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Familiar Faces from Internet Places

My new piece Familiar Faces, which you can hear on Dec 12th, at The World Through Frames Without Lenses helps to shed light on the vast world of Reddit-originated internet memes by blending brief background history and photographic examples of some of these characters with musical motives that exemplify the social traits these characters represent.

Good Guy Greg is an image series featuring a photo of a square-jawed man smiling at the camera with a marijuana cigarette in his mouth. The captions generally depict the character as kind, generous, and empathetic to other people. Greg is represented in the piece’s opening theme, which features folk-oriented “campfire” guitar strumming and bass/drum feel with a light-hearted, whimsical theme presented by both the violin and cello.

Scumbag Steve is an image series featuring a kid wearing a sideways fitted cap, large jacket, and neck chains. As the antithesis of Good Guy Greg, the overlaid text generally centres around unethical behaviour regarding drugs, partying, and selfish behaviour. A tongue-in-cheek minor-key contrapuntal cannon becomes associated with this unruly character.

Overly Attached Girlfriend is an image series featuring a webcam picture of a girl and various captions portraying her in the stereotype of an overprotective and clingy girlfriend.  The picture is a screenshot from a Youtube video titled “JB Fanvideo” in which a Justin Bieber fan performs a parody rendition of his latest single, “Boyfriend”, with personalized “overprotective” lyrics. According to a Gawker article, the video was submitted in response to Bieber’s announcement of an online sing-off contest in promoting his celebrity perfume “Girlfriend.” Cellist Andrew Downing interprets this character in an open improvisation that will illuminate her so-called “cheerful creepiness”.

- Jesse Dietschi

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