TWO ORIGINAL MUSIC VIDEOS | "Rather Pay Heaven" & "WhatTkUSoLng" [#001]

in art

Two original music videos

"Rather Pay Heaven"
"WhatTkUSoLong [#001]

by @d-pend

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Greetings, bearers of sentience. You may have noticed that my posts are more scarce these days. Yet it is not due to lack of self-employment—to the contrary. I am putting more time, effort, and energy into my work than ever. It is, instead, that by the time I have concluded a project in my typically hyperfocused-marathon fashion, I am wholly exhausted of staring at the infernal screen which I unfortunately must use to catalyze said creations, and at that point highly desirous of some technological detoxing. At which point, I typically shut off the screen and do some analog reading of authors either living, or immortalized by their scribery.

By the next day, I am ready to engage the next step of the manifestory blueprint, and spending one or two hours formulating a blog post on the already-finished work usually feels like a snare in the momentary (momentum-ous?) trek. However, if I neglect to do so entirely, no one is even aware of what I am doing (for all they know I am binging on Sour Craft Beers Somewhere in Australia) and they are unable to interface with the process, causing me to feel somewhat unhealthily isolated. I'm always striving towards a better balance in the pursuit of prolifia and groundedly-personable-humanhood both. And I must thank you, dear reader, for helping me with your wonderful input over the months and years in that regard. But, I digress from the main thrust of this article—my fledgling experiments with visualization of audio, and more recently, my re-delving into the monolithic beast that is modern FL Studio 20.

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Main notes

In noting the obstacles stated above in terms of logistics, I determined to combine both of these video experiments into one blog post, though they were separated by about a week and are quite different in many ways.

Video #1: "Rather Pay Heaven"

The first, "Rather Pay Heaven," is a tastefully sloppy vocal/groove "sprout" as I call it (a rough, unfinished idea for possible future extrapolation.) It was created in Garageband in my usual organic/manual fashion—recording all the parts on my Yamaha Montage by hand, employing no type of quantization to correct timings, but using multiple takes until I arrive at the desired result. The vocals were recorded with a Blue Yeti USB microphone.

The visual aspect was created in rather minimal fashion using some iPhone 8+ footage of the woods near the creek in my neighborhood. This footage is layered with its inverted manifestation using Final Cut Pro wizardry, and has some minimal effects added as well. It is, however, presented in basically linear temporal format, though slowed to 89% to match the audio's length.

Overall, I considered this video a fair success, though perhaps a bit random/underwhelming visually. When performing every step of the creative process myself with a priority on generating a somewhat large amount of "completed/published" content, there are significant limitations to how much intensity of detail can go into each aspect of the project. Yes, that is a downside of this style of all-in-one creative approach, but it is I path I feel strongly I must pursue.

The goal is to learn video editing from scratch, through pure experiential rigor. That process, of course, will be empotentized by reading, watching video tutorials, and continually reflecting upon past projects. I am currently about 2 weeks into practicing video editing near-daily. If you want to be in sync with my learning process in real-time, please subscribe to my YouTube channel and click the bell icon so you will receive notifications when I publish new videos. Also, please leave any feedback you feel called to share with me with regards to the relative success or failure you perceive in any given experiment, either on this blog post, or in a YouTube comment, or both.

(An emphatic shout-out to @quillfire for giving some EXCELLENT feedback the other day regarding my semi-related endeavor of making videos to accompany spoken poetry. I haven't forgotten; and I shall respond in full to all remarks. Thank-you's are also due to all of those who leave brief encouraging remarks. I appreciate you all!)

Video #2: "WhatTkUSoLng [#001]"

The second video is a radical departure from my current comfort zone of audio creation. Instead of using the minimalistic and ultimately very limited Garageband, I began re-learning the use of powerful FL Studio, now finally available for use on Mac. This is the first DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) program I ever used to create electronic music at the age of 15 years old onward: however, it has changed and upgraded A LOT in the nearly 10 years since I used it consistently. So, it's the re-learning a whole new workflow.

