Last week, a few of my friends and I went on a tour of four breweries in the Hudson Valley. At Plan Bee Farm Brewery in Poughkeepsie, they had a cornhole set up and a basketball court on the side of their building.
It was a cold day—somewhere in the low 30s—and the cornhole board was put away, resting against the barn. Also, because it was the coldest day in memory, we were all bundled up in winter coats: our unacclimated bodies weren’t yet used to 30° F.
One of us grabbed a basketball and took a few shots. I shot a few photos, and also a couple of videos. My friend Jackie, wearing a winter coat and boots, took a jump shot and made a basket. I had starting shooting just before she took the shot, and I stopped it after she walked away triumphantly. The video lasts all of two seconds.
I posted the short video to Instagram as a post. Over the last few months, I have really taken to posting Stories, but something told me this would be a good video post.
Watch the Instagram video with the sound on. It should loop, and if you listen to it a few times, you should start to notice a beat. I hadn’t noticed the beat until my friend Walter posted a video of my video playing with the sound on and looping. All the while, his girlfriend starts singing to the beat.
The song is one made popular by Sam Cooke, “Bring it On Home to Me.”
It was one of the coolest things I have ever unwittingly and unknowingly participated. A lot of things had to go right:
- Jackie’s shot had to hit all of the things it did: first, it hit the basket and the rim. It also had to hit the out-of-place cornhole board and the concrete below. Also, our friend Ian had to affirmingly comment offscreen “there it is!”
- The start and end points of the video had to be in the right spot. Remember that I shot and posted the video without any editing. Also, I’ll confess that I forget that recording and posting videos to Instagram include sound. In my mind, I was shooting silent—or MOS, if I can use a term from film studies.
- Instagram had to loop the video and maintain a low and consistent latency to keep the start the loop again without missing a beat—so to speak.
- Walter had to have his Instagram app with the sound on. And he had to be in the room with his girlfriend within listening range to notice the beat.
- Walter’s girlfriend had to have a song come to mind and begin singing it.
- The two must have had two iPhones nearby: one to play my looped video, and one to record her performance.
For someone who studies creative works all the time, but can’t make anything to save his life, I am thrilled to have been a part of this. But all I did was having the right friends do the right things at the right time.