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Amish Landscape


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Description
This is from the soundtrack for a documentary I am producing, "Trafficking in Reality: Exploitation, Consent, and the Camera's Gaze." The film examines ethical issues involved in documentary filmmaking, and suggests that it is, to a certain degree, exploitive by nature.

This piece is for a section in the documentary that looks at the Amish and their religious beliefs against being photographed or filmed. They cite a biblical passage in Exodus that prohibits "making a graven image." Regardless, the Amish are routinely photographed by tourists, and filmed without their permission, and sometimes, without their knowledge.
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Song Stats
Hits: 3884
Comments: 35
Fans: 17
Plays: 124
Downloads: 206
Votes: 10
Uploaded: Jun 27, 2008 - 11:22:31 AM
Last Updated: Jun 27, 2008 - 11:34:14 AM Last Played: Jan 28, 2017 - 04:23:53 PM
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Creative Commons License:
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Hardware:
Privia PX-300
G5
Software:
GB
Comments
said 3436 days ago (June 27th, 2008)
2 years and 3 months since..
.. your latest post... this is quite long. Nice to see you back with such a soft piece. Very nice work indeed, I liked it and wish to hear more.

Take Care
- Yeman A. Al-Rawi
Tom Atwood said 3436 days ago (June 27th, 2008)
Thanks
Thanks Yemen. Yes, it has been a long dry spell. Glad you enjoyed the piece.
Check out my latest song called Vanishing Pezzicato
Bubowski said 3436 days ago (June 27th, 2008)
Nice to hear from you again!
Nice atmospheric sounds. I like the minimalist treatment and the blend of timbres - recording quality is pristene. I've missed you compositions (although I have your orchestral stuff in my main iTunes playlist), so it's great to have something new from you!

--Graham
Check out my latest song called Drumbeats off Jupiter
tmcfate said 3436 days ago (June 27th, 2008)
so nice
to get the mail that you have a new post. i want to download this and listen more. it isnt the find of piece that i can get with one listen. so nice to have something new from you
tim
Check out my latest song called All The Way Home
MidiOrleans said 3436 days ago (June 27th, 2008)
Special
Welcome back Tom! Your music sounds special as always.


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Tom Atwood said 3436 days ago (June 27th, 2008)
Old friends
I see there are still some familiar names around here. Thanks for stopping by you guys. I appreciate your comments, Graham, about the "pristine" recording. It has been so long since I used GarageBand I almost for got how to do it...
Check out my latest song called Vanishing Pezzicato
magnatone said 3436 days ago (June 27th, 2008)
Amish Lanscape
wow - this is hauntingly beautiful, thanks for the backstory. Gorgeous production!
Check out my latest song called Hallelujah (Leonard Cohen) and Variations
Tom Atwood said 3436 days ago (June 27th, 2008)
Nice to meet you
Thanks Karen. I'll be sure to check out your music.
Check out my latest song called Vanishing Pezzicato
Kori Arashi said 3436 days ago (June 27th, 2008)
Perfect Fit
This is nice especially the ending with the choir. It has an overwhelming feel to it and has a bit of a Sim City feel to it. I can see how this would fit with the Amish's faith :)
Check out my latest song called 8-Bit 80s (Demo)
said 3436 days ago (June 27th, 2008)
Up from the grave...
... he arose. Tom, so good to have a song from you again... and what a piece of music... the word song doesn't do this justice. Boy, this one reaches to the depths of the soul... a Gregorian chant of sorts for the modern man.

