straight down the line

Moonlight Under Pressure

The “dramatic reading remix” assignment (3.5 pts) was interesting because I had to think hard about the lyrics to some of my favorite songs. I always thought dramatic readings of song lyrics was cheesy, but adding instrumental music underneath the reading made it sound natural and powerful. I decided to read the lyrics to Queen and David Bowie’s “Under Pressure,” because I love that song, and I think it has an important message. It was harder to come up with a song to go underneath the reading, though. Try as I might, I could not make the lyrics seem happy by putting an upbeat song underneath. It sounded wrong because the music didn’t line up with the pace of my speaking. Instead of forcing a good mood on the reading, I chose Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata” to accompany my reading. I love classical music, so it was easy for me to browse my iPod for a slow song like this one. The Moonlight Sonata worked perfectly with the pace of my reading, and added a melancholy touch to it. Here is the result:

I used Audacity to record my voice and mix the sounds together, then faded out the sonata at the end. While “Under Pressure” is an upbeat song, this makes it seem depressing, like the world has ended due to the lack of love. While this is what the lyrics say, the mood in the original song was hopeful. Adding the sonata drew attention to the darker motif of the lyrics in a very compelling and powerful way. While recording myself, I found it difficult to read a repeated line dramatically because it seemed silly to repeat myself over and over. However, it works well with the other song because it seems like it was repeated for dramatic effect. Additionally, I had to do my dramatic reading when my roommate was out of the room because I felt weird having her there listening to my dramatic reading. I ended up recording myself at around one in the morning after she left for the weekend. While I still love both of these songs, I think they work wonderfully together! Perhaps 1801 and 1981 are not such different time periods after all.

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