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GG: ST an LP

When I first heard Idea of the North I was in college studying painting and filmmaking and I decided to make a film using some of Gould's ideas. At first I tried overlapping visual images.  I found that only the simplest type of narrative could be sustained at multiple, simultaneous visual levels. I decided that this was inherent in the linear quality of film, so I began to juxtapose sections of film linearly that represented different, but related narratives, and I tried to develop the relationships between the sections, both in terms of connective devices like fades and also by using sounds, images and ideas to ties things together.  The result was a rather loose structure that was perceived sequentially because that's the way film works but that had multiple layers created by the memory's ability to compare, contrast and combine different sections. Not that different from a lot of filmmaking ideas over the last 50 or 60 years, but also not Gould.  I then tried using two or three projectors to simultaneously project different films that were designed to relate to one another.  A three ring circus almost, which is a perceptual experience I've always enjoyed. Closer to Gould - again the trick is sustaining in a meaningful way anything but the most simple contemporaneous narratives or visual ideas - but not successful at anything close to the level he pulled off in radio.  There was something about the separate screens that seemed artificial or contrived, unless the images were quite abstract.  And using visual and aural images together was often too much information to try to manage.  I concluded that radio was the perfect medium for Gould's ideas, and perhaps the only one in which they could be realized at the level he worked at.  And that really was part of his genius - the ability to exploit the unique potential of something like radio.  A number of radio programs use narrative techniques from filmmaking.  The Solitude Trilogy is probably the only use of radio that I know of that is based upon techniques that may be unique to that particular medium.