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Old 09-16-2001, 10:03 PM   #1
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Images in U2 songs (relating U2 to schoolwork part 2)

A very large part of the OAC art course at my school (more than 50% of final mark) is to develop a portfolio of 6 or more works which must all express a personal theme that remains consistent throughout your studio works...

So, faced with coming up with a theme.. I decided I must relate this (as with all things) to U2. and (cue drumroll) here is my theme statement:

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Each painting will specifically represent a few lines of lyrics from a particular song. Beyond that, I will try and make the paintings reflect the song as a whole—both the musical nature of the song, and the lyrics as a whole. Due to my musical inclinations, it would be reasonable to assume that most of the subject matter will come from U2 songs. By nature, U2 songs have vague, non-specific lyrics that could be interpreted in many ways, so the interpretations will often be up to me, and based on my personal response to the song. I wish to demonstrate the value of music beyond simply listening to it; and show through my own experience how the meaning and feeling of songs can vary from person to person and communicate the great emotional force that I feel (good) music constitutes but in a non-musical way.
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Of course the next step is coming up with songs to use. Right now, the one that I have the strongest image in my head for is
Where The Streets Have No Name
specifically I want to run/I want to hide/I want to tear down the walls/That hold me inside/I want to reach out/And touch the flame
For this I will depict a person reaching out into a new frame (a line from the song sometimes used when performed live) literally.. the frame he's in will be full of dust and darkness, while the one he is reaching into will be bright.

That's the most specific idea I have right now. Other songs that I'm really wanting to use (I will probably go past the minimum of 6 studio works when all is said and done)

Walk To The Water
Stay
Wake Up Dead Man
A Sort of Homecoming
Bad
So Cruel
Running to Stand Still

I would like to do In A Little While just because I love the song so much, but I'm not having any inspiration as to what the song would look like.

For most of the songs I see people in situations reflected in the lyrics of the song.. perhaps an addict on the streets for Bad, and a sad face in front of a terrible scene for Wake Up Dead Man (Jesus, were just around the corner/did you think to try and warn her/were you working on something new?/is there an order in all of this disorder?...)

And I will of course have to have a name for my show.. I'm thinking right now probably Dream Out Loud, or Dreaming Out Loud or something like that.

Anyway, if anyone has anything that would conceivably serve as a suggestion of some sort feel free to post it here. I will post updates when I come up with concrete ideas for stuff and possibly pictures of the works eventually. I was originally going to have a website for all this, and might get one at some point but i have no skill with ye olde html.


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Old 09-16-2001, 10:05 PM   #2
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A little addendum, I gave a rough draft of my theme statement to my art teacher and she thought it was a really good idea and said "during the actual art show, you'll have to have the songs playing"

!!!!!!
WOooHooOo

Who would have thought I'd have a teacher telling me to play U2 songs in class without me suggesting it?


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Old 09-16-2001, 10:07 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally posted by SkeeK:
And I will of course have to have a name for my show.. I'm thinking right now probably Dream Out Loud, or Dreaming Out Loud or something like that.

I think one of those would make a great title. It sounds like a great project!

Don't you love mixing U2 with school? I have to do a PowerPoint presentation on multimedia, and I'm going to use "Elevation" as my background music. My only problem is deciding which version of it to use.



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Old 09-16-2001, 10:09 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by SkeeK:
A little addendum, I gave a rough draft of my theme statement to my art teacher and she thought it was a really good idea and said "during the actual art show, you'll have to have the songs playing"
Wow! This project of yours just got even cooler!!!


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Old 09-16-2001, 10:12 PM   #5
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Use the Vandit Club Mix of Elevation!! hehe.

I just decided that another good song would be Mothers of the Disappeared, and relate it to the real world situation and all. Midnight/Our sons and daughers/cut down, taken from us


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Old 09-16-2001, 11:36 PM   #6
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Some further ideas (which will incidentally be submitted to my teacher tomorrow):

