Saturday, September 23, 2006

this is what happens when I try to write a cover letter

One has to choose to sing as a career for a reason greater than “I like it” or “I’m good at it”, yet one does not choose to sing because they want to change the world. I choose to sing because it can bring joy to others thereby bringing joy to me. We have doctors and bankers to take care of our personal and financial well-fare and as such we need artists to take care of some part of our aesthetic being. One of the greatest thing about being a human working within a civilization of social beings is that we can enjoy more than the basic needs of life. As such we develop culture. It is interesting to think that perhaps the development of culture is man’s attempt to control all aspects of life. There are some things that are so abstract that it does not seem that they can be bent to the will of man. Time is one of these concepts; it passes us by whether we can recognize its passage or not. Therefore I will contend that music is man’s attempt to control time, through music we recognize the passage of time as we desire it to pass, with meaning.

As such I wish to be a time master, but I don’t wish to do so in a base manner for opera is more than sound, in fact opera is more than “merely” music. Music can be abstract or convey raw emotion, opera does this with what is a concrete story. I want to be a vehicle for what is fantastic gut wrenching music. I want a child to come see an opera and never forget the experience, the lights the costume and most of all the music. This child will not remember the names of the people who sang, and ultimately this is not important, but they will remember if the music and acting made them laugh and cry.

I want to sing opera because there is more than the act of singing involved in being a great singer. Firstly one must understand the poetic subtleties of different languages. I did not think that I would enjoy learning languages, yet it is like discovering a key to unlock the mysteries of another culture. The only way to obtain an understanding of another culture is to explore it from the inside, language gives us this capability. Secondly one must understand the history surrounding different operas. Depending on when and where something was written the piece will be performed differently, and this is not something that is necessarily indicated in the score. It is these subtleties that can make a performance superb. Thirdly one must understand the stage, actions and emotions must not just be apparent to the performer, but to the (hopefully) vast sea of individuals in the audience. Fourthly one must have an acute understanding of human emotion. What a character really means must be more apparent than what they say. Finally one must be able to sing appropriately for each moment. Singing is not merely about making beautiful noise. Sometimes the sound must be beautiful, other times a different sound may be called upon.

I think that it is easy to be drawn into the individual glamour of singing on the stage, yet if the individual glamour is not part of a production or out shines it in an inappropriate fashion, the glamour is no longer desirable. As in society one performer is merely part of a whole, and if one part of the production does not work then the entire whole will fail. I want to sing because I want to be a functioning piece of a fantastic whole.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

eventually the problem with modern music

I guess we have all learned from Daniel that Beta blogger is made of evil and is not to be trusted. Unless of course it will bring us closer to perfection once we all have it, some sort of communist utopia of sorts....or not.

We have a brand new crop of first years here that are all asking what classes to take and are beginning an exciting four years. I've been working for the Masters cooking all sorts of foods. We've been increadibly productive and non argumentitive, so I declare it a success!

What I don't declare a success was our trip to the Velvet Lounge. For those of you who know anything about the south side of chicago the Velvet lounge is located four blocks east of the redline stop at Cermak/China town. This is not a terrible neighborhood, but also not one that I would choose to take first years who have never been in an intense urban environment. That said I also object to the students at this institution who never explore the southside and will only go to the northside when going out in the evening, but even for someone who has lived here for now three years I spent my time very aware while walking. My group had no real trouble some people talked to us, but that's just what happen anywhere. However some groups were really harassed by some individuals and apparently the polic told one of the groups that they shouldn't be walking there after dark. Oh the neighborhoods your stopped in because you're white.

Normally we take trips at this time to some sort of Blues club where we dance and play pool and can talk while enjoying really loud blues. I mean Blues is the music of chicago. This was a Jazz Jam session, in a small club where everyone just sat and listened. Here I will have to admit that I am not a jazz person, I get it, and I like some of it, but even Coltrain can be too obtuse for me. And Jamming? bah I just don't like it. Go ahead call me a troglidite if you like...I don't mind, I'm aloud to not like something though.

The problem I have with a lot of modern music (I do not mean the pop scene) is that individuals feel the need to push boundries, do things that no one has done before.
Well certainly, this is the western way, there is no way around this, but we are pushing our way into incomprehesibility. There are certain cases where an inability to understand something ceases to be the fault of the listener and becomes the fault of the musician/composer. Obscurity does not necesarily make one more valid. Being difficult to understand does not increase the importance of your work. You are not a more complex and evocative individual if you write in a context that no one can comprehend.

Of course one cannot emulate past masters though. IT's already been done, it's trite and there is no way that we can rival those who have done so well in the past. Thus we are stuck in some sort of conundrum where we must strive to change and become greater, yet we must stay with in the bounds of what is comprehensible...

Perhaps 100 years from now I will be seen as backwards, and the work of certain composers will be seen as the necessary genius to push us into a new age of music. One can not predict history before it happens.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

well anonymous, to inquire upon what color other frequencies of light are is to assume that we can project our ability to perceive a range of about 400 nanometers of wave lengths. The problem is that we would have to figure out a way to receive such frequencies and then perceive them. I think that it might be better that we can only see what we can, other wise our puny minds just might explode. Though it's certainly interesting to think about.

