NPR logo Musings: The Whole Is Greater Than The Parts

Musings: The Whole Is Greater Than The Parts

I used to compose music for a theater company in Baltimore called Impossible Theater. It was experimental multimedia theater, with images from banks of slide projectors making for stunning foregrounds and backgrounds. What always struck me was how the music I made was brought to life by the imagery and how the imagery was brought to life by the music. We've all experienced that in some way, the way movie soundtracks can make a mediocre film come to life and vice versa.

I'm thinking about this today, having just watched a collaboration between filmmaker David Lynch and musician Moby. Watch this and see if you think one would work well without the other.

I like the direction Moby's music is taking, having heard it, though I think I'll always have these dark images in my head. So: Does it ruin a song for you if the images are locked in, or does it endear you to a song?

I think of myself as a bit of a music purist, but in the end, I'm thrilled by the mix of media. It's why I loved composing music for theater so much. For me, it's definitely all about the synergy.

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