The audible artifact I chose to compare with Erica Dawson’s “When Rap Spoke Straight to God” is the song/poem by Hobo Johnson, called “Romeo and Juliet”. The reason I chose this artifact is because of the way both artists use real life books to show a perspective. In “When Rap Spoke Straight to God” she uses the perspective a woman blossoming into who she is with comparisons to the bible, whereas Hobo Johnson uses the story Romeo and Juliet with a modern twist from the perspective of someone who’s broken and questioning their choice to be committed because of their parents failed Romeo and Juliet story. Dawson and Johnson both use direct quotes from their choices of literature and music. Dawson using quotes from the bible or rap songs such as the quotes by Kool G Rap in his song, “Home Sweet Home” and Hobo using quotes from “Romeo and Juliet”
Hobo Johnson uses the quote “But soft what light, thru yonder window breaks, it is the east, but Juliet just puked off the balcony.” Johnson uses the quote from the play to give imagery to the listener of Romeo creeping to watch Juliet but with the modern twist, Juliet isn’t the fair maiden like in the play. She’s puking off the balcony in a party.
Johnson and Dawson used direct oppositions in their pieces of work as well. The Bible being about stories of death and love to talk about the holiness of God but using detailed scenes of sexual relations while using bible verses creates an opposition and a sense of irony to the poem. Johnson talks about the story of Romeo and Juliet but with them ending in divorce and having a child who witnesses and suffers from it.
I chose Chopin: Ballade No. 1 in G minor Op. 23 (The covered version that featured in the anime “Your Lie In April” because I like the duality of the personalities between the Piano and the Violin. The Piano having this elegant but chaotic sound, representing to me the more mature side of my mind that thinks logical. The way the piano goes from soft and slow to fast and chaotic, almost as if theirs a conflict in the song. When the violin begins to start at 4:34, the song transforms into a sort of love story as the piano and violin merge into one sound. The violin, representing to me the more creative and child-like side of me, bringing me a sense of peace and balance within my own self. Even as the piano begins to speed up, the violin meets with it and starts to balance the sound. At the end of the song, the piano begins to take over as the violin stops and starts to dominate the song once again. The song is great to listen to for me when I’m doing something like typing because I can feel my hands speed up along with the piano. Even my own world around me begins to speed up as I listen to the song, for example when I’m on the train. The sound drowns out the world around me.
(Spoilers ahead for whoever wants to watch the Anime) When it comes to the anime however, the song compliments both of the characters greatly. The main protagonists, Kousei and Kaori are polar opposites when it comes to their personality and choice in instruments. Kousei being a prodigy that was only taught by the notes and Kaori being a violinist that plays by what’s in her heart. During this scene, Kaori is in the hospital as she begins to die from an unknown disease. Kousei is at a competition for a pianist/violinist duet and he knows Kaori didn’t make it. He still chooses to perform for the crowd even though he’s now disqualified. You see the world around him disappear as the blue sky, and reflecting floor appears instead of the stage and crowd. Before his eyes, he sees Kaori and even though no one can see her and she’s not really there, he’s imagining she’s there as she begins to play with him. Their sounds merging together in the scene as Kousei closes his eyes and tries not to cry, knowing the girl he sees as more than just a friend is now dead. He smiles though and continues to imagine her being there. As the song reaches to an end he is brought back in reality and he sees her vanishing before his eyes into balls of lights. As the song ends, we’re back in the auditorium where he’s playing with his head down, the crowd silent as tears run down his face.
A song as beautiful as that with a video to match the intensity of the song is why I chose this version. It’s haunting but yet in a happy way as if saying there’s always a certain someone that you could love and create music with.