Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Catch ‘em & Keep ‘em

Initial audience response to many of the tracks in the Music Outside the Box library is often, “What the…?” This is to be expected, and even desired. Now you have their attention. There’s always a danger that “normal” music will be tuned out by the listener, but MOTB is hard to ignore.

It’s true that these aren’t works the vast majority of people would put in regular listening rotation, but when you marry them to video you find a whole different response. Filmmakers have known this almost as long as there has been film, and if you listen to the soundtracks of many of the most famous films, you realize that this is the music driving it. That’s because it works really well.

Why is this? Perhaps, since the mind is engaged in visual stimulation, it is more open to something that inspires feeling, rather than needing something out of which it can make logical sense. Perhaps, since the senses are already engaged in something that’s larger than life, a complimentary experience of audio that’s “outside the norm” works particularly well. Both may be true. But the bottom line is that the brain tends to tune out the overly familiar, so if you want to catch and keep the audience’s attention, you must present something different than they’re used to seeing and hearing all the time.

While many things can be said about the Music Outside the Box library, accusing it of being “overly familiar” is certainly not one of them. These composers have pushed the boundaries of music in every conceivable direction. Some of them have even pushed the definition of music itself. But all have presented an auditory experience that will make the listener pay attention and realize something interesting is going on. This is a dream come true for the creative filmmaker.

Hear it now at MusicOutsideTheBox

- Dave Hab

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