Thank you.
Tom Atwood said 3435 days ago (June 28th, 2008)
Not exactly a resurrection...
...but I am glad to be "back," Jack. Thanks for your kind words.
Check out my latest song called Vanishing Pezzicato
kassia said 3436 days ago (June 27th, 2008)
Landscape
This is haunting and so full and rich, even in its minimalism. You conveyed your thoughts perfectly and really painted a picture with this composition. I hope someday to be able to get such beautiful sounds out of GB. I'm fairly new here and found your older stuff while browsing through MacJams a few weeks ago and loved all of it. It's wonderful to hear something new from you and welcome back! Thanks for sharing this beautiful piece.
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Tom Atwood said 3435 days ago (June 28th, 2008)
Kassia
Thanks for stopping by--and thanks for listening to my old music, too. I appreciate it.
Check out my latest song called Vanishing Pezzicato
composerclark said 3435 days ago (June 28th, 2008)
This isn't "Weird Al" Yankovic's Amish Paradise...
Draws you in immediately. The repeated piano note gives a sense of unease, which is juxtaposed against the dreamy quality of the chords that immediately follow, creating an interesting tension. While the sampled choral bits sound nice, they felt to me to be possibly incongruous to the Amish context -- someone mentioned they evoke a quasi-Gregorian chant feel, which isn't a quality I associate with the Amish or their music. On the other hand, (a) it may be that most people wouldn't hear a quasi-chant quality here, and (b) I suspect that I would hear the music completely differently within the context of the documentary. The visual images and narration that you use would dramatically alter the way this music is received.

I hope you'll post a link to the documentary when it's done!

It's a real thrill to see you back here.
Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
Tom Atwood said 3435 days ago (June 28th, 2008)
Work in progress
Excellent comments, Clark. I had to Google Weird Al. Had never seen his Amish parody.

As you know, I am not a very disciplined composer. I think I was swept away by the drama of the stark, beautiful landscape of Arthur, Arcola, and Atwood, Illinois, where I am shooting part of this documentary. I agree with you that the "Gregorian chants" seem incongruous with the Amish, but I am hoping, as you mentioned, that within the context of the documentary (which is more about exploitation in filmmaking than the Amish), the voices will work. I have not begun editing yet. I am still shooting the doc and writing the music at this point. I plan to continue posting versions of the themes, and will continue to rely on you and others here for suggestions. I'm still shaking off the rust!

Thanks again for the careful listen, Clark, and for your thoughts from the cool, blue North.
Check out my latest song called Vanishing Pezzicato
Reinholt56 said 3435 days ago (June 28th, 2008)
A great start....
Hi Tom...

This sounds very good in the context of the documentary. I enjoyed the differing elements in the piece.

I look forward to more cinematic work from you and hope that your studies went well.

Take care.

Paul
Check out my latest song called The God of AI
Tom Atwood said 3435 days ago (June 28th, 2008)
Thanks Paul
This documentary is the final phase of my studies - it is a thesis project that is due in Mid-August. It has been interesting going back to school, but it made me feel very old...Thanks again for stopping by.
Check out my latest song called Vanishing Pezzicato
Tadashi Togawa said 3435 days ago (June 28th, 2008)
I sometimes read the novel of the writer in the United States.
I touch "Amish" for the first time then.

Wheel without rubber.
Life without electricity.

My imagination swells.
Music of wonderful invitation.

Check out my latest song called Mexican taste
Tom Atwood said 3435 days ago (June 28th, 2008)
Yes
You seem to have an accurate, poetic grasp of what it means to be Amish. Glad you enjoyed this piece, Tadashi.
Check out my latest song called Vanishing Pezzicato
WeAreNotPerfekt said 3435 days ago (June 28th, 2008)
Wow TOM!
Hi pal! Been missing you .. so great to see and hear you post! (if you're not familiar with The We Are Not Perfekt Band I should announce that this is Johannes Curry writing (or Cori Ander or why not LillNisse).. WeAreNotPerfekt is my live-band .. me an two other Swedish guys).

Very suggestive and catchy theme, well choosen sounds and well balanced mix. Worth many listenings (I'm on the third right now). Great nuances. I'd liked to have it longer though...
(straight tens :)
Check out my latest song called Björnarna Flödar
Tom Atwood said 3435 days ago (June 28th, 2008)
Hello Man of Many Names
Thanks for the 10's Curry, and for your comments. Thanks for the recent emails, too, re: Florida. I have found them to be very interesting reading, but have not responded because I have not followed the events there closely at all.

