like glitter and gold
Yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah
Like glitter

Yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah
Like glitter and gold
Yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah
Like glitter

Freckled Friend

2:31 minutes

For my daughter, Lilli.

FRECKLED FRIEND

Looking in the mirror

she touched her young freckled skin

wishing she were a Hollywood beauty

skin white flawless smooth

but there were freckles instead

Glancing in the silvered glass

She saw his smiling reflection

Tugged silhouette propped

against the old door frame

him loving her ordinary naturalness

life, home, warm, human

each freckle he loved

every freckle he kissed

Would she ever discover

her truest self:

the freckled woman he loved?

Freckled Friend

let me embrace you

so much energy

in your freckles

give some power to me

I love your freckles

as I love you.

TEARE 1991

Daughter Lilli and wife, Terrie. Both freckled ladies.

Phantom DUNE

6:35 minutes

First I downloaded all rock and heavy metal YouTube covers of “Phantom of the Opera” songs. The rock one sucked (too slow) so I stuck with heavy metal.

I used https://tunebat.com/Analyzer to determine the keys and then batched them into folders. This was the breakdown:

A minor – 2 covers

2 songs both instrumental oriented with Lindsey Sterling and super loud interpretted heavy metal version. With double beat bass pedals. No vocals.

It might be interesting to superimpose those on top of each other since they are in the same key. BPM is 69 and 78. That shows some potential.

E flat Major – 5 covers

I didn’t like the Nightwish cover. Too exaggerated of female voice. I had it in two different keys and neither impressed me. So I dumped these.

The remaining 4 covers in E flat Major are all 132bpm except one which is 135bpm.

All intros sound the same. One turned out to be a duplicate. So three remain.

E flat Major-132bpm- Phantom Of The Opera- Rock Style.mp3

Female and male – he is too gritty and she is airy. The music is stylized and dramatic and blasting.

E flat Major-132bpm- The Phantom of the opera (rock cover) – Special guest Sallie Jönsson.mp3

Very clear female part. More dynamic. Guy is gritty but clear. She’s better than her. Guitar solo.

E flat Major-135bpm- PHANTOM OF THE OPERA ROCK VERSION.mp3

Soft violin and cello intro. Don’t like the female vocal lisp. Make a stem of the intro instrumental maybe. Change tempo to match 132. Hate the vocals on this — like the music.

These all sound pretty Karaoke. Ordinary or poor covers. Weak.

F major covers

F major – 120bpm- Phantom of the Opera (ROCKMETAL COVER) Cristina Vee feat. Jonathan Young.mp3

A real good one. Good vocals and instrumentals.

F major – 81bpm- Impellitteri – Phantom Of The Opera (Official Music Video).mp3

Classic ripping metal guitar harmony shredding. Way to fast. Double pounding bass drum. Junked it.

Other covers

B flat major-107bpm- Phantom of the Opera – The Point of No Return (METAL COVER) Jonathan Young ft. Malinda K Reese.mp3

Pretty good cover. Used it.

C sharp minor-114bpm-yt5s.com – Phantom of the Opera (METAL VERSION) ~ Jonathan Young cover ft. Malinda Kathleen Reese (128 kbps).mp3

Very dramatic intro but feels slow. Female strong vocal. Male creepiness but strong.

C major– 123bpm-Y2Mate.is – Phantom Of The Opera Metal.mp3
Not a good band recording. Nice female vocals. The mix is not good. Male vocal weak. Junked it.

CANDIDATES DECISIONS

1. Dump all the E flat Majors.

2. Use F major – 120bpm- Phantom of the Opera (ROCKMETAL COVER) Cristina Vee feat. Jonathan Young.mp3

A real good one. Good vocals and instrumentals.

3. Combine the two A minor instrumentals into an intro.

4. B flat major-107bpm- Phantom of the Opera – The Point of No Return (METAL COVER) Jonathan Young ft. Malinda K Reese.mp3

Pretty good cover.

I then added two DUNE composites — one overlaid with transparent Alpha channel on top of the other. One was too long and I had to double the speed to fit the time length.

