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Posts posted by KVG_DC

  1. Also, the inclusion of SCV does sort of stand out...

    I have no idea what's fueling any new corps formation but I've noticed a general uptick in non-profit organizations in the past few years. Perhaps the economy is improving enough that people are giving to things a bit more freely again and other investment based returns are generations the capital to put toward moving forward with such things?

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  2. Which leads to the question of how many people do investigate the source material for shows. It's something I've always done since being a band kid. Heck I even hunted down the source music for rival bands' shows in high school just...because. I'm a bit of a geek that way.

    My take on concept design (which I would distinguish from visual design, which communicates the concept or performance, which conveys the communication) is that good art will tell you a story...but great art will also let you tell yourself a story. So I've always been interested in source material research. I guess I'm a bit of a dramaturg. And while I probably do read more into a show than those conceiving it might intend, as mentioned above, that's what great art does.

    I tend not to pontificate on what I observe in a show if only because 1) I might be over reading a show, and 2) it's something that seems so natural to my approach to reading a show that...it somewhat surprises me that others don't catch things.

    I've become aware of this in this season having joined DCP and read a few comments of people who "don't get" what the Blue Devils are doing with Felliniesque. Having seen some Fellini films and then scouting around the internet after seeing their show in Ft. Wayne, I was able to identify their elements and influences and gain a whole new read on the show as a tribute to Fellini's vision of what filmmaking is and can be.

    The Blue Devils and Boston's Animal Farm seem to me to be rather apparent ties to concept design based on what I either already know or was able to suss out with some internet searching on source material and influences. Oregon Crusaders' Nevermore and all the Poe/Raven references is another one. Also the Colts using the now fairly well known (at least in my generation) Dark Side of the Moon and an alternate soundtrack to Wizard of Oz to build their show.

    The Bluecoats show sent me looking for the source music, which is great stuff by the way, and I have a hunch of what unifies their show beyond a simple meme theme of "tilting things." But I suspect my hunch is more in the realm of "a story I'm telling myself" than something intentional and obviously built into the design.

    My first thought at the name TILT and the triangles was that of pinball flippers. But the triangles aren't used that way visually and other than perhaps the jumpers (now singular jumper) there's no hint of a pinball.

    Discovering the lyrics to Hymn of Acxiom was a lightbulb in my head as Vienna Teng both understands the human desire to "be known" and the rather unsettling effect of "big data" collecting every little bit of information we leave when using technology. So there's a balance of both the positive and negative effects of the use of technology in her Hymn.

    Uffe's woodshop opens that show with a driving "knock knock knock" invoking things being made by hand. The original by Braxton really sounds like an continuous woodblock hit.

    The show closes with that huge pitch bend which blends the technology of a synth with traditional brass sound in a way that has many people saying, "That's how synth and electronics can be used right."

    My brain builds a link between these elements that reads Bluecoats' concept design as a commentary and example that DCI's permission of technology (mics, amps, props, etc.) are tilting drum corps in new directions. This can be both exciting and unsettling...but, if done right, it has an amazing effect. Which is what they show in the end.

    Again, I'm probably over-reading the Bluecoats' concept design, but it's a nice story (to me) that I've been able to tell myself based on reflecting on the source material.

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  3. The Blue Knights obviously have one of the most emotional shows out there. It's paying off in spades for them as their scores keep rising.

    They could pull a finals night switch on their show with a few tweaks that would, at the very least, leave the crowd in more tears if not create a baby throwing moment.

    The show is clearly "That one second" before you die when your life flashes before your eyes. But a number of people here and there have remarked that "That one second" that changes your life might be any second...and particularly your drum corps experience. At least one person I read here said it'd be the kind of show they'd love to march for their age out year.

    So...leave the show basically as it is, but tweak the narration to be about "That one second before you march in finals, a whole season flashes before your eyes." Stuff the guard does around the table can be likened to making new friends on the road. They could do a section about leaving parents and parents' pride. They could make the grandmother an old woman who still has her favorite rifle from yesteryear watching a new generation march before her. They could switch the pictures on the front drops to moments in the season and tour, or even homages to past BK years, etc.

    Then, if they really wanted to pull the heartstrings, instead of a flat march off, have those not aging out congratulate those who are aging out with hugs, high fives, etc. and take their equipment and walk off. When they're fairly clear. Those who are aging out come together and walk off hand in hand.

    At the least, it'd bring alumni who've marched before to a very emotional moment. Whether it would bounce their GE score or not, who knows...who cares at that point. The fans would talk about that moment for a long long time. And...you might have kids seeing this saying, "That's what I want from a corps experience. I still love _______ but I'm gonna audition for BK next time too."

  4. All said, I like the originality of this show. I wish it were being performed with more clarity (cleaning will get it there) but I'm not sure where the ceiling is for this group.

    This year has such a diversity of shows and Boston's is the leader of the 'cerebral, dark, intense' style. It appeals to me this year because it stands out as a different direction for show design. There's a lot of shows this year that could be 'signposts' for where shows could go in the next few seasons and all of these signposts are, quite frankly, exciting in their own way. Which makes it hard to adjudge them side by side sometimes.

    At the end of the day, I watch DCI to be entertained and find myself being entertained in a wide variety of ways. Boston's show achieves this for me and wherever they end up on the scoresheets, it's a successful year in my view.