July 13th, 2019


Curiosity: foley tropes

We were watching an X-Files (OMG, actors so young, hair so fluffy, mobile phones so clunky) last night and a little atonal two note flute motif played to hint to the viewer "Vietnam veteran." (Christine isn't sure if it's a minor second or perhaps an augmented fourth, not in a major key. She says there's a flutter involved as well.) I swear i've heard that same little motif used before to indicate "Vietnam!"

I presume it is the flute Wikipedia describes as
The sáo (also called sáo trúc or "sow trook", pronounced [ʂǎːw ʈʂǔkp]) is a small flute found in Vietnam that is traditionally thought to contain the culture and spirit of Vietnam's countryside.

That explains the instrument but not the two note motif. I assume the particluar interval between notes is common to Vietnamese music, but why do i know that? How did this auditory shorthand get to American culture so that i can hear two notes and know "Ah, this has to do with Vietnam"?


(no subject)

Edward brought a shrew in this morning to the "feeding station" and was gnawing on it. I took it away and was going to lead him outside to eat it there, but as soon as i took it, he turned to eating his kibble. Ok, then. We really want the hunter to eat his prey outside.

I thought to search for "cliché" regarding the bamboo flute sound cue. In Hymns for the Fallen: Combat Movie Music and Sound after Vietnam a composer named Kyle Eastwood speaks of avoiding bamboo flutes along with other clichés. I wish i had access to the whole book: it looks like one chapter might answer my question.

There's a plant i have been watching warily, growing just off the deck, crowding my scarlet hibiscus (Hibiscus coccineus). Today i took the time to key it out and was surprised and delighted to find it is sochan or green glow, Rudbeckia laciniata. It's a celebrated edible green by the Cherokee and a late blooming relative of blackeyed susans. I will probably transplant the plant this fall to my garden plot and hope that the hibiscus can thrive next year.

I took a loaf of my rye sourdough bread over to my parents' today. My brother was fixing lunch, and my sister's family was stopping by before she flies her kids to Montana and their other grandparents today. Mom seemed much better (yay!). There was expressed admiration for the bread so i sliced it all up and left it.

So for you all, here's a picture of three small slices from the more wet batter/dough that adhered to the tin sides and pulled off all the non-stick coating. Bottom and sides removed and thrown away. This is a salad plate: the slices are more like big cracker sizes than bread slices. I cut these for open tuna salad sandwiches, and i'd had all the crumbles toasted with yogurt for breakfast the past two days.