Too Much

6:07 minutes

“Too Much”

Project Description

This video montage is about how ENFJ and INFJ personality types often love too much. They want a deep connection so bad it hurts. Love is painful. There’s a strong relationship between social rejection and physical pain. The pain indicates something is missing. Your body reacts as if a threat to a relationship is a threat to your life. If you love someone so much it hurts, there’s something psychological going on. It’s bigger than the particular relationship. It may be enmeshment or codependency. Psychosomatic illness results.

PAID COMPONENTS

Voiceover

The voiceover is a 250-word file titled “Loving Too Much.” The prototype video used a text-to-speech robot-voice production placeholder. This is then substituted later with a female British human voice. It’s 1 minute and 20 seconds 1MB MP3 provided by Chloe Wigmore (London) via Fiverr ($59.41 total with our tip included).

I slowed the robot voice placeholder down 10 percent on the master mix in Kdenlive. I can also do that using Speech Synthesis Markup Language code (SSML) in Polly. That lowers the original voice and makes it a bit longer. The voice synthesizer tool used is Amazon Polly. Text-to-speech conversion is available for mere pennies online. https://signin.aws.amazon.com/ I used an English British voice called Amy, Female. I split the voiceover into two sections to break the music monotony. The music lyrics go too long without a change.

OPEN-SOURCE COMPONENTS

Music Source

All soundtracks are music videos downloaded as MP3 audio files. I used free online YouTube downloader tools. There are many downloaders and they often advertise porn (so watch out!) Sometimes there is a copyright claim. But often when using stems, there is no restriction for monetization. But monetization is not our goal. I use YouTube only for hosting to conserve server resources. And keep our home site http://DizzyPictures.com loading fast. I use a WordPress video lazy-load plugin called Embed Plus Plugin for YouTube Pro ($39). Others are available but this premium one prevents recommendations of competitor video content. We want to keep people on our site and not on YouTube. YouTube has thwarted this feature to a degree with the inset “View on YouTube” non-feature link.

Audio Editing and Vocal Stems

I stripped the intro and outro vocal “stems” from two songs. One song called “I Miss You” by Daft Punk is for the outro (F sharp major 95 bpm). And a backing track of groove rock drum beats with matching 95 bpm for a transition at the end. The intro is a vocal stem from Elvis Presley’s hit “Suspicious Minds.” The first three lines of those lyrics are: “We’re caught in a trap, I can’t walk out, Because I love you too much, baby.” Each of these is 14 to 19 seconds in duration. Tiny samples.

Stems are stereo recording components extracted from many audio tracks. I created the vocal stems using https://ezstems.com/ free online tool. I cleaned up the downloaded MP3 stems afterward in Audacity. I used: the high pass filter, transformed the stereo into mono, and added audio compression.

Audacity is a free and open-source digital audio editor. It’s available for Windows, macOS, and Linux. We’re using open-source Linux Mint Cinnamon as our computer operating system.

Music Modules
Modular music is the combination and overlapping of different compositions. One over the other. The compositions are also called modules. For me, those modules are covers performed by one or many different artists in different moments. You can add or remove new modules to create new work, a new composition, different from the original one. You can expand and extend a modular composition in time, space and size.

Musical Counterpoint

Counterpoint is the relationship between two or more musical lines (or voices). They are interdependent harmonies. Yet independent in rhythm and melodic contour. Imitative counterpoint is the repetition of a main melodic idea. For example, on another video montage called, “Lonely,” I used a stem of Beatles Paul McCartney’s voice repeated in the soundtrack as an overlay. It may be across different vocal parts, with or without variation. Free counterpoint often incorporates non-traditional harmonies and chords, chromaticism, and dissonance.

It’s hard to write a beautiful song. It’s even harder to put together musical layers that sound more beautiful as a polyphonic whole. The internal structures creating each layer must contribute to the “emergent polyphony structure” – meaning unplanned goodness. Or musical serendipity. The way it’s accomplished is: counterpoint. Examples of imitative counterpoints include the round, the canon, and the fugue.

