I have a question that I've been trying (unsuccessfully) to answer for a while now, so now I'm polling my audience (if there is one): Which of this pair of tunes is most jarring to your ears?
Is it this one?
Or this one?
Tough call, huh? I've been going back and forth all day, and I really can't decide.
I think these sorts of things are great fun, actually. And Ian "Muted Vocal" Gordon's efforts are as good as any out there. The Chariots theme, in particular, works really well. It's clever and not at all unpleasant to hear.
So I should probably clarify that when I say "jarring," I don't mean it as a criticism. I know it's the right word, to be honest. But it is getting at something I'm experiencing; something that crops up all over the place in my life, not just when I'm listening to re-mooded music. (Also, it should be "listener," not "beholder." Because eyes and ears are not the same thing.)
Sometimes, I'm so familiar with a thing -- so tied to a particular theme or melodic turn (in music) or to a particular fact or or opinion (in my life more broadly) -- that anything which deviates from my expectation sounds or feels "wrong." But deviation doesn't make it "wrong," right? At least not necessarily?
There's something misaligned about it, perhaps. Or maybe I should say "unaligned," because it suggests an unexpected condition without necessitating that a mistake (or maliciousness) has taken place. But feeling that something's unaligned can actually (or even mostly) say as much about me and my familiarity and my expectations as it does about the thing I'm experiencing. Sure, some things are objectively one way or another; some music is actually jarring, rather than just "unaligned." But that's probably true a less frequently than my knee-jerk response would like to think.
No, this half-baked musing on perception and reality was not the first thing that popped into my head when I heard these pieces. But yes, I got there eventually. Probably because I couldn't figure out which one made the hair on the back of my neck stand up straighter (or more quickly). Oh, and I disingenuously opened this post with a trick question, because the correct answer wasn't even listed.