I’ve been told that my best quality as a videographer is my taste in music. Which is kind of a funny compliment. That’s like telling a carpenter that he’s best at picking good wood grain. But I must admit, it’s probably true. Lighting and editing skills be darned, I know how to spin a good tune. And as such, I’m always on the lookout for inspiration, and new music. And through a chance encounter, I was introduced to a guy named Porter Robinson. Forgive me if I sound dumb here (which is ironic because I just boasted about my music acumen) but he is, I believe, considered an “electronic artist” or a dj, two genres I know basically zero about. As I sank into his newest album, it reminded me of M83, which I guess is kinda electronic music. So at least I have that touch point… I digress…. Porter is currently transition from doing traditional dance music into something more. Something a bit slower and more lush (hence the M83 comparison). And that’s where we pick him up, on his newest album, “Worlds.”
This is not a “Worlds” review, or even a call for you to listen to his music (Though you should. It’s really good, and really… visual?). If you have Spotify, he has a commentary version of this album where, track by track, he tells you some stories behind the meaning of the song or how he produced it. In it, I learned this:
“I used to be really, really deeply obsessed with massive multiplayer online role-playing games, like World Of Warcraft and Diablo. I played a couple of different ones, but I really, really lived in these worlds and really, really loved them and they were super significant to me. With ‘Worlds’, I’m making a conscious effort to step back into these fragile realms which, once the company goes under, or the game is no longer profitable can’t simply be put on your shelf to come back to 10 years later. Once these games are gone, these worlds are completely inaccessible. They basically just die.”
Damn! That’s heavy stuff, especially coming from a “21 year old club kid”. What a crazy concept to think about. You experience something with thousands and thousands of people. You live this entire virtual life. And then one day, it’s just gone. That little world you spent countless hours building is just dissolved into nothing.
Two days ago one of my favorite shows of all time, The League, ended. I know that all the stuff I talked about above that line up there seemed heavy, and by comparison, The League is as light as a feather. Full of dumb bro-humor and with almost zero emotion, The League existed in this never-never land where we never ever had to grow up and fantasy football was the most important thing. And so yeah, I’m taking it kind of hard. I know shows end… I was a shell of myself for months after Lost was over. My wife and I literally fell in love during “How I Met Your Mother” (It’s true… We even have a yellow umbrella and a blue french horn, and threw a finale party where were served HIMYM themed snacks). I still cry when I think about the REAL Scrubs finale (the one where show runner Bill Lawrence has a brief moment with JD in the parking lot) and I’m still hoping for a Community movie so I can hang with the crew a bit longer (#sixseasonsandamovie). But The League felt different. It was as close to a cartoon that real life could be, and in my mind, it could have lasted 20 plus years like The Simpsons.
Books can of course be the same way. It’s probably eve easier to fall in to a book hole then it is to become obsessed with tv, because it’s all in your head. Has a book ever made you cry? I cried like a baby reading Lord of the Rings and The Dark Tower. Tower in particular ruled my life for like 2 months. It’s over 4,000 pages and I devoured them loving every moment I could spend with my favorite ka-tet. Here’s a funny visual for you. My fiend, fellow State-Liner, and general bad ass Justin Little listened to Dark Tower on audio book. He told me, in confidence I’m sure, that when a particular scene happened he was in the grocery store, and had to leave because he started crying so hard.
The point is, I’m, thankful to every writer, actor, director, show runner, and author for conjuring these little world I get to escape to every now and then. When you get caught up in one of these places, it’s magical. I just want to encourage you today to treasure your fictional friends, and if you don’t feel like you have any, get some. My life is infinitely better because of the worlds my mind has traveled to. And one day, I hope I can create a world that others enjoy a fraction as much as I’ve enjoyed theirs.
dissolve – (with reference to a solid) become or cause to become incorporated into a liquid so as to form a solution.