Fool’s errand

I have been enjoying myself immensely creating ein Spaß for the campus, which I’ve chosen to call the Fool’s Errand. I have stolen wholesale the concept of Improv Everywhere‘s mp3 experiments, and almost wholesale the script and structure of their fourth endeavor, adapting it for the VSU campus and the GHP mindset.

The idea, for those of you who have not seen IE’s video, is for people to download an mp3 to their player, not listen to it, and then show up at the appointed time and place. Upon a signal, they begin to play the mp3 and to follow the directions from Steve, the omnipotent voice from above.

What follows is gentle silliness, the madness of crowds, and all-round street theatre. They follow a leader (Jobie in a fool’s hat), play a “fun game” on the pedestrian walk using the bricked streetscape, gather on West Lawn, take photos, do the “human dart board” thing, play freeze tag, and then suffer a ridiculous relaxation exercise from Kevin, Steve’s eternally annoying sidekick.

It’s been a lot of fun studying the original IE experiment, walking out the structure of it on our campus, making some creative changes, and finally writing the script and producing the mp3. In doing so, I’ve learned how to use GarageBand, Apple’s sound machine software. Very cool. I had started to use Logic Express, their consumer-level pro sound software, but GarageBand was a lot easier to deal with and accomplished exactly what I needed to do. Logic can wait till later.

Just now, as I went to transmogrify the .m4a file that GarageBand saves to disk into an .mp3 file for general consumption, I discovered that I own a third pro sound software tool: Apple’s Soundtrack. I honestly didn’t know I had it. It must have been installed with Final Cut Express, the video editing software that I use a lot. It allows you to preview your video in a little window and create literally the soundtrack for that video. After you get the timing right (and it has all those little video timing things), then you import the soundtrack into your video file. Sounds right handy, if one’s main focus in life were doing that kind of thing.

Anyway, I was thinking I might score the Fool’s Errand myself, but clearly I was not thinking clearly. I had two pieces from my new age album, Stars on Snow, both the title work and a bagatelle called “Air Pudding,” but that wasn’t nearly enough, and I don’t know how I thought I was going to have the time actually to write 25 more minutes of music.

So I ended up using other people’s music, a nice melange of Ray Lynch, Tosca, and that fraud Constance Demby. I did use “Stars on Snow” as the relaxation bit.

It should be a lot of fun. I’m keeping my authorship a secret from the kids, so it will be fun to go and be a part of it and watch it unfold. I’ll post a report on how it went.

8 thoughts on “Fool’s errand

  1. Soundtrack sounds like it would have been perfect for our little homemade film project. Remember your fascination for JB’s “Buttocks thing?”

  2. See, there’s a reason why I get queasy every time I speak or hear that phrase. I felt quite gutsy using it in comment #1.

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