I'll check out your new band. Thanks again!
Check out my latest song called Vanishing Pezzicato
Feter said 3435 days ago (June 28th, 2008)
Amish Landscape
Very deep very thoughtful and it has alot of colors
startin with the tence piano notes into the choir
section ..very nice building to the scene through
the piece .wish to see the movie for sure and the
music with in .so happy to hear your music at last !
thnx alot for sharin this !!!!
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Tom Atwood said 3434 days ago (June 29th, 2008)
Thanks
Glad you enjoyed the colors, Feter. And thanks for the kind words.
Check out my latest song called Vanishing Pezzicato
Ed Hannifin said 3435 days ago (June 28th, 2008)
I'm heading this way, Tom...
I'm excited to see something new with your name on it...

I'm halfway through the latest WeAreNotPerfekt jam...

Ed
Check out my latest song called Chime (Alone) (Inspired by Particle Dots)
Ed Hannifin said 3435 days ago (June 28th, 2008)
This is the sort of recording...
...that takes very well to headphones... I've been listening with them on and with them off, and there is definitely a level of subtle texture that is more apparent on the phones...

Very much in the Tom Atwood 'American Fine Grain Minimal' tradition...

It's very good to hear your music here again, Tom.

Ed
Check out my latest song called Chime (Alone) (Inspired by Particle Dots)
Tom Atwood said 3434 days ago (June 29th, 2008)
American Fine Grain Minimalism
I guess I am the founder of the American Fine Grain Minimalism movement. Not many followers thus far!

Good to hear from you Ed. Another familiar "face." Thanks for listening.
Check out my latest song called Vanishing Pezzicato
said 3434 days ago (June 29th, 2008)
found myself singing
koyyyaaaannnnisqaaaatssssiiiiii

Liked it a lot. Thanks to Mysti for sending me to listen.

Would be interesting to hear and see the associated images

b
Tom Atwood said 3434 days ago (June 29th, 2008)
Translation
Funny, I always thought the word those guys are singing is Tiiiiimmmmoooooohhh! Thanks, b. Hey to Mysti.
Check out my latest song called Vanishing Pezzicato
Mystified said 3434 days ago (June 29th, 2008)
Hey to Tom ;)
Very nice composition--though I have to agree with composerClark re: the vocals. I wanted to hear a child's voice, or maybe a church choir sound....hmmm...
But that's only my opinion of course.

It's a lovely piece, in any case. Nice to hear something from you after the long 'dry spell.'

(PS--your turn to email!)
Check out my latest song called Child of Yesterday
Tom Atwood said 3434 days ago (June 29th, 2008)
Hey is for horses!
Hi there Mystified. Thanks for stopping by and for your comments. I am taking your words (and Clark's) to heart, and may post a reworked version of this, without the chanting voices. It remains to be seen if they work with the visuals of the documentary, but I think I may need a backup, in case it is incongruous.

I will email you soon, little Cat. It's been so long I forgot whose turn it was? Ardios for now.
Check out my latest song called Vanishing Pezzicato
Peter Greenstone said 3433 days ago (June 30th, 2008)
big sound
Tom, it's so good to hear something new from you again. The documentary subject is very interesting to me. I've watched a lot of them and it's always curious how the documentary process can take place without affecting it's subject, like a scientist trying to observe an electron's trajectory without changing it. Sometimes, particularly today in the age of "reality T.V., the exploitive nature of it is quite obvious, and other times it's so subtle and nuanced. Very interesting to make a documentary on the very subject.

The music sounds amazing to me with those delicate patterns you use woven into the lush pads. It has your distinct fingerprint on it and sets a strong, deep tone. It's beautiful and thought provoking without being obtrusive to the visual and narrative aspects that I can imagine in there.

Keep us informed as to the progress of the documentary. I'd be interested in seeing it when it's done.
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Tom Atwood said 3433 days ago (June 30th, 2008)
Greenman
Great to hear from you, Peter. Thanks for the comments. Hope all is going well for you, and that you are adjusting to wedded bliss.

