Master of Arts Thesis

Hazy Devotion: A Visual Album in Electronic Music, East Asian Instruments, and Sensory Experience

As your thoughts diminish, you wander along a drifting path. You immerse yourself in color, and a gentle breeze streams through the foggy air. Water flows slowly below an obscured sky. Your mind melts, and you feel refreshed. You could wait here forever, thinking about nothing except for the fondness of your memories. Are you walking or floating? The illusion of space lingers, and you blissfully smile despite your own confusion. Nevertheless, you're here.


I. Here

II. Waiting, Thinking

III. Memory

IV. Illusion

V. Here II

Hazy Devotion: A Visual Album in Electronic Music, East Asian Instruments, and Sensory Experience

Created by Hilary Anne Yarger

The University of Chicago

Master of Arts Program in the Humanities

Master of Arts Thesis

About the Album

Through an innovative, multimedia creative project, the visual album entitled Hazy Devotion is a composition of electronic music that features traditional East Asian instruments, edited video, and digital animation. Hazy Devotion aims to express the concept of haziness, as well as a fondness for an alternative, surreal, and calming sensory experience. The entirely sample-free arrangement is largely inspired by the vaporwave, slushwave, and ambient genres of electronic music, as well as traditional East Asian music. Electronic versions of East Asian instruments included in the music are the guzheng 古筝, pipa 琵琶, erhu 二胡, dizi 笛子, koto 琴, and shakuhachi 尺八. Furthermore, original audio recordings of the Japanese koto are included within the songs “Illusion” and “Here II.” In addition to musical media, the visual album features edited video clips of nature, including footage of trees, flowers, fields, and water. These video clips are edited using a negative/inverse color filter and layered with digital animations of swirling colors, shapes, and textures. By synthesizing a variety of artistic genres, Hazy Devotion seeks to create a soothing sensory experience for viewers and listeners.