A canon is a counterpoint-based composition. It employs a melody with one or more imitations of the melody played after a given duration. To get this effect, I use various covers of popular music. I often build a male and female round from two separate music videos. One voice is often a stem. The initial melody is the leader. The imitative melody in a different voice, is the follower. The follower imitates the leader. Either as an exact replication of its rhythms and intervals or some transformation. The key and beats per minute (bpm) of the covers are checked using an online tool at: https://tunebat.com/Analyzer

Most fugues open with a short main theme. A fugue is a style of composition, rather than a fixed structure. It sounds again in each voice. I’ve used this musical trick in recent times. It’s often followed by a connecting passage or episode. That develops from music heard before. I create more “entries” in related keys. Episodes and entries alternate until the “final entry” of the main theme. At this point, the music returns to the opening key or tonic. That follows with closing music, the coda.

A coda is often part of a post-credits scene (a stinger or credit cookie). A mid-credits scene is a short clip appearing after rolling all or some of the closing credits. You include a coda to reward the audience for watching through the credits sequence. It may be a scene written for humor or to set up a sequel.

In music, a coda (Italian for “tail”) is a passage that brings a video (or a movement) to an end – the conclusion. It may be as simple as a few measures, or as complex as an entire section. In my videos, I call the coda – the outro (more on that later). It’s usually played during the closing credits or end credits of the video.

Soundtrack

In my video “Too Much,” the main instrumental is a Delta-blues rendition of “Seven Nation Army.” The White Stripes band released it in 2003. It’s covered by Justin Johnson (1.33M YouTube subscribers) on a slide guitar in G minor at 114 beats per minute (bpm). The female singing lyrics over the top is a vocal stem of Sabrina Claudio (805K YouTube subscribers). She is doing an acoustic cover of her song “Tell Me” in B flat major at 103 bpm. Even though music components are all in different keys and tempos, they fit well enough.

I added “The Black Keys” by Ten Cent Pistol in G minor at 105 bpm. I used the song’s instrumental introduction as an intro layer and transition.

Seven Nation Army (The Glitch Mob Remix) is used as an instrumental outro.

Atmospheric Backing Track

I added a YouTube G-minor-chord ambient backing track – but not behind the voiceover. These are called “pads.” Ambient Pads are atmospheric tones designed to fill out the sound of any music. You layer them under any major or minor chord progression. Pads are ambient, sustained sounds characterized by heavy reverb and delay. They are a staple in audio productions from pop music to film scores. A pad is a sustained chord or tone generated by a synthesizer. It’s often used as background harmony or for atmosphere. Like a string section, it’s used to pad out the sound of an orchestra or film score – or in our case, perhaps a vocal stem.

Music heightens a video’s emotion. It creates an aural mood for each scene, along with sound effects and dialogue. Film scores are custom-made and often performed by orchestras. Today a video score might feature all manner of sounds and instruments. A video soundtrack is already-written popular songs featured in a film or video. In a two-hour movie, there is about an hour of music. My videos are often music videos. And so the music is 3 to 5 minutes long – on occasion, 7 minutes.

Open-source Video

Video clips are short videos, sometimes part of a longer recording. In “Too Much,” there are 18 to 20 open-source video clips – all different shots of a young couple in the London Underground. They are MP4s downloaded from Pexels.com.

I used 13 extra “Skull Candy” video clips from Pexels as fade-in-and-out overlays.

Video Editors

I do video production using Kdenlive open-source video editor version 21.04.3 on Linux. There is a newer version available 22.04.3 as of July 10, 2022.

Titles are made in Kdenlive except for the lyric rollover. It was created using Gimp image editor and also PhotoFilmStrip. PhotoFilmStrip creates video output of still images in 3 steps. First select your photos, customize the motion path, and render the video. The free-for-personal-use font is Big Noodle Titling, a display uppercase movie-poster font ($15 to buy the font family). https://www.dafont.com/bignoodletitling.font

Tracks

There are 10 tracks. 3 video tracks and 7 audio tracks.

V3: logo, title clips, lyric rollover

V2: Skull Candy video clips

V1: Young couple in London video clips

A1: 8.62dB, logo sound, voiceover, 20-second chant

A2: 5.81dB, female vocal stem

A3: -4.07dB, main instrumental slide guitar

A4: 0.00dB, outro 7 Nation Army rock instrumental with audio volume keyframable (aka ducking*).

A5: -13.67dB, G minor backing track (pad), not used during voiceover.

