A small extract from Mondo, a short film that married music and video editing techniques from 1986
Back in the day when I was learning my then video editing skills I remember seeing this music and editing experiment called Mondo (I think somebody showed me it on laserdisc , that’s how long ago it was) and once in a while the unintended effect of pushing digital data around on a computer conjours this up the memory of this video piece for me whilst reminding me that back in 1986 non linear computer editing was not the norm as it was today and punching numbers into edit controllers linked to large U-matic or betacam linear tape edit recorders was what most of us had to work with. Anyway this attempt to partly compose in the video edit suite was made by Jerry Chater who went on to make many adverts and music videos on his own. Here he collaborates with Kevin Godley & Lol Creme.
It kind of heralds some of the video mashup pieces that became more common by the time of avid computer editing in the 90′s. Note the change of numbers in the close up of the guitar in order, presumably, to keep tabs on which section is being utilised during the edit. I’m unsure if this was still an entirely tape based edit or whether one of the earliest non-linear edit systems was used (the Quantel Harry could handle 90 seconds of digitised video back then) or not but it’s always stuck in my mind.
I thought I’d post another part of the 1985 Godley & Creme Interview as stats seem to indicate a recent keen interest. I thought I’d place the audio from that interview here. If anyone is interested in the whole video then contact me and I may be able to point you to a decentralised torrent of the 320Mb video (Azureus torrent client required).I’ve kept the advert break in both the video and audio.
For those who would prefer or need to save their bandwidth (the above mp3 is 17.5 Mb) there is the same extracted audio of the interview in AAC+ format* here (6.9Mb)
(*AAC+ audio files require this Plugin(Win) or a compatible player such as Songbird (Win,Mac,Linux), VLC(Win,Mac,Linux)or Winamp(Win) however Quicktime and i-Tunes will play file at half the audio bandwidth and in mono only) Songbird Music Player Recommended
Godley and Creme here from 1985 talking about the making of The Police’s Wrapped around your finger which was one of the first (if not the first) video that combined normal speed music with slow motion visuals achieved by getting the musicians to mime to their own record at double the speed and filmed at double the speed so that half speed slow motion affects the visuals on playback. It’s easier these days to see how the original shoot looked. If you’re at all curious I’ve speeded up a section of that video here though thanks to modern digital audio the music is heard here speeded up but without the pitch change that would normally occur.
This interview was to promote History Mix Vol.1 in which Godley & Creme basically rework old 10cc hits and various Godley & Creme sounds via the Art Of Noise’s J.J. Jeczalik and the Fairlight sampler as a means of them celebrating 25 years of making music together. By this time though the pair were heavily involved in making music video.
The record itself sounds somewhat dated and slightly more an Art Of Noise member offshoot than a Godley & Creme album though the only new song of the time, Cry was included on it. The album finally surfaced again on iTunes a while ago with a few extras. Even forgotten bits of Consequences get mangled through the sampler as it must have felt at the time that the future of pop music was sampler shaped.
(*AAC+ audio files require this Plugin(Win) or a compatible player such as Songbird (Win,Mac,Linux), VLC(Win,Mac,Linux)or Winamp(Win) however Quicktime and i-Tunes will play file at half the audio bandwidth and in mono only)
Talking of climate change I’ve been reminded of one of rock music’s frequently unavailable albums, Consequences the debut triple box set oddity by Godley & Creme which had an apocalyptic climate change theme. Routinely out of print the full version did not see a CD release until the year 2000 and even then in a strictly limited quantity which can now fetch reasonable sums on eBay whilst the better preserved vinyl box set or even cassette versions continue to be bought as the only means available for some to hear this work in full.
The album continues to divide opinion amongst music critics and fans and can probably be said to have a cult following.
If you get a chance to hear I do recommend giving it a listen if only to dismiss it as art rock claptrap bordering on pompous twiddling. In some ways it was too grandiose a project and in others it was a victim of bad timing due to this style of self indulgence falling out of fashion during the 18 months it took to record the album.
Released in 1977 it was not well received at all coming as it did in the midst of Britain’s punk movement and with some residual bad feeling from fans of 10cc of which they had been band members until asked to leave due to their own obsession with this personal pet project.
The album is essentially a vehicle for a curious musical instrument invented by the pair called The Gizmotron which was a bulky mechanical add on to the bridge of an electric guitar which then allowed a guitar player to extend the range of sounds that would normally by produced by an unmodified guitar. The reason for this Heath Robinson style modification was to make available more exotic and pseudo orchestral sounds to the guitarist without the costs or complexity of hiring an orchestra itself. Sadly the world was only a few years away from the first digital sampling instruments notably the Fairlight which came from Australia and which began to give musicians access to real instrument sounds that the Gizmo was trying to emulate. Today we take this music technology for granted and listening to the album through today’s ears you would think that many of the sounds had been made via a sampling instrument rather than laboriously via modified guitar and labour intensive tape splicing and studio inventiveness.
The album itself is, of course a concept album and centres around some kind of meteorological series of disasters that are taking place that may be natural but could also be part of a global war. Heavy stuff but the album also features vocal sections and an almost radio style play provided by British comedian Peter Cook.
Here’s a slice of Consequences that takes us from Seascape through to Wind. Due to the relatively quick deletion of this album many parts were later recycled by Godley and Creme and if you were a cinema goer in the 80′s you may recognise parts of this as having been used in a commercial that the duo directed back then and parts have been recycled or licensed out to various projects since then. A tad pretentious, certainly but remember that the sounds on this extract were mostly made with the Gizmotron bar percussion and any studio processing or tape manipulation.