- Where the Streets Have No Name “I want to run/I want to hide/I want tear down the walls that hold me inside/I want to reach out and touch the flame/where the streets have no name/” this song to me expresses wanting to come out of a situation and “break through into a new frame” as Bono sometimes sings when performing the song live. To represent this I would show someone reaching out literally into a new frame like in a comic book, the frame he is in is dark and dusty, but the other is sunny.
- Wake Up Dead Man “Jesus, were you just around the corner?/did you think to try and warn her?/ or were you working on something new?/Is there an order in all of this disorder?”. This song demonstrates not being able to understand the seemingly random tragedies that beset all of us. I would represent this pictorially by showing a saddened face in the foreground with a scene of mayhem behind, perhaps a car accident behind.
- Bad “If I could throw this/Lifeless lifeline to the wind/Leave this heart of clay/See you walk, walk away” here I would think of depicting someone on the street amidst garbage, malnourished and scarred, looking with a faint glimmer of hope out of the painting. This doesn’t go directly with what the song is about—heroin addiction, but to me the scene I picture is perhaps a metaphor for what is going on in the mind of an addict
- Walk To The Water “I'm looking through your window/I'm walking through your doorway/I'm on the outside/Let me in/Let me love you” Someone sitting, dejected on a porch beneath a dark window, while at the other side of the house is a lit window.
-Stay (Faraway, So Close) “Dressed up like a car crash/Your wheels are turning but you're upside down” an interesting lyric to interpret. I know I really want to paint this one, but I don’t yet have any idea what it means! I will figure it out eventually.
-Running to Stand Still “Step on a steam train/Step out of the driving rain, maybe/Run from the darkness in the night”. The idea of running from the darkness in the night has always intrigued me, it is a metaphor that I would explore in a painting. The steam trains and driving rain would figure into the painting somehow, even though they are metaphorical as well.
-So Cruel “Oh love...like a screaming flower/Love...dying every hour...love” The whole song tells a vivid story of a man in an almost masochistic relationship with a woman who treats him like mud, but that serves to make him want her more. I’ve always seen visions in my head of screaming flowers.
-A Sort of Homecoming “The city walls are all come down/The dust, a smoke screen all around/See faces ploughed like fields that once/Gave no resistance” The words of this song are very poignant in light of the recent tragedy in New York, the song represents a reflective mournful mood, and a determination to rebuild.
-Please “Shards of glass/Splinters like rain/But you could only feel/Your own pain” This song speaks of arrogantness and refusing to see the other side of an argument. Someone in a fit of rage throwing a rock through a beautiful stained glass window.
-In A Little While is one of my favourite songs of all time, and I would really want to work with it in some way, but any sort of inspiration in the form of what it is I would paint is very lacking.
-Bullet the Blue Sky “Across the field you see the sky ripped open/See the rain through a gaping wound/Pelting the women and children/Who run/Into the arms/Of America” One of the more angry U2 songs, exploring the negative effect of American commercialism on less developed countries (I think that’s what it is at least). Not exactly sure how to represent this, but it would be interesting to work with, there is very strong imagery in the lyrics
-Mothers of the Disappeared “Midnight, our sons and daughters/Were cut down and taken from us/Hear their heartbeat/We hear their heartbeat” This song was written about the mothers in Chile whose children were taken from them by Pinochet. A very dark song, an old woman with a great sadness in her heart, thinking of where her son might be.

Many of these ideas and the actual subject matter I will use will probably morph slightly or entirely before actually being painted. Also, It is becoming apparent that only a few songs have a line or two of lyrics that reflect what I want to express, so maybe I will give up on trying to find specific lines, or maybe I will find specific lines that scream to be painted.


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Old 09-17-2001, 11:49 AM   #7
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Actor AND a painter? I learn something new every day...u surprise me...

Anyway, I love all the ideas so far--especially Streets. And Bullet has some good themes as well
In the howling wind/comes a stinging rain/
See it driving nails/Into the souls on the tree of pain/From the firefly, a red orange glow/See the face of fear/Running scared in the valley below///You plant a demon seed/
You raise a flower of fire/See them burning crosses/See the flames higher and higher///
--American culture...it's strong...DEFINTELY KEEP THIS SONG!
HMTMKMKM has some good lines too--dealing with Pop culture and celebrity. ISHFWILF evokes some images as well..as well as Miss Sarajevo (images of beauty in war?)

U never should have gotten me on a lyric discussion...we could be here for hrs...Staring at the Sun (I think I just love this song b/c I don't quite understand the lyrics yet), SBS (Broken bottles under children/s feet/), WGRYWH (Oh, the deeper I spin/Oh, the hunter will sin for your ivory skin/Took a drive in the dirty rain/To a place where the wind calls your name/Under the trees the river laughing at you and me/Hallelujah, heavens white rose/
The doors you open/I just can't close//), IGWSHA (SO many in there..I can't even write down all the lyric/images)...
why can't I do these assignments? Why am I cursed with calculus instead? *sigh* math...
ANyway, keep me posted. I'd love to hear more about it. I'd love 2 see the finished product


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Old 09-18-2001, 03:41 PM   #8
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I really want to do bullet. It has a great tone and I can see lots of bright reds and olive greens and darkness. I'm not sure what exactly one would paint to go along with the song, though.

[This message has been edited by SkeeK (edited 09-18-2001).]


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Old 09-18-2001, 03:54 PM   #9
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Cool.Have fun.U2 are the main part of my life.They get in everywhere.


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Old 09-18-2001, 10:39 PM   #10
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Sounds way cool SkeeK! I like "Dreaming Out Loud".

I also really like MLK as a soft meaningful song.



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Old 09-19-2001, 10:25 PM   #11
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Here is the comments I got on my theme statement.. which is in fragmentary form in previous messages on the thread. I got 5/5 on it and it is worth 5% of the final mark.. which means that is my guaranteed lowest art mark! sshaawiiing!!!

"This is a wonderful idea. The lettering style, the words themselves, the placement of the words in the composition will be as important as the pictoral images"

"Try for very unique images to portray these lyrics"

and she liked the idea of screaming flowers.


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Old 09-20-2001, 12:37 AM   #12
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For Bullet I'm seeing lots of red too. Maybe Bono a la ZooTV standing with his arms outstretched and all hell breaking lose around him.

And can I say how cool it is to use U2 for class projects? I've done it several times before-- including writing about the parallels between Who's Gonna Ride and Dante's Inferno. So cool!

Good luck SkeeK!

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Old 09-20-2001, 12:45 AM   #13
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Great idea, Skeek! U2 is your muse I wonder if you can scan some of your artwork when you finish and post it here?

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Old 09-20-2001, 10:05 PM   #14
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We need our first prep sketch for next thursday, I think I will do Love like a screaming flower, love dying every hour.


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Old 09-21-2001, 02:33 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by Nancy:
Great idea, Skeek! U2 is your muse I wonder if you can scan some of your artwork when you finish and post it here?

Don't worry I plan to (although it might be large enough that digital photography will be much more practical) as well as posting my prep sketches and pictures of my entire set up etc.


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