Photography, video, and music are all gelling into a broader genre people often refer to as “digital storytelling.” Digital storytelling is growing in popularity, with good reason: it creates a memorable experience because it connects the art with people’s emotions on a deeper level. We have all seen vacation slideshows put to music and been turned off by the end product. However, when they are done so with a greater degree of the results care and coordination deliver a big impact.
One of my favorite photographers, Erik Stensland, is working on a project with an accomplished composer to create a soundtrack for his images. When Erik wrote about it, I immediately thought the idea was brilliant and I cannot wait to enjoy the results.
I have been working on some timelapse video and other personal video projects as well, and thinking about music. So far I have nothing to show for it. I had an idea for a project yesterday and looked for a specific track with a specific type of arrangement on a number of royalty free music web sites but could not find what I wanted. I have a number of friends, who, given a little notice, could have easily produced the track for me. But, more than the idea I had yesterday, it got me thinking about the potential partnership between photographers, videographers, and musicians and the opportunity for them to collaborate more to create meaningful digital stories.
I think some great examples have come out of the Waldo Canyon Fire tragedy. Last night I watched the benefit concert via the Internet, thanks to KRDO in Colorado Springs. Singer/songwriter Michael Martin Murphey, sang the title track from his new album, “Into the Fire” about wildland firefighters who had fallen in the line of duty. Thankfully, no firefighters have fallen from the Waldo Canyon fire, but it had a notable impact on the audience, reminding them of what was at stake each moment firefighters are battling the blaze.
Singer/song writer, Chuck Snow from the Colorado Springs areas wrote a song and created a music video to tell the story. The video is well done and tells a portion of the story, but I prefer the video version Colorado College created using photographs from Bryan Oller. Both tell the story very well, but, personally, I connected more with the Colorado College version. Maybe because I am a photographer. Here are both examples:
Personally, I am looking forward to watching this type of collaboration grow. Who knows, maybe i will have the chance to work with one of my musician friends on a project some day.