Contemporary Contextualization: Mozart’s “Lacrymosa,” Part 1



Contemporary Contextualization: Mozart’s Requiem in Pop Culture Television

Teen Wolf, Season 3a, Episode 8, “Visionary”

Teen Wolf is an MTV series that springboards from the eponymous 1985 film and incorporates European and Asian folklore with a personable and complex cast of characters and fast paced plots to build a momentous popular narrative with a passionate following and an exemplarily creative fanbase. Since its inception in 2011, it has garnered over a dozen Teen Choice Awards, and its actors have seen their careers take off in popularity: one third of the original main cast members have since secured roles in high-profiled movies.

The show began in 2011, and has gained an immense following of fans. Over 17 fanmade conventions (one of which is a hop, skip, and jump away in New Jersey, Howlercon) and very creative fanbase with over 50,000 works of fanfiction on Archive of our Own,  40,000  fanvids on Youtube, and 25,000 pieces of fanart on DeviantArt.

The show supports a demographically diverse audience by resonating on several levels and pulling from (and putting a creative spin on) familiar mythology. While themes of high school cliques, sports, and popularity taps into the primary YA demographic, subtexts and commentary on prejudice, gender, and homosexuality engages an adult audience as well. It is during the development of one of these “more mature” sub-themes that Lacrymosa is played: in a flashback episode, the audience is given information on the background of the Big Bad of the Season. The leader of a (friendly) werewolf pack agrees to meet with a hunter under the premise of discussion of a treaty. Said hunter uses the guise of peace to capture and blind the werewolf leader by the classical Greek method. The moment of the leader being blinded  triggers a spin into insanity and obsession with the acquisition of strength and power. This crystallizing moment cements both characters on a destructive path, and the choir beseeches “Dona eis requiem” in the background.


The Beginning of Transnational Media 101

In the fall of 2008, I was granted the opportunity to conduct research on the influence of art on Franco-American relations in the Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris. My thesis began as a simple intellectual exercise–contrast two French artists from different era whose domestic success carried over to the United States. However, the paper quickly began to evolve as emerging similarities between the two artists proved to be key in their transAtlantic triumph. The final paper outlines a rubric–a set of five criteria–which artists must satisfy in order to have the economic viability and compatibility in both domestic and international markets.

More interestingly, at the time of the research and drafting of the paper, Sony France was conducting a multi-branched initiative to push French chanteuse Camille into US American markets. You’ve heard of Daft Punk. You’ve probably heard of Edith Piaf. You haven’t heard of Camille, and she does not meet my five criteria. If she did meet the criteria, her chances of American success would have increased, at the very least.

This paper serves as the springboard for my subsequent and current research in transnational media, and I am now able to release this paper on this blog.


“Daft Punk and Edith Piaf: Similarities between Two French Artists Famous in the USA”