However I'm a musician not a physicist so all my replies to this matter mean little. They are based upon the way I think the world works, which is in no way a reflection of how the world actually functions.

I'm finally back in chicago. Time to start my final year here at this institution. I think that I start every year with a little bit of trepidation for different reasons everytime, last year I was still sick from that evil whatever I had and could barely sing. This year is the first year I'll be here with out Duff and with alot of my friends off campus, and I have to apply for grad school.

Have I mentioned that I have no desire to go through this process, it's just not something I feel inclined to do. But of course I have to.

I think that wooly adelgid and light rays are more fun than applying to grad school.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

This was inspired by the rocketry's nonsense!

There are no philosophical questions allowed in the rocketry room. However I am not in the rocketry room, rather in my study, where for better or worse philosophical questions abound. The problem with philosophical questions is that attempting to answer them generally does little to clarify the subject. In fact in most cases attempting to answer these sticky questions can leave you worse off than you began. However I will attempt to answer one lurking, provocative unanswered question: Where do the lost rockets go?

There are several theories presently accepted as to the location of these lost projectiles. One of the more widely spread theories is that they break through the earth’s gravitational pull and are now hurling around the earth at a precariously low orbit. As one who has made many rockets and thereby lost quite a few, I do not believe that this is the case. I think that the craftsmanship on these rockets, while certainly great in many cases does not lend itself to rockets that are now in space. One must also keep in mind the materials that the average model rocket builder works with, cardboard tubing, balsa wood fins etc.

No, they most certainly return to earth, the question is of course where. I have pondered this question on and off while watching rockets descend to earth clearly on course to land in the middle of route forty four, yet hear no car related noises to indicate that it ever made it there. I had pondered briefly the idea that rockets fall in the category of guitar picks. I’m referring of course to a theoretical principal in physics. All solid objects are not very solid at all, rather are mostly empty space. More over you never actually come in physical contact with anything, ever, your electrons merely repel the electrons of the other objects. One may ask, what then do electrons and guitar picks have to do with the rocket I spent hours working on only to be lost?

The principle is as follows: since all “solid” objects are actually mostly charged empty space theoretically if two objects collide with each other, it is possible that during one of the collisions, all of the electrons and subatomic particles miss each other therefore the objects pass clear through each other. Or more amusingly become stuck in the center of each other. I am suggesting that this is possibly what happens to the rockets that hurtle back towards earth never to be seen again.

One may disregard this theory as bunk due to the amount of theoretical extrapolation and induction it requires. However how else can one explain the mysterious disappearance of so many rockets? Surely no one puts any stock into the “stuck in trees” theory. Though there was recent research conducted that shows that rockets that appear to get stuck in trees are not stuck at all, rather sentries. Sentries for the formerly unknown secret society of slightly maimed rockets. It is my hypothesis that these disgraced rockets band together to support each other while forming their own community. Who better to understand the troubles of being shot through the stratosphere only to be thwarted by your own structure than another rocket that has recently gotten over the same struggle?

These tightly knit bands of wayward psychologically patched rockets wander the countryside trying to revenge those that destroyed their fragile existence. Using the resources they have, spent engines and the ability to grow tiny organisms they have begun to attack the trees. Their first target in the north east of the United States has been the dreaded Hemlock. Yes it is the rockets that have created the white fuzzy parasitic substance that plagues these organisms. This life draining creation that humans have labeled as “Woolly Adelgid” is really a parasite farmed by wayward rockets that live the first part of their lives supported by the sulfurous remains of the rockets’ old engines.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Dufferkins returns

Of course I write something that I deem to be perhaps thought provoking, but probably just self indulgent and Duff my darling boy manages to out wax me in every possible way considerable. Firstly he wrote a veritable epic (granted he hasn't posted since the spring) and secondly he managed to reference all sorts of obscure texts and concepts that only the educated may recognize. I mean the Cosmic Microwave Background is pretty sweet and good evidence for the idea that the universe exploded into existance, but I'm just not sure how many people know what that is...I'm just lucky I took astro physics. also Derrida and Levi-Strauss both make an apperance I'm mean check it out.

Anyhow, don't mind all that, this is of course why we all love Duff.

Friday, September 01, 2006

I think we get caught up in potentialities...

really I wrote that because it sounded cool not because I thought that it really meant anything. if there is anything that the University has taught me is that most obscure profound things are mostly the former, and not so much the latter. I like to think that three years at this institution has taught me enough such that I can call people on this as frequently as possible...though of course you leave yourself open to be criticized for not thinking critically about a subject before dismissing a topic, but I think that really people are mostly interested in sounding like they know what they're talking about, and will risk being obtuse such that they seem more educated (note I did not say intelligent but educated...entirelly different things)

In other news I was accepted into this super sweet choir that will sing at Carnegie Hall this January...we will be singing Bach's St. Matthew's Passion.