At least that’s what it feels like in this amazing video, called “Orson Whales,” from Brooklyn-based multimedia artist Alex Itin, which combines the voice of Orson Welles reading Moby Dick with the soundtrack of Led Zeppelin’s Moby Dick and animated interpretive drawings over the pages of Moby Dick. It is a crazy tour de force interpretation of the opening lines of Melville’s classic novel.
My interest in reading Moby Dick (full confession: I have never read the novel, despite earning a BA in English Literature, getting a Masters of Fine Arts for fiction and working for the top ocean conservation organization in the country) was piqued recently when I heard the Moby Dick installment of Studio 360′s American Icons series. In the program, artists, writers and filmmakers, including Ray Bradbury, who wrote and directed the 1956 film adaptation of the book starring Gregory Peck, talk about how the novel has shaped their lives and careers. For example, 360 host Kurt Anderson interviews an artist who has created a sculpture for each of the novel’s 135 chapters. After hearing this piece and seeing Itin’s interpretation, well, I just have to read Moby Dick now.As a bonus for all you drum enthusiasts, here’s Led Zep’s John Bonham playing Moby Dick at London’s Royal Albert Hall.