A6: 9.09dB, The Black Keys 52-seconds (intro)

A7: 0.00dB, 14-second Elvis vocal stem (intro), 49-second rock drum backing track (outro)

*Ducking temporarily lowers, or “ducks,” the volume level of a specified audio signal anytime a second specified audio signal is present. Ducking is commonly used to lower background music anytime a person speaks, then raises it when that person finishes speaking, as during voiceover. On this track, we set manually a drop from 0.00dB to 15dB during voiceover. Audacity can do auto-ducking.

I didn’t use a microphone or camera to make this video montage. All components except for Chloe’s voiceover, are free web assets. The final video is a 161MB MP4 file.

Hello Janice

5:16 minutes

Hello, Janice, it’s me

there’s a stranger

across our street

No he’s just been wandering

wander he did

for more than an hour

waiting for time to pass

did he wait for a beauty

a girlfriend, a cutie

No his face showed no

anticipatory anxiety

perhaps for some money

to make life a pleasure

to fill his rumbling stomach and more

to take in an exciting Hollywood movie

No his life couldn’t be a bore

look at his white hands

so clean and fine fingernail

maybe he doesn’t work

or just got sprung out of jail

still he wanders back and forth

as if no place to go

yet no purpose or pleasure

should I call the cops?

No he’s moving again

two steps to the right

not a lover not a fighter

His eyes so hollow

they stare blank and white

he’s walking this way

and oh, my gosh

he’s pulling a large scythe

from under his black robe

he’s the Grim Reaper

and he coming

for me

click.

Dearly Beloved

we are gathered here

in memory of the late

er … er. Jezzy McJewel

who fell off her stool

while talking on her pink telephone

such a tragedy tells us

er… er … it is better

to receiver than to

dial in vain

Look at her face

she looks so life like

I almost expect her to sit up

any moment. That witch owes me $100

now how will I get it?

I suppose I could sue the estate

Jezzy, it’s Janice

honey, I know you can hear me

I don’t know who that guy was, baby

but I filled out a complete report at the

police station

they were gonna put me in jail as your

murderess can you believe it?

I guess they found out about my affair

with your Husband

but you know about all that cause

you’re dead and can read peoples

thoughts and stuff

I’ll have to talk more later

Bob’s motioning me over for

the family photo

Tootles

Why am I floating up here

on the ceiling over a casket

and who is that hideous corpse

oh, no it’s me

who did my make-up I’ll kill’em

I told Bob I wanted to be cremated

if I ever … I’m dead

I can’t believe it

I should have known this would happen

every Monday when I have my period

it’s a lousy day

Hey, what nice expensive flowers

I wonder who they’re from?

From Bob and Janice

that’s odd?

Wait a minute

didn’t Bob have an insurance policy

on me, yeah for

a million dollars

a million dollars

a million GREEN WRINKLED dollars

I’LL KILL THE IDIOT!

Such an unexpected tragedy

yes we’ll all grieve and miss her

thank you so much for coming

Bob?

Yes, darling?

I want you

Here! Now!

at the funeral for goodness sake

I’ve got to have you

Jeez. okay. The broom closet in 5 minutes.

Oh, thank you. thank you.

That slut

she had the whole thing planned

well, I’ll fix them both

copulate at my funeral will they

us haunting spirits have our little ways

“I want you,” give me a break

Bob, now that were alone in the broom closet

I wanted to ask you something?

Sure go ahead and ask me while I get

out of some of these clothes

Well, was there really a Grim Reaper

across the street that frightened Jezzy?

Of course NOT that was me remember?

You forget things too quickly.

Bob, why are we in this closet?

You said, you wanted to have sex.

I said that?

Yes.

At my best friends funeral?

YES

Oh all right, but Bob?

YES!

Why are you wearing the Grim Reaper suit?

isn’t that a little kinky?

What Grim Reaper suit?

Dearly Beloved

we are gathered today

in memory of Bob and Janice

Who during an act of misjudgment

broke several bottles of deadly chemicals

their cremated bodies and clothes were

discovered

by the night janitor in his closet

From which we learn ..er chemically speaking

all is not lost until the clothing gets tossed

Such a sad, sad tragedy

three mysterious deaths in such a short period

I’m sure they are all so very, very happy

together.