The documentary is one I have been thinking about for a long time. The need for a project to complete my graduate degree was a good excuse to finally produce. I'll be sure to get you a link to the final version (or send you a DVD) when it is finished. I'm still composing the soundtrack, and plan to post themes here during the next few weeks. Right now, the first screening is scheduled for August 20 (gulp!) I'm attaching a description of the doc ("Trafficking in Reality") below:

Trafficking in Reality will explore the issues of consent, exploitation, and the representation of reality in documentary filmmaking. The central question raised in the documentary: is it possible to represent any person’s reality in a documentary project without exploiting that person to some degree?

In addition to reviewing previous well-known films like Frederick Wiseman’s Titicut Follies (1967), Robert Flaherty’s Nanook of the North (1922), and the more recent documentaries of Michael Moore and Ross McElwee, Trafficking in Reality will also take a self-reflexive look at my own documentary work since 2001.

In his book, Introduction to Documentary, Bill Nichols asks this question (in capital letters): “What Do We Do With People When We Make A Documentary?” The question I plan to ask of some of the subjects of my previous documentaries is a variation of Nichols’ question. In other words, “What did I do with them?” Did they feel like their reality was accurately represented? Do they now regret agreeing to be in the documentary? Were some exploited, even though they consented to participate?

Then, there is a deeper question, one that may be more difficult to answer, the question that Pilate asked Jesus in the Bible: What is truth? Can truth, or reality, ever be accurately represented in a documentary?

The Amish believe that being photographed is a sin, a violation of the biblical prohibition against “making a graven image” (Exodus 20:4). Can these “plain people,” who shun modern technology, offer answers to the questions raised in this documentary, questions about exploitation, truth and reality? And how can they do that in a documentary without consenting to be on camera? Trafficking in Reality hopes to tackle this postmodern dilemma with as much transparency as possible.

Production of Trafficking in Reality begins in May, 2008. The documentary is being produced as a thesis project for the Department of Mass Communications at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.


Check out my latest song called Vanishing Pezzicato
drakonis said 3432 days ago (July 1st, 2008)
Well well... welcome back!
So good to see you again, Tom! I am very intrigued by your (video) project here, and look forward to hearing how it turns out (or perhaps I can barter a copy from you with a couple of my recent DVD movies?)

As for this particular segment, the harp is a good intro for "beauty and innocence", nice gliss across the strings, but the high strings sound synthy (if that is your intent, perhaps you want to morph them over time to get even more synthy as you head into the "chants".) The choir sounds quite good, I thought, and creates a lightly ominous tension. The synth blips/percussion fit in nicely, and remind me a bit of your marimba(?) percussion in your American Plain CD a bit.

Very nice work, as I have come to expect from you :-) I hope we will see a bit more of you around again (sans blue rain poncho)!

ttfn,
Drakonis


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Henke said 3426 days ago (July 7th, 2008)
Nice stuff!
Tom, you were the second artist I listened to at MacJams, thanks to your colabs with Mystified. Soon after that you "disappeared", but I am glad you are back again, for this kind of music I like :-)

It's hard to say if it will work with the pictures you have in mind, but it is very emotional arousing stuff and would certainly enhance many kinds of films. Good luck with this project! I am looking forward to more of this!

/Henke
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kristyjo said 3420 days ago (July 13th, 2008)
Very nice-
I haven't been around much, either, as you can see by my late comment. If the doc was about 'The Amish', the voices would be incongruous. But since it's about the intrusiveness of documentary filming on people who are the subjects, it seems to fit very well, IMHO. It all has a really subtle feel, and no huge dynamic curve, which seems like it will fit its proposed use very well. glad to see you're around again. I'll have to check out your other new posts!
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I guess I could be a 'poster child' for MacJams. I joined the site on New Year's Eve 2004, after several years of not making much music at all. A long dry spell. Since then, I have posted more than 50 songs here, collaborated with some wonderful arti... [see more]

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