Soundtrack to the experimental short film "Flip-book" premiering February 1st at 7:30 PM EST: www.youtube.com/watch?v=FYIR9Be5pb8&feature=youtu.be
Stream on your favorite digital platform here: distrokid.com/hyperfollow/joshaugustin/music-from-flip-book
Notes from the recital:
"The first shot of Flip-book is taken on an iPhone, angled through the viewfinder of a VHS camcorder which belonged to my parents when I was younger. I rewind and hit play, pulling up a blurred shot of my laptop displaying the title cards which then take over the screen. This gesture, along with the quotation from Man with a Movie Camera and subsequent introductory titles, is intended as homage to Dziga Vertov, the Russian filmmaker whose magnum opus Man with a Movie Camera has been my guiding creative point of reference since I first saw it in middle school. The 2020 MacBook and the 1998 camcorder are bookends to the technological progress and innovation made during my lifetime. Inspired by Vertov’s exuberant manipulation of early 20th-century visual technology, my goal was to make a Soviet montage-inspired exploration of the analog and digital mediums which intersect in footage I’ve taken over the past several years.
The soundtrack to Flip-book was recorded with reel-to-reel, guitar, and analog synthesizer during the height of the pandemic in December 2020. It is a relatively dark collection of ambient compositions created in Oberlin and (subsequently) my childhood bedroom in Rochester, Minnesota (before my recent post-graduation move to Minneapolis). All the audio, like the visuals, has undergone a back-and-forth process of analog to digital conversion, often recorded on a laptop, manipulated on a reel-to-reel, and transferred back to digital for release.
Throughout my time at Oberlin I’ve been curious about the the fraught relationship between digital and analog mediums as they relate to music creation, discovery, and listening. The growing Gen-Z/millennial proclivity towards older physical formats like tape, vinyl, and analog effects/synthesizers has taken place amidst a mode of cultural consumption increasingly mediated by digital platforms created by corporations with copious amounts of metadata and suspect intentions.
This is an insidious contradiction, particularly as our modes of communication and creative expression grow increasingly reliant on the internet in the midst of this pandemic. The soundtrack to Flip-book exists inside this paradigm, a small attempt at conjuring something personal and meaningful amidst the bleakness of our current condition.
The soundtrack includes a few compositions which are not present in the short film. I’d like to specifically make note of a four-movement piece tracking the various geologic time scales which tell the story of how Minnesota’s “driftless” region was formed in prehistoric times. There is also an improvisationally performed elegy in honor of Daniel Dumile, better known as MF DOOM, an artist who passed away while I was creating Flip-book. The collision of mortality and immutability intrinsic to all art and physical media was on my mind while creating this project, and the belated news of his death last Halloween (only made public in December) set a somber mood amidst my completion of the score. The album is dedicated to DOOM and his towering musical contributions. His oeuvre, like that of so many we lost during this pandemic, will surely outlast the violent echoes of this virus."
— Josh Augustin
January 23rd, 2021
released January 27, 2021
Recorded December 2020 on guitar, analog synthesizer, and reel to reel
Cover photo by Kate Ali