Thursday, January 15, 2015

{the comments section of an imogen heap video}

I read the comments section of a YouTube video again. Judgy McJudge me all you want; I don't even care. (I'm so nonconformist right now.)

A friend posted this amazing video on my Facebook feed this morning, about Imogen Heap's Mi.Mu gloves. If you haven't seen it, here:

So basically, wow. Gesture-controled music. Fade, pitch, panning, everything that you can do on a computer, on your hands! I was watching this with my mouth open, imagining how cool it would be to see these in action in a concert setting. Especially controlled by Imogen, who is such a musical genius. Can't handle her.

So I went searching around YouTube for a more in-depth look at the gloves, maybe a demonstration, and I found this (a full-length song that she wrote using the gloves):

and this, too (a really thorough explanation of how the gloves work):

I highly, highly recommend watching all three (though the end of the third one is just a less polished version of the song she performs in the second).

You know when you find something that just blows your mind, and you want to turn to the person beside you and go, "Did you see that?!"

But then you're alone. So, so alone. Do you take your laptop across the street and knock on the neighbours' doors? Or do you scroll down and find community in the likeminded people of the Internet gracing the comments section with their classy presence?

Well. I scrolled down. I wanted to hear what others thought about this thing. I assumed the comment section would be fairly united. This is a pretty sweet invention, and so well executed. And how could anyone hate on Imogen Heap? How?

I will tell you how.

The earliest comments, posted shortly after the video itself, were generally the type I expected. They were like this:

Then, within the past year, there was a shift in the comments. Like, a very, very marked shift. From people with legitimate names like Peter and Reuben to people who called themselves things like ROCKGLAMGRRRL19. From people who commented on the music and the technology and how beautiful and genius the whole thing was to people who commented on...the way Imogen breathes.

I was confused, at first. (Imogen Heap? A Speech Therapist? Have you ever listened to Aha? That song is speech therapy.) So I conducted an investigation (Google) whereupon I discovered that the culprit here was none other than teen pop sensation Ariana Grande.

Because of course it was.

I found that Imogen Heap has been working on this project for ages, but very recently Ariana has decided to incorporate the gloves into her show. Hence, the legion of Grande fans coming over to see what all the fuss is about. And they? Are not so impressed with these silly little gloves.

A young man named Tyler Mix wasn't even looking at the gloves. He was looking at Heap's fingers, which he deemed 'ridiculously long'. Even if her harmonies are amazing, her fingers are still, like, Angelina long. (I, too, had always thought the two were incompatible traits in human beings.)

And then there were those who just didn't get it. At all. Like, not even a little.

Dear Bigstudwithaguitar (if that's your real name), yeah but no. Immi is no stranger to theremin. She owns at theremin. This is reminiscent of a theremin, sure, but were you listening at all during the 13 minutes that she was explaining the gloves? You can't just click on random YouTube videos, listen to three seconds of them and then throw out your judgements. And you thumbs-upped your own comment, didn't you?

But the person I really feel sorry for in all of this is Dylan Fleck, who has no dream to fallow. 

The YouTube comments are a great place to go when you're feeling disillusioned with life, I find. It's like going to a quiet spot along a lake, or talking to a trusted friend, except how it's not at all like either of those things. 

Dear Dylan: You need a quiet lake or a trusted friend. Everyone else is only here to critique Imogen's breathing.

And now for a comment from some creepy guy named Babe Stache:

Yeah we did Babe lol 

(I want to teach a seminar about how 'lol' is not the same thing as a question mark or exclamation point.)

Cue token comments section 'funny' guy:

The thing is, Imogen Heap would totally play a barbecue. And it would sound awesome. Remember Closing In? The percussion in that song is her 'playing' carpet tubes with CD cases. So yeah, Jim. She could play a barbecue, Jim. Bet you can't even cook a burger on one, Jim.

Good graish, I'm all worked up over this. I got 99 problems and Ariana Grande is one.

(That was a relevant joke, but if you don't get it I respect you for it.)