Monday, September 2, 2013

ANNOYING BACKGROUND MUSIC:Comments on The Way You Wish Things Were, by N.A.Vincent

     Lately it seems difficult to enjoy any television program. What used to be pleasant is now irritating. For the longest time we haven't had television. Then my son hooked up "the box" and "the antenna", and we now get a few programs, including some mysteries and some news in foreign countries and languages, which are interesting. The list also includes 4 "religious" channels, aka "Christian channels". Many of the programs on these channels adhere to correct doctrine, but most do not. At any rate, I began watching a few programs of the various channels, hoping for some good entertainment, at least a story line in which I could be interested. I don't "do" run of the mill stuff.
    It didn't take long to realize almost every program, spiritual or not, was irritating to me. The cause: the annoying background music, which almost never stopped: The same notes played over and over again until the repetition trampled on the dialogue. Then a loud crescendo, through which any dialogue simply disappeared, leaving no room for the suspense which might have shined on its own if left to silence. This happens with every show, no matter what the subject.
    I have watched a lot of obsolete films in which expression and silence said a million things more than the "building" of "suspense" with music. I watched a Japanese movie called "Fire On The Plain", which was one of the best movies I ever saw. The dialogue was Japanese, with English dubbed on the screen. You had to be there to watch what was going on, and it was neat. From the Japanese viewpoint, a small band of straggling Japanese soldiers had been sent to a certain point, where they were supposed to meet up with troops. In the meantime, the war was ending, but their struggle for survival was the story: they were starving, mistrustful, bickering, confused, hoarding what small morsel of food one of them might find. (They dug up roots of some kind and cherished these). In the background, over the hills, you could see fires burning all over the place, where something had been set ablaze.
    I don't recall any background music at all in this film, although there might have been some.
    I watched a short documentary that Franklin Graham's ministry had put out, promoting their new program for My Hope series. The statement that was being made would have been far more impressive to me without the constant drone of drums and other annoying continuous "beat" music. You find this every time you watch something. Even the news media can't make a statement without "music" to see them through.
    I'm not against music. My son's a musician. (Skotty Heisey....used to be a member of the now defunct "Villan" band in the Pacific Northwest). I just would like to watch a movie, news, documentary, etc., without a drumbeat and repetitive irritating notes--all the time, in every work that is put before a camera. Some music? Yes. But a constant flowing tidal wave? No.