Therefore, I just created something rather "minimal" to dip my toes back in the swimming hole, so to speak. I was learning the basics of the Harmor Additive Synthesis Plugin while making this. All notes were inputted into the Piano Roll by clicking, so I did not lay hands on a musical keyboard. I added no percussion, and turned the piece into a sort of "noise ambience" experiment (which I found to be somewhat of a failure musically, though providing at least a minimum of material for the visual side of things.)

The video was the most technically involved of mine yet, whose visual aspect was created by screen recording the visualization of Harmor synth output, creating an amalgamation of this in the proper aspect ratio, and applying perspective-tiling/kaleidescope processing to create a sort of geometric mandala effect synchronized with the music.

I was relatively happy with the finished product, though there is a certain overbusiness to the visuals (and actually, the music, as well) during the first minute and a half of the piece, until the main melody begins around the 1:30 mark. (Ah, noise-ambience, that little-appreciated genre.)The process used in generating these visuals, however, signifies a MAJOR epiphany for me personally with regards to this long-term experiment of mine, which makes me very excited for things to come.


Both of these videos I would categorize as rather middling overall, if not somewhat below average in quality. What can an amateur expect in any newly embraced creative medium? The important part is that I am highly engaged, absorbing near-overwhelming quantities of data on a daily basis, creating and resting consistently, and maintaining a laser-pointed focus on the longer-term goal: that of becoming a full-time self-sustaining artist capable of interfacing with an ever-expanding network of other conscious creators. I am determined to accomplish this regardless of the inevitable obstacles and despite whatever unlikely odds exist in achieving such a goal. "In the fullness of time" we all eventually actualize the pinnacle of That Which We Truly Are, whose timing directly corresponds to the precise intersection of Universe-inherently-interlinked-microcosmic-entity-unfolding-Serendipity and Egoic-efforting-propitious-devotional-Fruition.


Foremost in the law that governs
the ever-ongoing process
of Creative Evolution forever remains:

Thou shalt create.


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Writing, videos,
audio and images
by @d-pend,
published to the STEEM blockchain
this 15th of February, 2019.

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I am well aware of how precious our Time is. Therefore, for those of whom watching a 2-minute video is too much to ask (and for the general viewing pleasure of those who wish to contemplate a few select geometric forms present in "WhatTkUSoLng" with increased contrast and saturation) I will end this blog entry with some still screenshots of that video experiment. Perhaps, they will say more wordlessly, anyway, than if one was to read this post in its verbose-yet-still-lacking-entirety.

In gratitude and love,
Dan Pendergraft

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The visual of both videos are hypnotic. The scores evoke intrigue and a slightly skewed sensation. I especially like the kaleidoscope effects of the second video.

  ·  작년

Thanks for the feedback! I'm glad to hear you like the kaleidoscopic effects—I've just discovered some MAJOR ways to make that sort of thing with MUCH greater variety and higher quality. In short, it's a audio-visualization in FL Studio.

There are so many options, though, that it's pretty overwhelming! Anyway, thanks for checking out my videos :-)

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Apologies in advance for the spam. This is an automated comment to reduce the voting power of @fulltimegeek, a flat earth retard who is flagging reputable users like @themadcurator, @themarkymark and myself because he's a whiny little bitch who is throwing a hissy fit.

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Thank you for your attention.

Extraordinary display of creativity, @d-pend. The images are amazing, they fascinate me. I won't comment on the videos yet because I want to experience them, rather than watch them.
After delighting myself with the videos, I must express that both are well accomplished in view of the artist's intention. The first one poses an externalized vision, overwhelming and vertiginous at the same time. Nevertheless, it creates the illusion of going through that space of forest looking upwards, as if looking for a guide, a sign not to feel lost. It gives the impression of running in circles, without finding a way out.
The second video offers an interiorized vision, a penetration into a hallucinatory and beautiful microcosm that captures not only the gaze, but some area of the brain that seeks to unravel mysteries.


