14 Actors Acting series
Text and musical version by Sofía Oriana Infante
(Original Music by Owen Pallet)
‘14 Actors Acting’ is a series created by Solve Sundsbo for the New York Times, where 14 actors represent different emotions in unrelated brief scenes. Here, I present my own musical version of the scenes.
The process followed for composing the music consisted of, first of all, analysing meticulously the information given in the image. It does not exist any previous conceptual analysis of this series, so the interpretation of the details of the acting, it is inevitably subjective, consisting this work to a personal point of view. This personal contribution is obviously the body of the work, as any kind of artistic work supposes an expression of the thoughts and emotions conceived by the creator. However, an important labour of research is needed to transmit these details effectively through music to the public, being fundamental to search for references in both images and music supporting the own perspective.
This labour resides in choosing and using specific styles and instruments, researching the cultural connotation added by the instruments and how harmony and texture can modify the meaning of the images.
The black and white images and the actors’ outfit, give a classic style to the series. This, mixed with the acting gestures, the situations represented and the scenarios, contributes to an old way of filming, referencing classical movies and placing the meaning in a specific context (first decades of the twentieth century). Obviously this description is made under a contemporary perspective about a past époque, implying cultural differences of what it is understood as aesthetic.
All these aspects create the aesthetic of the series, which would be fundamental to consider in the music, so as to respect the coherence with the images. This supposes to use musical styles that fit with the temporality of the scenes, which gives an interesting range of possibilities due to the diversity of styles that arise in the 20th century.
Having that diversity of possibilities, implies to use an specific criteria to choose the most appropriate music for the image, or, on the other hand, to modify and play with its meaning.