Alethea & Athena (double_dear) wrote,
Alethea & Athena
double_dear

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Miserable music

Our hosts for sacrament meeting had a conflict today, so that got canceled...and we went back to sleep. Since then, it's been a mostly laid-back Sunday. This week's Come, Follow Me lesson was on the section of the Book of Mormon where they talk about how small and simple things lead to big and amazing things. I really like to think about that.

But I don't necessarily have any coherent thoughts to share on it right now, so instead I'm going to talk about the YouTube video we came across just now, which is about how terrible the music is in the 2012 film of The Miserables. We'd seen videos by the same guy before and we don't tend to agree with him (I mean, we agree that somehow the music in Emma and the Beast is not nearly as good as the original, but we disagree on his reasoning among other things), but we can't resist that kind of thing, and we had just watched the movie a couple weeks ago, so we watched the video anyway.

It seems that most of his complaints come from having a Musical Background, and knowing all the technical stuff about, like, sound quality and stuff. He definitely knows way more about that kind of thing than we do, so I'm not going to argue with him on that, but there was one thing that he kept harping on that I just had to disagree with in public. Starting with Anne Hathaway's performance as Fantine, he went off for a while about how important it is to not cry while you're singing. And if your goal is perfect sound quality, then sure, okay.

But if your goal is more to tell a compelling story and get the audience to feel emotions and stuff, I would say that crying while singing, during certain numbers such as "I Dreamed a Dream," may be extremely appropriate, even if it does make your voice sound worse. The YouTube video played a clip from a stage version of the show to let us know how it's "supposed" to be done, right after playing Anne Hathaway's version, so we could compare them, and the Hathaway version gave me chills while the stage version had me go, "I guess it was pretty...?"

I think the point of a story called The Miserables is to illustrate that life is not always pretty, so it seems kind of counterproductive to be all, "We can have perfect sound quality, with the characters having perfect control over their voices!" while at the same time their entire lives are spiraling out of control. I guess it's just less believable for me if the actors are deliberately holding back the characters' emotions.

But it's all a matter of opinion. I'm not trained in any kind of audio/sound production, so I don't have an ear for all of the various sins that can be committed when recording audio. I'm pretty sure most of the world is in the same boat as me on that one, but on the other hand, I do realize the importance of considering the people in the audience who may actually be experts. So in that case, it comes down to whether you prefer the perfect sound quality or the more emotional performance. I'd pick the latter.

Today I'm thankful for our friends letting us know sacrament meeting was canceled so we weren't waiting for nothing to happen, actors who aren't afraid to cry while they sing (as long as it's appropriate for the song and character), online chat reminding us of the Intelevator, crazy plans for some early (for us) fishing/bug hunting in Animal Crossing, and the king-sized Paydays we had for a snack today.
Tags: les miserables
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