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Since I Left You

Presentation on "Since I Left You" by Avalanches
by Irene Hsu on 18 November 2013

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Transcript of Since I Left You

SINCE I LEFT YOU — AVALANCHES
THEMES
BRIEF OVERVIEW - STORY
Two miners trapped in a mine discover a door that leads to a dance studio, where two dancers are performing in front of judges. One of the miners (Ralph) joins in whereas the other miner watches on the side. The other miner fades as the music fades, and the next scene shows him years later, mentioning that he hasn't seen Ralph since then.
DISCOVERY: 0:12-1:05
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wpqm-05R2Jk#t=12
Sounds
:
-Instruments: guitar, flute, vocals
-Extramusicals: droplets, chirping
Images:
-canary
-burst of light
-black-and-white to color
Words:
Watch the steps,
get a drink,
have a good time now,
welcome to paradise
SURREAL: 2:30-3:00
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wpqm-05R2Jk#t=150
Sounds
:
-Instruments: flute, vocal harmony, drums, violin
-drums melt away
-richness of instruments
-surrealism (reality versus imagination) of dancing
-dance routine of Ralph catching girl
-contrast between miners (monophony v. polyphony)
Images:
-lighting contrast
-slow motion
-offset of dancers and second miner
Words:
None
JUDGMENT: 4:00-4:17
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wpqm-05R2Jk#t=240
Sounds
:
-Instruments: flute, vocals, trumpet, violin, harmony
-repetition of music
-finale (Ralph is center of attention)
-three shots of final flip
-judges applauding and accepting him
Images:
-light contrast
-repetition of flips
-slow motion
Words:
Since I left [you]
I found the world
[so new]
RETURN: 4:20-4:17
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wpqm-05R2Jk#t=265
Sounds
:
-Instruments: flute, drums, harmony, xylophone
-Extramusicals: screeching/chirping, talking
-flickering and fading out
-remnants of past (black and white photo, canary)
-parallels between music & white noise
Images:
-bright light
-color
-canary, memories
Words:
Three days later, they dug me out
I never saw Ralph again
I hope that wherever he's gone,
he's having a damn good time
OVERALL
-abandonment, desertion, escape
-music is about abandonment
"Since I left you"
guitar
black/white to color: transition between worlds
-video is about a near-death experience (heaven)
"I found the world so new"
uplifting instrumentals (flute, xylophone)
light contrast

BIG PICTURE
-which is better?
-context of death:
Zhuangzi: "How, then, do I know that delighting in life is not a delusion? How do I know that in hating death I am not like an orphan who left home in youth and no longer knows the way back?" (2:41)
-context of life:
"I found the world so new" — discover new perspectives
(Is Ralph giving up? Is the second miner missing out?)
BACKGROUND
-Avalanches: Austrailian electronic dance music group
-video directed by Rob Leggat, Leigh Marling from Blue Source (directed ads, music videos as mini-movies)
-from the album "Since I Left You" (2001)
-album sampled 3500< other tracks
-"concept album"
-Tracks sampled in the song "Since I Left You"
"Anema E Core" —Tony Mottola
"Daddy Rich" — Rose Royce
"Everyday" — Main Attraction
"By the Time I Get To Pheonix" — Tony Mottola
"Let's Do the Latin Hustle" — Klaus Wunderlich
"The Sky's the Limit" — Duprees
"Take Off Your Make Up" — Lamont Dozier
-dreariness of present
-ominousness
-"paradise"
ESCAPE/ABANDONMENT
REALITY V. SURREALISM
HAPPINESS

presented by Irene Hsu
See the full transcript