“Channeling” is a play on words referencing Frank’s album Channel Orange and the fact that I am emulating him in this project.
For my creative project, I followed the timeline I had created for my personal essay:
Taking these photos, I used a Nikon camera (borrowed from my mom) and a stand so that I could accomplish this on my own. It was a challenge to get the right angle to satisfy my replication. I used editing features to give the vibrant colors that I felt came across in Frank’s photos, but with more brightness and warmth to cater to my artistic choices. For the video I used the nikon with the stand to record and then used iMovie at the cox computer lab to edit; using iMovie was difficult at times, for I wanted the video to be time-lapsed, the music to fade out at the end, and the photos of the project to flow nicely. I dedicated a lot of time to that video. Recording the song I used an acoustic guitar cover (Caroline McGregor via Youtube) that I found on Youtube along with the voice-memos application on the iphone to record myself singing to that guitar cover. This was not too difficult technology-wise, but I had to practice the song and record it tens of times to get it to the quality I wanted to submit. Overall this project required a lot of different technology and applications that I had to navigate, learn, and manipulate.
This semester my topic was Frank Ocean and the way he uses media to express himself and share his creations. The more I’ve learned about Frank Ocean, the more ways I see that he has utilized media in all forms: from photography, to social media, to physical mediums, to sampling, to video. His approach to musical creation is multi-faceted, so I knew that my creative project had to be the same. When deciding on my creative project, I had the goal of trying to understand what it is like to be part of so many mediums of media at once. By following the timeline of Frank Ocean’s release of his album, Blonde, but with my own artwork, “sampling”/covering Self Control, and more, I learned that it is empowering to embrace media in this holistic way. In a world with so many resources at our hands, I can now see how Frank couldn’t just stop at the production of the musical aspect of his album. With such personal songs, expressing them on the web, through art, and full dedication of himself to his project, Blonde is truly unique. Frank is an example of what it is like to be an artist today. As we have discussed, media is constantly changing, making us interact in different ways. Frank used “old-fashioned” physical media to express himself along with online platforms like tumblr. He shows that being a musician means giving yourself to your audience, and being creative with the incredible resources at hand. He also knows the implications of oversharing, for social media, as we have discussed throughout the semester, can be all consuming, and detrimental to our self identities. The has always been the music, but then came technology that changed the way it was created and constructed. Now there is a third level to the technology of music: social media. Now music is also about the way that music is seen by audiences and shared in the online world. Music is changing, but as Frank Ocean did with his album Blonde, it is important to look back to past media forms and reflect on the impact of the media and social media today.
This was a really fun, empowering, and reflective project. Hope you enjoy.