The law of creative evolution has been ignored by so many for whatever reason think we can't create. No skill and no time. Actually I'm just about to go get some Craft Beer and watch you tube videos. Do you want to join me?

Seriously there is a drought in creativity. With so many creators on youtube most people are still media consumers. I look at the technically quality of the trending videos on youtube and think I can't get even close to what these people are doing. Two guys do a color pancake challenge and have 22 million views the next day. The masters of media are like magicians and pied pipers of the masses.

For years I avoided creating anything because it wasn't my job and I didn't have time. I would have gone my whole life just doing my job but there is more to each individual person and you expressed this on video.

Mostly I avoided sharing on the internet. This is an annoying way to communicate a filled with peeps and creeps. The more I reveal of myself the more spam I get. So then I need peep and creep cleaners. Telepathy would be very useful, or at least some organic interface other than a blinding LCD, but the most beautiful and tasty fruits come when they are grown under constraints.

Part of your art contains universal human soul. That's why I follow you. I follow the law of create but most of it will not be documented on line. In is documented in my kid's hearts and in their journals. I give glory to the One Creator.

Please register your youtube channel as a creator on Decentralized Brave Browser so we can support you.

Congratulations! Your post has been selected as a daily Steemit truffle! It is listed on rank 20 of all contributions awarded today. You can find the TOP DAILY TRUFFLE PICKS HERE.

I upvoted your contribution because to my mind your post is at least 4 SBD worth and should receive 253 votes. It's now up to the lovely Steemit community to make this come true.

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Greetings, bearers of sentience.

Dan sets a high bar for his audience. :-)

OK ... "I'd Rather Pay Heaven."

"There will be Hell to pay, but I'd rather pay Heaven.

That's a good line for a poem or lyric for a full-fledged song.

The visuals: You're playing to learn, good. Some "funky ass shit," none of which I have any idea how you achieved despite the explanation (I struggle to turn on a cell phone, so consider the source).

As a continuation of our earlier discussion about combining "all the elements," I want you to watch a commercial (towards the end). I consider this an Artistic Masterpiece on so many levels I struggle to know where to begin.

Firstly: The music. Never in a million years would almost anyone listen to this music, in isolation, and think, "Yeah, that what I need for this commercial." And yet, some artistic genius did.

What emotion does the music, by itself, elicit? I find it very ... poignant. And doesn't it sound like it's "telling a story?" I keep listening for the words.

Listen to the background instruments. Notice they DO NOT compete with the violin that is "telling the story." The violin has "Voice" and is foregrounded. Nevertheless, the supporting instruments create incredible context, force-multiplying the effect of the Figure.

I call this the Master-Slave Relationship. Even though "balance of the elements" must be achieved, that does not mean all the elements are "equal." One stimuli MUST be the Master (the bearer of meaning) while the Slaves reinforce it.

I am awed by how well the musician pulled off this balancing feat.

Secondly: The visuals. I'm awestruck. DOW Chemical spent a fortune obtaining them, sending photographers and videographers around the world to obtain them. Money well spent.

Note that there is very little motion, and what little there is, is in slow motion. Movement is extremely attention-getting and can easily steal your audience's focus.

Notice also the Figure/Ground Relationships in the clips. "Minimal stimuli backgrounds" ensuring that the eye gravitates to the Figure, the center of meaning. Note also how the visuals, sporadically, "literally reflect" the words being spoken. The visuals periodically fuse with the verbal ensuring that all the elements remain coherent.

Thirdly: The words. Is this Free Verse or Poetic Prose? Who knows, but whoever wrote them knew a lot about poetry.

Notice, the prosody of recitation is not hyperbolic. Not verbal theatrics. This allows the words, and their meaning, to stand on their own.

