3PoC

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About 3PoC

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    DCP Veteran

Profile Information

  • Your Drum Corps Experience
    3 years with Pride of Cincinnati 81-83 (pit-snare-snare)
  • Your Favorite Corps
    Bluecoats, SCV
  • Your Favorite All Time Corps Performance (Any)
    Bridgemen 82
  • Your Favorite Drum Corps Season
    1981
  1. Bloo either 1st, 2nd, 3rd, or 4th in GE depending on the ordinal.
  2. To objectively judge the type of theatrical dance Bluecoats are doing this year would require a fair degree of training in theater and dance idioms, while the type of body visuals that Crown (and nearly everyone else) employs or the visuals with some dance elements that BD uses can be evaluated more easily by judges with a traditional DCI skill set. Crown-like body shapes and poses generate their effect mainly though ensemble visual - knee pops/bug squishing etc... while theatrical dance generates effect by conveying character, style, personality, storyline/thematic development etc... Perhaps coats designers stepped out too far by putting so many of the dance segments in blocks that beg the judges to evaluate them for ensemble visual execution and diluting the effect generated by the character/stylistic aspect. There is definitely high exposure to variance in the way they are presenting their movement. Comparing judge response this year to last though, I think it's fair to question whether the judges have perhaps decided to take a harder line on the execution side with regards to the general effect of this type of movement.
  3. Agreed. Particularly starting with last years show (though foreshadowed by the closing section of 2009 - Imagine), Bluecoats have been moving in the direction of personifying the performers as individuals with human expressions and emotions as a form of performer/audience connection and engagement in an activity where the historic bias is toward maximum uniformity with a military-like performer countenance and discipline. Not that this is a brand new development in DCI, in fact, in my day (early 80's) corps like Bridgemen, Scouts, and others would often let their performers emote as individuals to great fan appreciation (perhaps more so than judge appreciation). It seems that in the Cadets/Star/ Cavies era that the pendulum swung further toward the machine like visual uniformity aesthetic but now it's headed the other way (the success of hatless/jacketless Down Side Up giving a big boost to that movement). It does pose issues with judges as they are better equipped to evaluate the effects of uniformity than theatrical individuality. In the 80's, Bridgemen and Scouts always seemed to connect much better with audiences than with the sheets. This years show is even further ahead of the pendulum swing and parts of it are nearly uncleanable in a traditional sense because of it. The key is that audiences love what they are doing so DCI will have to decide how to put appropriate numbers to this type of presentation if they want their corps' to connect with audiences in this way.
  4. A good corps design is like good architecture or feng shui. A well designed space where the elements are in harmony is enjoyable to hang out in regardless of the theories of it's creators. A student of architecture might enjoy pointing out details like pattern language, form language, utilitarianism, color theory, geometric ratios etc... and admire the thought that went into creating the space, but no intellectual analysis will make an awkward space more attractive to experience. It's apparent that the designers of Jagged Line put a lot of thought into every detail and design choice in order for the elements of the show to have a cohesive and engaging aesthetic motivation from beginning to end, but as with good architecture, no knowledge of their detailed design concepts are needed to enjoy the end result.
  5. I was in that audience! Your post reminded me of the craziest finale I can remember (also in Montreal) - the infamous 1982 SCV Bottle Dance reprise that drove the crowd so wild that the horns couldn't hear themselves and ended up with about a one second phase from side to side.
  6. I did emphasize that "The best part" referring to the design "imo is that you can not care a whit about thematic construction and still throw babies at a great cohesive show featuring incredible performances of great songs!". I was trying to say that I thought the show was effectively designed in such a way that it could be accessible and exciting to the "higher, faster, louder!" old school type corps fan because of it's music book, and yet still have a compelling concept motivating the action on the field for the more studious types of fans to enjoy. Some shows find difficulty keeping both of those type of fans engaged..
