Fire and Ice


Inspired by Claire Patrick’s Art Invitation for “The Midnight Sun” Twilight Zone episode, I decided to take Robert Frost’s poem “Fire and Ice” and place it on top of Norma’s painting from that episode. I love that the poem maps beautifully onto the episode’s themes and plot line. I also appreciate the added bonus of the sun in Norma’s painting as the backdrop balanced by Frost’s last name as the representative chill you get at the end of the episode 🙂

The image was pretty easy to make, I grabbed a screenshot from the episode on Hulu, and then brought it into GIMP and used the ellipse tool to highlight the sun and airbrush it orange (leaving it a bit textured). Then I simply added the text on top using the Ringbearer font and aligning the text accordingly. Simple.

Now, I have yet to start my audio assignment, so I thought reading this poem set to some eery music might be cool. So I read the pome into audacity and then found the Twilight Zone theme music on YouTube, and downloaded it using I brought it in as a new track to audacity under Project–>Import Audio and then cut of a 15 second piece and slowed it down so it would expand to the 25 second reading. I then clipped a bit here and there and the effect is pretty cool. There is no real assignment for Twilight Zone poetry images and audio, but I will change that soon. In the mean time, I have officially started my audio assignments, and finished my design assignments:

Design: 15 stars (all done)
Audio: 3 stars (just beginning)

An added bonus while searching around for Frost’s “Fire and Ice” poem is that a fan of this episode wrote a sequel for “The Midnight Sun” titled “Fire and Ice,” you can read it here. All of which reminds me how awesome yesterday’s Daily Create was, namely “Write the sequel for ‘Time Enough at Last’.” Love it!

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5 Responses to Fire and Ice

  1. scottlo says:

    This is pretty freaking eerie how tightly the elements all line up: the poem, the theme of the episode, the painting and the poet’s name.

    The stretched theme music is other worldly. I’ve not played with that particular effect yet. Nice work.

    I love your reading of the poem but would only offer one suggestion. For me, I’d boost the gain on the voice and bring the music down just a notch or too. There’s just a bit of competition for my ear between the music and the spoken word here. I think your voice should be more prominent.

  2. Thanks for the recital, Jim! Excellent graphic, great choice of font. And the music was an added bonus.

    Scott has it right, I think, about elevating the voice above the music. Signal-to-noise ratio counts in all forms of communications!

    “Fire and Ice” is a long-time favorite, and brings so many resonances. TS Eliot says the world with end “Not with a bang but a whimper” (“The Hollow Men”). The New Testament speaks of the heavens and earth to be destroyed by fire, and then recreated. And Vonnegut has the world all-but-destroyed by Ice-Nine (Cat’s Cradle).

    I’m working on a version of the class audio assignment of my own, already intending to be quoting Eliot and Heraclitus, Old Testament and New Testament, and bring in some sounds (bells and gongs). I’ll take a clue from you about using Audacity to slow down and modify the sounds. We’ll see if I get it done by the end of the week…

    • Reverend says:

      @Scottlo and Bill,

      Thanks to you both, funny thing is I actually had the voice higher in the first published version but replaced it because I thought I drowned out the music, which I wanted to be more prominent. That said, I will heed your advice because I like yous guys and republish the original. Thanks for listening, I love feedback!

      Udate: OK< so I changed back to the original, let me know if it is better. I lowered the gain for the twilight zone music a bit, should still be audible but not intrusive.

  3. Glad I could inspire your work – it’s great as always. The reading of the poem was so as ScottLo said “eerie,” but in an awesome way.

  4. Reverend says:

    Thanks for both the inspiration and the comment, nothing to make my day like a #ds106zone student commenting on my work—you know the feeling?

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