Regular readers of dusty old CTW know what to expect: (ir)regular reviews of free CC/netlabel albums, leavened with poor jokes and even worse grammar. It's rare that your humble scribe deigns to describe anything so ephemeral, so lightweight, so throw-a-bag-of-kittens-in-the-canal as a single track. But I do do it occasionally.
Today's internet eructation was prompted by my stumbling across a video made by Eirik Solheim, a project manager for the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation (NRK), who is very enthusiastic about technology, photography, and, in the most entertaining and truthful phrase that I've read this week, "stuff that I find important."
Anyway, he has made One Year In Two Minutes, which could be described as a nigh-on perfect ambient video, the ne plus ultra of everyday sights and sounds, or even the cappuccino venti of coffees if you're into using corporate drinks-vending metaphors. Mr Solheim visited the English Park in Oslo weekly for a year, snapped some photos and then compiled them ingeniously with Photoshop and Final Cut Express to produce a seamless and bladder-looseningly beautiful two-minute film of nature getting up for work and coming home to bed. The lovely visuals are accompanied by a truly ambient soundtrack recorded in situ; it's a hymn to rustling leaves, birds, rain and thunder. Be sure to select the "full screen" option by clicking on the little arrowed box in the lower right-hand corner of the video.
What's more, the video is free for you to share and remix. To quote Mr Solheim: "All the images are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 license. In other words: Use them non commercially as long as you give me credit and as long as you share the work you do under the same license."
Which is nice of an award-winning, rather talented media maven, don't you think? I wonder if there are any musicians out there who would like to adapt the visuals or simply plonk their own music over the video? At this point, I must confess that CTW has been a little lax in discovering these films. They appeared two *cough* ago. What? I said, two *mutter* ago. All right, if you insist, the films were published two years ago. I can't be mega-trendy all the time, you know; I have toenails to grow. But wait, there's more goodness to come. How about another video on the same subject, but this time with people ghosting by in the background?
Lovely, mmm? And for the attention-deficit sufferers out there, here's a 24-carat ambient-minimalist jewel: One Year In 40 Seconds. I think it's the prettiest of all of Mr Solheim's work. It would make an ideal desktop video or screensaver.
If you have enjoyed these films, please think about sending Mr Solheim an appreciative email. If you haven't, send me an abusive one and I will endeavour to return to reviewing free albums and combing my hair in new and vaguely disturbing ways. Until then, please remember that free, CC-licensed stuff isn't evil; it's fun. And sometimes it can be beautiful.