Jun 19 2008 By Chris Clements
AN Airdrie student has gained worldwide recognition following a degree show film he made at the Glasgow School of Art (GSA).
The four-minute film, titled ‘Big Ideas (Don’t Get Any)’, sees James Houston (21) remixing Radiohead’s song ‘Nude’ using obsolete 1980s hardware that he specially programmed to play certain parts of the track.
H’s ‘instruments’ include old equipment such as a dot matrix printer, ZX Spectrum, old hard-drives and a scanner. The visuals only show the machines as they work together to create the sounds to mimic the song, which is taken from Radiohead’s album ‘In Rainbows’.
The unusual remix has become a YouTube sensation, with the video being rated as the No.3 top-rated on the site this week, with over 209,000 views.
Radiohead’s bassist Colin Greenwood was so impressed by James’s work – which he called ‘brilliant’ - that he has also posted a link to the video on the band’s official website.
James was astounded by the attention his work has received:
"I’ve been completely overwhelmed by the huge response to the film.
"This was a small video for the GSA which was edited in my bedroom with my dog at my feet and now it’s grown out of control. I’ve had over 3,000 lovely emails from people all around the world, been offered a record deal although I’m not a musician and been asked to get involved in lots of other amazing projects."
The real exciting moment for James came when the band posted his video on their website blog: "I’ve been a huge fan for years and seeing the blog post really blew me away."
Since the video’s release, James has been interviewed on an US radio show and his work will feature in an open-air film festival in Amsterdam.
"I spent a lot of time working on nostalgic colour timing and treating the video, although I think that quite a lot of people can empathise with the machines themselves."
Paul Stickley, head of the Visual Communications department at GSA, said:
"With grit and determination, James has managed to carve a place for himself at the Glasgow School of Art. He has always had an enormous amount of talent.
"The film, with its subtlety of composition and sophistication of colour, deserves recognition across the world."
To watch James Houston’s video, click here.