so i recently watched again the most excellent stanley kubrick movie ‘dr strangelove’. i first watched it in college. the first thing i noticed, at the time, was the pornographic opening sequence. a bomber was refueling in midair with a tanker. sexy music was playing. the fuel tube from the tanker had to land into the bomber’s little slot. so the fuel could flow from one plane to the other.
the movie is so weird, that nobody can believe it when they first see it. if you ask me.
this last time i watched it, i became attached to this one little scene. i captured some video. and some audio. i remixed some of the audio from the scene into two little sound compositions. and put it back with the video.
If you missed the previous chapter, then you should know that there are mysterious faces in the Eagle Nebula. And I have just begun to uncover them.
As we saw before, not only does the middle pillar have a face, but it seems to be an entire heavenly creature. I have called this heavenly body the “Uncle of the Pillars of Creation”. We saw him last time. But did you notice that Uncle of the Pillars has a little “dog”, that is standing on its hind legs, and shaking hands with Uncle?
How could it be? The images are so clear. There is no mistaking the Uncle of the Pillars of Creation and his dog. Lucky for them they have Lookout looking after them. Creation is a perilous time, and one needs a lookout.
Most of us are aware of the mystery and hype surrounding the fabled “Face on Mars”. Originally photographed by the Viking 1 probe in 1976, this image captured the imagination of science fiction enthusiasts as showing possible evidence of monumental alien architecture on the surface of Mars.
Scientists have explanations for these geological features, yet the face has been used many times in popular culture as the backdrop for speculative fiction.
The speculative theory I most enjoy is that the face is an ancient alien artifact, left there by an advanced race millions of years ago. The movie Mission to Mars explores this theme in a worthwhile way.
So naturally some people have suggested a conspiracy. Is NASA covering up evidence of alien artifacts and architecture on Mars? Their dossier of evidence goes very deep.
It’s much easier to imagine that the Face is just a geological feature that happens to resemble an anthropomorphic “face” when photographed from orbit with the sun at an optimum angle.
Anyway, who cares about that.
More importantly, I have recently uncovered even more mysterious and profound evidence of faces in the depths of the heavens.
This time in what is known as the Eagle Nebula. In 1995 scientists working with the then-still-fresh Hubble Telescope took a picture they titled, “The Pillars of Creation”.
As you can see, there are several distinct yet mysterious faces in this nebula.
The first one I will call your attention to I’ve named “Lookout”.
This face just happens to have two protostars right where its eyeballs should be. Coincidence? It has a nose, and a slightly downturned mouth, but no lips. Coincidence?
But that’s not all. There’s more.
The middle Pillar is not just a face, it is an entire heavenly being:
As you know, my video work has gotten very popular as of late. So much so, that sometimes I find myself spending more time deciding what to work to take on, than actually working on anything in particular! To be or not be for sure.
But recently I was presented with a rare opportunity that required little consideration. My good friend Ben Gallina, a fantastic bass player, and, as it turns out, a fantastic composer, came to me and said, “Ryan, my band Salo has just completed recording a new album of my music, and I would love for you to make a video animation for one of the tracks.” So I said, “Sure, Ben. I think I can do that.”
Once we arranged my modest but not insubstantial fee, Ben decided that he wanted a video for his track, “Metamorphistopheles”. To be honest, I only have a vague idea what this title means. I can assume that something is changing into something else. And maybe the devil is involved. But I’m not really sure. What I do know is that the music totally rocks, even though Salo is a “jazz” band. I like to think of it as Ben’s own brand of “acid jazz” – blending jazz instrumentality and sensibility with prog-rock-funk rhythms and harmonies.
Now, normally when I embark on such an ambitious project as this, I like to have some parameters to work within. As Igor Stravinsky once said, “The more constraints one imposes, the more one frees one’s self. And the arbitrariness of the constraint serves only to obtain precision of execution.” In this case I was not as fortunate as Stravinsky. Ben said something like, “Hey man, do whatever you want. I don’t really care. I trust you.”
So I went deep into my wellspring of creativity and pulled out one of my most natural resources – balls. Lots and lots of balls. Very colorful balls. Spinning and turning and flying and bouncing and dancing and just otherwise carrying on. But that’s not all. There’s a whole fantasy land of adventure waiting for you this at once captivating and spellbinding episode of music turned into motion. The musicians are incredible and the music is hot, and the video is here:
Credits: Alex Hamlin, Ed RosenBerg, Josh Rutner, Red Wierenga, Andrew Smiley, Ben Gallina, Alex Wyatt. Written by Ben Gallina. Animation by Ryan Dorin. Solos Alex Wyatt – drums, Alex Hamlin – alto sax.
So many people have asked me, “Ryan, can you please make a short of the Ratboy Genius Theme Song Video?” As you probably know, the Theme Song was originally featured in “The Adventures of Ratboy Genius Chapter 9”, as just one part of a much larger production. But the song has caught on and has since been used in, among other places, “Happyman 12 – The Intermission”. Though Happyman and Ratboy sing new words.
But what you may not know is that nearly all of the music for Happyman 12 was based on the Ratboy Theme Song! Hard to believe, for sure. All sorts of music theorists and musicologists have been so pleased to point this out to me, (as if I wasn’t aware!), so I have prepared this little video short.
Remember: Ratboy Genius is on vacation, just chillin’ in Venice Beach, California. He’s got his little red buggy, his roller skates, his surfboard, and his penny whistle, and he’s livin’ the life. Of all the music the Ratboy Genius has composed, he has told me that this is his favorite.
The episode opens in the office of the Ratboy Genius, in the top of the Castle in Ratboy’s Kingdom. RBG has finally revealed himself as the creator/composer/director/producer of the new exciting opera, “The Adventures of Happyman on the Red Planet”. And he is so impressed with his friends who have been starring in the production.
It is a day off from shooting the opera, so the Ratboy Genius has invited his good friend Happyman to visit him in his office. They sing their own version of the Ratboy’s Theme Song (originally featured in Ratboy Genius #9). Then they both go down to the pool to pick up the Green Monster, who is floating there. Ratboy can’t resist the temptation to dive off his high diving board, where he scores a perfect 10 with a smooth entry and very little splash.
The three friends all get into Ratboy’s little red buggy and drive through the magical tunnel over to Kingdom Studios for a tour of the opera sets on the studio sound stages. We see the grand entrance of the Kingdom Studios, and drive down the corridor and into Studio G. They drive the little red buggy through some of our favorite locations from the Red Planet and a grand finale ensues where they speculate on what will happen next in the opera, “The Adventures of Happyman on the Red Planet”.