22 November, 2007

Seeming Redundancy

Purple Violets is an indie film that has recently made its debut on iTunes. It's about writers and love. Wow, really original, right? Well, sort of. I haven't actually seen the movie, because I've been too busy listening to the soundtrack and puzzling out the title.

According to Wiki, the title isn't actually redundant. Purple is defined as any color in the space between red and blue, whereas violet is a spectral color with its own wavelength. All of this stuff is mind-blowing to me, because I've never thought of a science of color. I suppose there could really be a science of anything.

Applying that subtle science of color to the Purple Violets soundtrack, my first feeling is kind of pink-orange followed by a soft change to blue. This sunset effect is produced by melting the sounds of The Kings of Convenience with Calexico and Iron & Wine. "Misread" is sort of sleepily energetic (is that an oxymoron? I think not) and it's followed by "He Lays In the Reins" which feels like the ocean on a warm night. Mmmm, this is lullaby territory.

The Drive-By Truckers bring it all back home, but also make me a little blue. Not the soft blue of "He Lays in the Reins", but a sharper, colder blue. Have you ever looked at the stars in the mountains? It's that feeling of being completely lost in the world that the Drive-By Truckers achieve. Then the Blue Jackets whisper about memories over stark, almost Blue-man group beats, and I feel a little warmer.

The Doves and the Magic Numbers bring us back to the daytime, by painting a silky sunrise of yellows and oranges. You don't need to wear your rose-colored glasses when you're listening to these songs. "No Satisfaction" by Black Mountains is absolute, golden, mid-day joy. I love the rattling blues that sounds like corn husks in the wind. The Blue Jackets make another appearance with "Way Back Home" which is a veritable rainbow of sound, jangly and sweet.

Gomez and kBRANDOW drive you into the dusky afternoon. Those blue-green, bruisey shadows of the early afternoon fill the empty space in "Sound of Sounds" and "Lost". These songs are chill, with an almost free-jazz composition. They're also a little earthy: subdued and elegant.

"Everything is Talking" by the Long Winters reminds me of dinner out. Your napkin is starched and uncomfortable in your lap, and the silverware feels like it belongs to someone else. The repeated titular phrase makes sense in this atmosphere, because not only are other people talking all around you at a restaurant, but in some ways the whole room is talking. Everything is designed to get your attention, and so everything is talking to you. This song is metallic and loud, clanging for attention before bedtime.

The Blue Jackets finish off the album with a rolling song that is absolutely reminiscent of the ocean. "You Send Shivers" describes a less frolicking and more roiling ocean than that felt in the Calexico/Iron & Wine song. A more romantic ocean, in my opinion. I love this album closer because it really makes me feel purple and violet. It's the only song that achieves that playful, subtle, romance evoked by the titular colors. It's the best song on the whole album, and a grand finale of sorts, where the spectral violet and haunting purple combine in musical ecstasy.

I can't know, based on soundtrack alone, if Purple Violets is a good movie. I can't even really guess what the plot will hold or how color will come into the picture. I can tell you that the soundtrack sent shivers down my spine, and that when I listen to the music I feel a spectrum of emotions as varied as the spectrum of colors. Whoever mixed this soundtrack was definitely on my color wavelength.

No comments: