Contemporary Non-Western Artist
(Sound and Vision Artist)
Cornelius (born as Keigo Oyamada) is a sound and video artist from Japan who has been producing albums out of Japan since the 1990’s. His music harmonizes and blends electronic tones, samples from pop music and culture as well as sounds found in nature and is considered “experimental and exploratory” (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cornelius_(musician)). In 2003, he was ranked at number 43 in a list of Japan’s top 100 musicians by HMV.
The music of Cornelius could be described as experimental and exploratory, and often incorporates dissonant elements alongside more familiar harmonically “pleasing” sounds. This tension, plus his practice of bringing in sounds and samples from mass culture, pure electronic tones, and sounds from nature (such as on his Point album), lead him to being sometimes categorized as an “acquired taste.”
Not only is Cornelius’s music compelling, the videos he creates to accompany his sound create an environment that envelops the listener/viewer, drawing them into and sometimes making them feel directly involved with the piece. His most recent album, Sensuous, is particularly successful in creating a sound environment while other albums have a more produced feeling of song that has been compared to the American musician, Beck, who, along with The Beach Boys, The Beastie Boys, The Jesus and Mary Chain and Primal Scream, have been influences in the development of his music. These diverse influences attributes to the wide variety of samples found in his work. Looking at the history of music videos and of animation, Cornelius produces very polished digital videos that easily find their place amongst other contemporary video producers including Michael Gondry and Spike Jonze.
Watch this youtube video of Cornelius’ Breezin’ video:
From an educational standpoint, I would have students make an advertisement using video. They could slow down or speed up any advertisement and compile the video with a song or sound of their choice. Here is an example of what I would like students to create:
Attached is the powerpoint I used during my presentation.