  7. I hesitate to post this in this thread as I'm not going to argue scores and I'm not going to cut on any other corps here. I'm just going to make a case for the depth of Bluecoats show design for some of you who think it is just a fluff show or inferior retread. I will offer just my opinion that it is a much more difficult visual and musical book than last year, but in a year where GE and analysis judges seem to be weighing execution more heavily than content, any argument should be about DCI priorities and not nitpicking the other shows that are scoring better. Anyway, follow on if you have a moment (I do have an extensive professional background in this type of thing)... 3PoC's totally overly verbose analysis of A Jagged Line from a design perspective: Firstly, it's a MUSIC show. For all of the "'coats are so pushing the envelope" talk, musically they are playing actual full movements of songs like we did back in my DCI days, including a drum break that is it's own complete musical movement just like we did every year I marched. Anybody here remember Stone Ground 7, Devil Went Down to Georgia, Black Market Juggler, New Country etc...? One Study/One Summary is very much in that lineage. The music book, from beginning to end, makes sense together - adventurous contemporary music with progressive metric and polyrhythmic motifs and strong melodic elements. It's a coherent playlist that is of a kind. So what kind of music is it really? Well, it is clear that the designers, because of the irregularity of the rhythms, the way many of the melodic themes jump around in pitch and are bounced around, often in a hocket style from instrument to instrument. decided to go with the adjective jagged. The idea of "jagged" is inherent in nearly every phrase of the music book and it's simple word with a clear visual associations, I believe the designers likely already knew they wanted to further explore a few significant developments they made over their past few years, particularly; a backstage type area so that performers could exit/enter view to highlight and focus on what they wanted to feature; motion on the x,y and z axes; surround sound design; full ensemble dance and emphasis on personalizing the performers. They took basic extensions of the idea of "jagged" such as zig-zag, back and forth/side to side, leaving and coming back, contrast, black and white, high and low etc... and put it all together to make a show that you can totally enjoy even with no attention paid to deeper underlying thematic concepts, But they are there. Let's look at some of the significant thematic implementations: The big center stage - well obviously it's a massive jagged line, but it also creates two fields - a here and there, a front and back, and a down and up. The show starts with an individual with a trumpet slowly going up and back with the words "Leaving on a train, don't know when I'll be back again" playing, and ends with a phalanx of low brass rapidly back down and forward as the music returns "home" to the main opening theme. They also return to using both sides of the field evenly as well as to a reprise of the signature move of the show, the fast side to side run that sums up the to and fro idea (and just looks cool). In between the leaving and the coming back bookends, the group journeys far backfield on side 1 where, beginning with innocence (notice the children's choir sample in the intro) they grow til tall, then during One Study/One Summary they make their way, starting with exuberance and near the end collapsing as they form a huge arrow pointing to the opposite side downfield, yet they rise in the end to triumphantly conquer the Zomby Woof in style on side 2. The center prop frames the scenes in the (imo wonderfully understated and unobtrusive yet effective) narrative. The Ballad - Why are they going away from us? They are on a journey far away. They were just in your face a moment ago blasting the end of the opener. now they want a jaggedy close/far contrast and to move the narrative away to a far off place where they will experience growth from the journey. The classic hero archetype in literature always has a Yoda part where the hero gains wisdom and strength in a place far from home before they can take on the Vader (or Zomby Woof) character. Why mic them backfield and have the sound come out of speakers on the opposite side? Apart from trying to capture the sound design of the source material which brilliantly dissolves into ambient cacophony with the distant drumming and shimmering and nearly distorting reverberations, they are also going for a spatial displacement effect where the sound literally zig-zags across the field. Narratively, I'm left to use my imagination on what this represents so I like to imagine that it's like a disturbance in the force type thing that perhaps rouses and foreshadows the Zomby Woof movement since that side is where that scene will soon take place. I dunno, may be wrong but it works for me! I've read other interesting interpretations as well. The best song lyrics almost always leave enough to the imagination to me let me find my own meaning. Color scheme and costuming - most obviously, black and white are contrasting opposites like many others in the show, but I get a distinct black&white silent movie vibe, particularly with the Charlie Chaplin character The Little Tramp. The Fosse movement vocabulary is pretty apparent but some folks don't realize that the bowler hat and cane Fosse character was his modernized version the Chaplin character, whom Fosse admired greatly. So I see the performers as variations of the tramp character, a good-hearted vagrant or vagabond type who wanders to and fro(!) getting into antics and surviving on charm, cunning and grit. But why Chaplin via Fosse for a show with such contemporary music? Well, I'm gonna suggest that it is precisely because of that contrast - old/new, In drum corps terms, this is an old-school format musical product with modern music, wrapped in a new school "theme" which is premised on very old school entertainment vocabulary. That's a pretty jagged (time)line. Again, I'm not gonna argue scores about this show, but I will argue it has depth of content (including incredible performance demand) that is pretty apparent if you look. The best part imo is that you can not care a whit about thematic construction and still throw babies at a great cohesive show featuring incredible performances of great songs! In that sense I guess it is a lot like Down Side Up. And that's a good thing. Peace! P.S. Your favorite corps is pretty awesome too! Don't let competition ruin your appreciation of the corps your fave is battling. In 2 weeks this will all be history. Savor them all!
