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8.11.02 "Ghosts" A Hit!

Music manipulates emotion! Better than exclamation points!!

This is fun: (1) Put zany 1940's party clips to zesty music with a few silly samples from 1940's home-made records. (2) Same zany clips (in reverse, a little ghosting added), set to melancholy strings and slower, sweeter song samples. Presto... Ghosts emerge, along with the discovery how important sound is to vision. And a new appreciation of movie scores.

My sister Kathleen wrote: "Whew! That one got me a bit choked up... I think I need to go have a cry."

And from Fugai: "The first time I watched it, after it switched gears, tears started to well up. You definitely caught that feeling of mono no aware, the Japanese expression that means something like the poignancy that everything must pass, and it was as if all of the folk there were also my family." She pointed me to a site for more explanation:

[18th-century scholar] Motoori insisted that life is sorrowful and that people must be true to their emotions by marking death with sorrow. This inherent emotional life of human beings is not limited to reflection on death but touches all aspects of life and nature. Motoori called it mono no aware. The term is so emotionally charged that it is difficult to translate, but it is generally regarded as being central to the world-view of Japanese art and religion. This pure, emotional response to the beauty of nature, the impermanence of life, and the sorrow of death is similar to the religious attitude toward kami*: The kami are behind and within nature and one's life, and a person should revere the kami immediately and directly without stopping to evaluate intellectual arguments about their existence.

Kami are the native gods of Japan, but the term also expands to any being that has unusual power or is exceedingly awe-inspiring or superior in potency.

For me, the interesting part is thinking about the vitality of our ancestors as kami -- always being there for us to tap into. A project like Ghosts reinforces this. A few seconds of images, a few seconds of sound and they grow larger than life -- gods and goddesses populating our emotional landscape, informing us of who we are.

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