Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Eclipse 2012

Here is my video taken this morning of the Eclipse from Daintree River region of FNQ.

The title is Eclipsolypse Now and for sure that's a Pronk.  The action starts at 5:20 AM with Sunrise at 5:35 AM and the Full Eclipse was at 6:38 AM, with the partial phase about 45 minutes either side.

The video is mainly sped up by a factor of 4 except for the Full Eclipse which is at real time [from 11 minutes to 13 minutes].

The clouds were bad news for the scientists but helped my camcorder by providing some filtering of the direct sun, which as you can see totally overexposes it.  Of course both Exposure and White Light were set to Auto and you can see they worked overtime.

Yes that is a plane that flew past twice, very low.

I waited 41 years to use the Moody Blues' album Days of Future Passed and this was ideal, and The End fitted in well for the Full Eclipse, followed by Cat Stevens with the "like the first morning" song.

The darkness for a minute was amazing and I could see the stars, and yes the birds did suddenly stop singing until one brave one started up again and all was well.

To see this [Moody Blues version] in High Defn please go here

Moody Blues

To see this [Beethoven Ode to Joy version] in High Defn please go here

Ode to Joy

Notes on both versions

The total amount of raw footage was about 90 minutes in about 6 files and I first edited out any uninteresting bits or when fat ladies stood in front of my position.

I applied the double speed effect [generally twice] to give a time lapse effect for sea and clouds [and shorten the overall time], but left the 2 minutes of the Full Eclipse as normal speed.

I joined those together with the page flip transition, without any consideration for the music yet to come, but in fact trimmed the music [Moody Blues etc] to suit the video. However the amazing coincidence was that when I applied Ode to Joy I did not alter the video in any way, BUT it worked perfectly as described below.

Popular Music Theme

The message I was conveying here was to compare this double-start dawn to the whole of a person's life, and the line from Rudyard Kipling:

"If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same"

Many folk have had a major disaster in their [otherwise good] lives, eg death of a child, divorce etc and many have never recovered. Kipling is talking to those who did.

So the Moody Blues album Days of Future Passed with London Festival Orchestra [from memory] sets the scene for the "first morning" with the theme of the Dawn breaking through the darkness of the Night. Luckily the main line of "Brave Helios wake up your steads, bring the warmth the countryside needs" coincided with the actual dawn on the video [which I sped up a bit more].

I then rudely interrupted all this lovely Dawn sentiment as soon as the Full Eclipse started [very suddenly] with the Francis Ford Coppola concept of Apocalypse using The End by The Doors complete with Hueys. It must have been terrifying in older times when there was no knowledge of impending eclipses, with the world suddenly turning to Night.

Then I rudely interrupt all that doom and gloom and gnashing of teeth when 2 minutes later the sun suddenly "re-dawns", as if nothing really happened, and I use the Cat Stevens classic of Morning Has Broken. The reference to "like the first morning" blends beautifully with the "re-birth" concept of Kipling which essentially says IF you were humble about your Triumphs [the first Dawn] then when the poo hits the fan you are far more likely to DEAL with it and come out the other side.

 Ode to Joy [Beethoven 9th] Theme

The Beethoven theme is somewhat different as the video is simply a minor add-on to the HUGE power of the story he is telling with the Ninth via Words and Music. So the Eclipse in the middle of all that is of no great importance, but it could easily represent the issue he had with Napoleon over Eroica, Symphony #3, which Ludwig dealt with and moved on, but to a happier 4th Symphony.

The key is the words that Beethoven himself added to Schiller's Ode To Joy per:

"Oh friends, not these tones!
Let us raise our voices in more
Pleasing and more joyful sounds!"

That happens at 6:33 and "these tones" are his OWN creations in Movements #1 to #3 in the same Symphony [and arguably all his other works, but Eroica for sure IMHO], so let's see how that panned out.

At 6:26 he unleashes the same Fanfare he tried at 0:00, only to find that his demons would not let him GET to the pure JOY he now wanted to tell us about, so he had to "clinically remove" these tones.

At 0:09 he makes first attempt to introduce Ode to Joy but it fizzles out at 0:20, so he gives another burst on Fanfare to clear the air and at 0:29 tries again. He then realizes he needs to deal with these tones one by one so at 0:40 he brings on Movement #1 and at 0:52 hits it head on with an Ode To Joy burst.

One down, two to go.

At 1:13 he brings on Movement #2, the so called Clockwork Orange theme of later times, but kills it by 1:19.

At 1:33 he calls up the remaining Movement #3 [that everyone was saying should have been #2] but by 1:47 has dealt with all that in one fell swoop and right on 2:00 he ups the anti with a decibel increase.

At 2:24 he gives the five pumps of victory and at 2:45 gives a Fist-pump for good measure to say he got rid of those demons and is now getting down to business, but true to Kipling he does not do a High-Five but gracefully lets Ode To Joy ease itself in.

Then at 4:57 he hits the gas with a full orchestral Ode To Joy and thankfully the video has just given us Sunrise at the appropriate moment and at 6:25 the coast is clear to go back to the Fanfare of 0:00 but now with the demons all out of the way.

By 7:20 "Joy" is ringing out in words and by 7:50 the large chorus joins in. At 8:10 we get some thoughts about how friendship is a vital element in all this Joy and at 8:38 the chorus joins in to agree.

At 9:00 the creatures get a mention and at 9:28 the chorus again adds their approval.

At 10:05 everyone takes a breather and we notice in video things are starting to get a little darker for this time of day.

At 10:51 they remember a few more points about all this Joy and have a little tilt at the scientists trying to EXPLAIN all this rather than just basking IN the joy.

Then at 11:23 The Father pulls the plug on the sun just as we get the reference to "burst open coffins" which I equate to the "faithful dead" of Tolkein's Green Army.

As I say, I see Beethoven taking the Eclipse in his stride as a "Joy thing" rather than any Apocalypse message, especially given his treatment of the storm in his Pastoral Symphony #6.

However the Full Eclipse viewed in Full Screen does reveal the stars in this Joyous canopy, so we can enjoy this moment with the orchestral background and the "man-made star" of the lighthouse blinking on and off every 10 seconds to add our own Joy to that of Beethoven and Schiller.

Then at 13:33 the "new dawn" almost perfectly coincides with the best part of the whole Symphony where the chorus goes into orbit, almost screaming the Joy, and that lasts to 14:30.

After that things quieten down as we ease out of the video. Of course the Movement goes on for several more minutes past the end of the video but I think 16:43 is long enough and if truth be known I was in great need of a toilet break and the beach was full of folks. But as you saw there was very little darkening effect until some 95% of the sun was covered so while the final scenes were of a sun that was but a "last quarter" but getting bigger, there was nothing to be gained by more footage, especially as my camcorder simply sees that as a fully round blur of light.

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