Another audio doco from the Third Coast International Audio Festival entitled A Sweet Ear.
This is pretty cute and heart-warming; exactly what it’s intentions are. It discusses how everyone’s got a sweet tooth… or ‘a sweet ear’… for pop music. It’s proven that certain sounds (like the happy and warming chord progressions played) are attractive to our ears and we can’t help but love them.
She talks about this in terms of ice cream flavours and toppings and bases. While she talks about the ‘pop’ chord progression, it is played underneath, making her voice very warming and pleasant to listen to.
Then she begins layering different pop songs with the ukelele chord progression to show how in one way or another, they all utilise it.
She compares a variety of songs to this progression and different flavours (dark chocolate for Every Breathe You Take, cake batter for Baby by Justin Bieber, then nuts and praline for the heavy metal song).
The weaknesses in the sound design
What is realllllyyyy off-putting to my ear is that she doesn’t change the pitch of the chord progressions to suit each song played and layered, so they sound very off and out of tune. It was alarming and uncomfortable to listen to and took away from the sweetness of the piece. Was this intentional? Secondly, she plays the ukelele along with a heavy metal rock song that doesn’t seem to have any tune to it at all (it is not quite loud enough to hear any sort of melody) so the juxtaposition is just wrong.