Fourthly: The Combined Elements. Whoever edited all this together was a creative genius.

The words are the Master for in them resides the highest concentration of meaning. And yet, all the other elements, comprising the Ground, MASSIVELY force-multiply the effect of the Figure. And hence, they massively force-multiply the "meaning."

I have watched this commercial probably 300 times, studying every element individually, and it's effect upon the whole. I suggest you do the same (perhaps 15-20 times would suffice). :-)

Random Thoughts:

  • One of the things that highly skilled artists struggle with is "simplicity." Because we can do "so much," we do. This, inevitably, is a mistake because it distracts from the Figure. Some of the most beloved songs in history require no more than 3 or 4 simple chords.

  • Artists are by their very nature, showoffs. We are performers and hence we wish to perform. Chess analogy ... Constraints. The Power of Poetry is in saying a simple thing, beautifully. If done correctly, the thing said will become an "insight" and insights require the Active Participation of the audience's minds. The poet leads the horse to water ... but the horse decide to drink. This last part is incredibly important ... the audience has to invest in the "meaning-making endeavor." And, if they invest, they take part ownership of the effect. "Mine" is a powerful psychological phenomenon.

Here's the poem that first got me interested in poetry some 30 years ago. I've been meaning to do a post on it since I signed up on Steemit. Soon. Incidentally, I would have written parts of it slightly differently but, obviously, it still had its intended effect.

The Calf's Path: (by Sam Foss)

One day through the primeval wood,
A calf walked home as good calves should,
But made a trail all bent askew,
A crooked trail as all calves do.

Since then three hundred years have fled,
And I infer the calf is dead,
But still he left behind his trail,
And thereby hangs my moral tale.

The trail was taken up next day,
By a lone dog that passed that way,
And then a wise bell-wether sheep,
Pursued the trail o’er vale and steep.

And drew the flock behind him, too,
As good bell-wethers always do,
And from that day, o’er hill and glade,
Through those old woods a path was made.

And many men wound in and out,
And dodged, and turned, and bent about,
And uttered words of righteous wrath,
Because ‘twas such a crooked path.

But still they followed—do not laugh—
The first migrations of that calf,
And through this winding wood-way stalked,
Because he wobbled when he walked.

This forest path became a lane,
That bent and turned and turned again.

This crooked lane became a road,
Where many a poor horse with his load,
Toiled on beneath the burning sun,
And traveled some three miles in one.

And thus a century and a half,
They trod the footsteps of that calf,
The years passed on in swiftness fleet,
The road became a village street.

And this, before men were aware,
A city’s crowded thoroughfare,
And soon the central street was this,
Of a renowned metropolis.

And men two centuries and a half,
Trod in the footsteps of that calf,
Each day a hundred thousand rout,
Followed the zigzag calf about.

And o’er his crooked journey went,
The traffic of a continent,
A Hundred thousand men were led,
By one calf near three centuries dead.

They followed still his crooked way,
And lost one hundred years a day,
For thus such reverence is lent,
To well established precedent,

A moral lesson this might teach,
Were I ordained and called to preach,
For men are prone to go it blind,
Along the calf-paths of the mind.

And work away from sun to sun,
To do what other men have done,
They follow in the beaten track,
And out and in, and forth and back.

And still their devious course pursue,
To keep the path that others do,
They keep the path a sacred groove,
Along which all their lives they move.

But how the wise old wood gods laugh,
Who saw the first primeval calf.

Ah, many things this tale might teach—
But I am not ordained to preach.

Interestingly, it says something about me that I would find this poem so compelling, doesn't it? My guess is that you would find it compelling for the same reasons.


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Hello @d-pend, thank you for sharing this creative work! We just stopped by to say that you've been upvoted by the @creativecrypto magazine. The Creative Crypto is all about art on the blockchain and learning from creatives like you. Looking forward to crossing paths again soon. Steem on!