02 March 2006

New Work: Troy's (Non)Mixtape of Love

A few months ago, MTAA invited me to make an audio piece for their new project, To Be Listened To. My only prompt was to make an MP3 approximately 15-minutes long, under the heading "To be listened to ...in a bar in Brooklyn on a spring Sunday afternoon, sipping a Bloody Mary, waiting for your love to appear." Somehow I wanted it not to be about being happy to see someone, but maybe about them never showing up, or about you waiting to dump them. (I'm a real positive thinker like that.) So I started making a Simon & Garfunkel midi operetta, mixing midi versions of their songs and my voice reading a Dear John letter, with the piece illustrating all the arcs of a relationship, from meeting someone and falling in love to hating their guts and setting their clothes on fire (in the Hollywood version). It was a large scale project. I never finished it.

You see, while I was working on it, I began having an affair... with this cute younger guy named Troy. Everytime I was supposed to be with Paul & Art, I was really sneaking off to listen to Troy. I fell in love and knew I had to switch tracks.

So now, after that long-winded story, I give you Troy's (Non)Mixtape of Love. In September of last year, while I was making the piece, Troy's Mixtape of Love became a huge meme on the internet. (A self-replicating, super popular item.) According to legend, Troy made this recording for his sweetheart Melissa, in order to celebrate their six-month anniversary. It's very sweet. He clearly loves her. The only problem is, she dumped him three days later. Her new boyfriend posted this online.

But I was disturbed by the fact that this so-called 'mixtape' (an item near & dear to my heart) had no music on it, except for a few brief moments when Troy sings to Melissa. So I added a soundtrack. I used midi versions of slightly ominous songs from the 80s (some of my all-time faves!), to harken back to the era of real mixtapes. Except for modifying their start & stop time, I left the audio levels & all else as-is. I wanted it to be more of a readymade (like a mixtape!) than a remix. I love how midis perfectly mirror that 80s synth sound. In a way, I feel that midis have replaced the mixtape--both are objects made with love (perhaps illegally?) and experienced subjectively. You see, they both play differently on each machine--but no one makes mixtapes anymore! So sad!

Ok, there's the long story about this 13-minute piece. I just have to tell you one more thing. When MTAA's Mriver first heard the piece, he thought Troy was saying "Marisa," not "Melissa" and he wondered how I'd found such a perfect actor to read my script. Funny! Shouts be out to MTAA for inviting me to do this.


Anonymous Sinful David said...

Go to Mixtape of Love (mixtapeoflove.com)


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