I struggled to find music to accompany the videos I just posted. Though I had a sound in mind and I spent several hours cruising around Jamendo, the best source of Creative Commons licensed music I’ve found, couldn’t catch the search terms to express it in. I wanted acoustic, fast, in a major key, and with under 3 instruments. The first hour, I listened to dozens of faux folk and tense techno. Staring into the middle distance, trying to think of a new way to explain what I wanted to the search engine, I heard a whisper of writing advice from Anne Lamott: write from your history.
I felt like I’d been smacked in the back of the head. I know opera, and a little more about classical music in general. So that’s where I started looking for my background music.
10 minutes later, I had my song: “Tema Piano Presto” from J.S.Bach’s “Schübler Choral Bwv 650,” performed by Re-Lab and licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported.
In my urge to be hip and make my utilitarian clips fun, I forgot one of my life’s lessons: old music is my favorite music. After taking my first music theory class last year, I suddenly understood why people loved non-vocal classical; I could hear phrases and themes, predict chord progressions (and be delighted when they were subverted) and generally delight in the play and skill it takes to make joy out of ivory.
And I bet no one watching the video saw the humor in using piece written in 1748 -1749 by a German composer to accompany a screen-cast of an internet journey to find a human trafficking march in 2010 in Washington DC.
I certainly thought it fit.
“Cities force growth, and make men talkative and entertaining, but they make them artificial.”–Ralph Waldo Emerson