Creative Collaboration: Fiction writer incorporates video and music

When she first started thinking of the idea, Carla Bamesberger was on a roadtrip to California. She hadn’t brought a book and was listening to Lincoln Park. As she sat in the car digesting the song, she began to wonder what this Lincoln Park song would look as an anime music video- story-like music videos she thoroughly enjoyed. Her imagination created a scene for what looked like a story. With different songs, she did this again and again and again.

Bamesberger, a senior majoring in English education and creative writing at CSU, is currently writing a fiction story, titled Redwood, that collaborates creative writing and music.

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The music is where Bamesberger draws her ideas for the story. When she listens to a song that inspires her, she envisions a Redwood scene.

“For the most part, each song is its own scene,” Bamesberger said.

The process caught her by surprise on the California trip, but she continued with it once she started seeing scenes that connected.

“The first two [scenes] were completely disconnected thoughts,” Bamesberger said. “But then the third [scene] I came up with matched the one before it, and several hours down the road I had a bunch of little anime music videos to all of these songs.”

So she wrote them down.

The story follows five characters who are all connected through their relation to a sixth character, who Bamesberger has been calling “the bad guy” due to a lack of name.

The idea sparked because her interest in anime music videos inspired Bamesberger to hear music differently.

“It helped me listen to the music and not necessarily think about the words,” Bamesberger said. “But think about actions that could be put to the music.”

According to Matthew Cooperman, an associate professor of English at CSU, collaboration with technology is popular.

“It’s extensive,” Cooperman said in an email. “And increasingly at play in contemporary writing.”

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Jaded Ibis Press, who Cooperman is working with on his most recent project, is a publishing company with the goal of celebrating these changes.

According to their website, their “intent is to facilitate the convergence of diverse media and art forms, and give wide exposure to literary, visual and musical artists of exceptional talent.”

Bamesberger had no intention of creating a collaboration process like this, but is glad it happened.

“I think working either with one medium to get you into another medium or working with two mediums combined is pretty awesome,” Bamesberger said.

Cooperman collaborates often with other people on his poetry projects, from his sister, who is a fiber artist, to dancers. His most recent project will eventually involve a musician.

Bamesberger has been creating this story for about eight years now. The roadtrip to California where it all started occurred her junior year of high school.

Total, Bamesberger has 12 CDs worth of music with correlating episodes and all the notes to go with it.

“I’ve got a lot of Lincoln Park and Three Doors Down,” Bamesberger said. “I have some Japanese songs and a couple classic songs.”

Right now, she is transforming her notes into a concrete story.

She hopes to get it published one day as one or two novels, maybe with the music.

“Obviously I don’t have copyrights to any of these CDs,” Bamesberger said. “I would have to go through so many hoops.”

However, she would need to feel that she is creating clear expectations for her readers.

“They couldn’t expect the song to just paint the images for them because you aren’t going to see the song the same way somebody else does,” Bamesberger said. “But if they could listen to it and see where the scene came from, that would be kind of fun.”

College Avenue reporter Kendall Greenwood can be reached at collegeavenue@collegian.com