  8. Sorry I'm late - I hope I can still play! 31 July – Charleston Phantom Regiment – 85.70 Blue Knights – 85.40 Mandarins – 81.60 The Academy – 79.60 Troopers – 78.30 Genesis – 72.30 31 July – Dublin Bluecoats – 91.85 Crossmen – 84.50 Blue Stars – 84.40 Colts – 77.65 Pacific Crest – 75.00 Oregon Crusaders – 74.60 Seattle Cascades – 72.10 31 July – Salem Carolina Crown – 92.75 Boston Crusaders – 89.10 Madison Scouts – 82.00 Spirit of Atlanta – 76.60 Jersey Surf – 68.50 Pioneer – 65.00 1 August – Annapolis Blue Devils – 94.65 The Cadets – 89.20 Madison Scouts – 82.30 The Academy – 80.10 Spirit of Atlanta – 77.15 Jersey Surf – 68.70 Pioneer – 65.10 1 August – Centerville The Cavaliers – 90.80 Blue Stars – 84.75 Mandarins – 82.00 Troopers – 78.70 Colts – 78.10 Pacific Crest – 75.40 Oregon Crusaders – 75.05 Genesis – 73.40 Seattle Cascades – 72.35
  9. Some folks said things like that about the Bridgemen. DCI needs at least some funk somewhere.
  10. Saturday, July 29 DCI Southeastern Championship - Powder Springs, GA Blue Devils 93.5 Santa Clara Vanguard - 93.35 Bluecoats - 91.60 Carolina Crown - 91.50 The Cavaliers - 89.60 The Cadets - 87.20 Phantom Regiment - 85.75 Blue Knights - 85.30 Blue Stars - 83.70 The Academy - 77.75 Spirit of Atlanta - 74.50 Oregon Crusaders - 73.85 Pacific Crest - 73.60 Genesis - 71.80 Seattle Cascades - 71.10 Jersey Surf - 68.20 Pioneer - 63.30
  11. Today's younger generations have been immersed in post-modern culture most of their lives - particularly when it comes to music and visual aesthetics. Think of vj's, dj's, hip-hop producers (let alone internet culture) and the creative remixing of small but signifying bits from anywhere into a new creative form that largely disregards the intent of the originators of those bits. The younger you are, the less likely you are to find this aesthetic jarring or un-natural. Many of the older folks would just like to remind the whippersnappers to not entirely abandon the beauty of longer, more fully developed thoughts in musical expression.
  12. The chopping of arrangements is an attempt to hold the attention of short attention span general audiences (and keep the GE on rapid fire for judges) by cutting out the spaces between the big moments and impacts. Not because they are trying to be artsy (with some exceptions). Some groups I think are still doing well with staying true to longer, more coherent stretches of the original material (Bloo's opener and closer, BD's ballad for example). Hopefully the success of these efforts will encourage more fully developed musical phrases and arrangements in the future.
  13. 2017 rep also includes music from Zappa, Beck, Radiohead, Thank You Scientist, Snarky Puppy, Bjork etc... One of last years big highlights was a Pink Floyd tune. Most of these groups would still be considered too artsy for today's general public.
  14. Yet, in 2017 the activity leading Blue Devils are playing a ballad this year that was produced by Quincy Jones and nobody is doing Cage (Though I would probably enjoy that myself).
  15. And yet you are advocating corps' go further in that direction to entertain the masses? Should they abandon jazz and classical rep etc... as well because they are too elite for the tastes of Bubba Q. Public?