How to Rock Out, Even if You Don't Play an Instrument


"All the sounds are the actual audio from the original video tape. No alterations has [sic] been made other than basic timeline editing. I can neither play drums nor the piano." So ends Lasse Gjertsen's YouTube masterpiece "Amateur," a music video in which he creates a genuinely good song out of individual drum beats, cymbal hits, vocal hoots, and piano notes. I got this from the excellent Word Surgery blog, where animator/videographer Torrey Meeks points out all sorts of awesome stuff (much of it NSFW, though the video below is fine). Meeks writes of "Amateur":

After having my skull rocked by Lasseg Gjertsen's masterpiece I was struck with the realization that making videos had become accessible to guys like me, that you didn't need million dollar equipment to do good work, that you didn't even need a hi-def camera. Just a good idea, an editing program or two, and practice. This is what inspired me to begin making my own videos:

Some have compared this video to Michel Gondry's Drumb and Drumber, in which Gondry loops shots of himself playing the drums. I think the big difference here is that Gjertsen can't play the drums, while Gondry can. Gjertsen's piece is completely created by editing (there would be no song without all those cuts), while Gondry's is an assemblage of individual short pieces, looped and intercut to create a larger performance.

If you like this sort of thing, you may also want to check out "video songs" by Pomplamoose, in which every recorded element of the song is shown at some point during the video.