Today I noticed that the Russian Little Big (which I’d been introduced to by a friend who’d shown me their official music videos) only SEEMS funny in their videos, but that’s not a hard and fast thing. The videos are ridiculous and funny and bizarre, and so I decided "this is a really funny band." But then at some point, the same friend showed me live footage from one of their concerts. Instead of being quirky or funny, it was this big, aggressive, dark and thrashing mosh pit atmosphere with flashing lights. But then I realized that the music was, in a lot of cases, exactly the same. It was the context – funny video versus concert footage - that made the difference in the mood of the music. The exact same music could seem like a joke in one of their videos, or deadly serious when played live. The visual made all the difference.
The creative lesson I took from this Noticing is that the context in which something is presented can dramatically alter the way you see it. A singular piece of work, whether it's music, writing, or visual art, can take on entirely different meanings when framed in different settings. This implies that as creators, the context we choose can completely reshape the audience's experience, even without changing the core content.
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