Monday, December 7, 2009

!My Composition!

I was excited to do this assignment when i first heard about it. although, i did think that the assignment was more of a write your on piece of music on an instrument or garage band or something like that. nevertheless, i still had a good deal of enthusiasm when thinking about this project.
My goal with my composition was to make something simple for everyone to be a part of, interesting to listen to, and still fun all at the same time.
It was a little bit challenging to come up with some sort of notation for this piece, but i think that by using a method similar to Rock Band or guitar hero (despite how silly i think those video games are) was very accessible to just about anyone. Also, i think that letting the people producing the sounds have a freedom to make whatever kind of beat that they want helped in maintaining the simplicity and ease of play.
I tried to find objects around my home that were easily transportable so that it wouldn't be too cumbersome to take to class and also, objects that had interesting, yet specific sounds. The Tupperware, for example, had a dull thud when hit with a plastic spatula or spoon. To me, this replicated a bass drum. The shakers brought in some treble range and interesting textures. The clapping and snapping added a range that felt a bit like the cymbals on the drum set.
If i could have changed something about the composition it may have been having a wider variety of instruments to produce an even more diverse soundscape.
All in all, i really enjoyed this project.

Monday, November 16, 2009

A night at the opera.

I would just like to start out by saying that this was my first opera. my thoughts and critique of it may seem a little shallow because of that. first and foremost i would like to say how much i liked the role of Serse played by joey. I was informed that he used a contra-tenor range which is about as close as it gets to castrati. it was quite amusing to hear such a lovely voice coming from such a big guy. i guess i really like the ideas of traditional gender roles being bent or broken. (usually a larger guy would be expected to sing in a very low voice.) another thing that got to me were the spanish translations. being a spanish major i found it to be a little distracting that there were very evident mistakes. and speaking of translations the italian to english translation of "love trophy" was quite.... funny.... the set was another thing that i caught myself admiring during the performance. it was a really well done set. i loved the mix of very traditional persian architecture and more modern upper-class decor.
Overall the opera was a very new and interesting experience. i will definitely attend some more and see if i can begin to get a better grasp on the finer things in the opera that surely flew right above my head.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Fuchs and Friends Faculty Recital

To start things off, I would like to say that I thoroughly enjoyed the recital.


Overall something that I really enjoyed watching were the body movements of the players and the ever-so-helpful sheet music page turner. The movements of the pianist were very much in sync with the energy of the music. His movements were smooth and graceful at times and then powerful and percussive at other times. The movement of the violin player was sharp and precise and the movements of the cellist were sharp also but somehow had a little bit softer feel than the violinist. It was evident to see the emotion put into each and every note.

Piano Trio in B Major, Op. 8
The first portion started out very gracefully. (well, the 2nd try at least hehe) As I sat back and listened to the piece I noticed many ridges and valleys in the feel and energy of the song. I was reminded of some electronic techno or trance music as both of these genres draw heavily on the play between high and low energy. The play between all 3 instruments with their own parts and matching parts (sometimes purposefully a beat off) weaved and intricate web, making the piece very interesting to listen to.

The second portion of the show was also quite enjoyable. i found the music this round to be a little more up-tempo and had a bit more of a "poppy-feel" to it. I believe this may have been produced from the thick layering of parts and the added viola. Some works seemed happy and bouncing at times, while at other times the mood was quite soft and even a bit sad and melancholy.

The recital was very fun to watch and listen too.

AA sponsor and Alcoholic @ a Restaurant.

Leanne and I improved a lil skit between and alcoholic working in a restaurant kitchen and her sponsor slash co-worker who end up getting very drunk and leaving work to go celebrate drinking at a bar. it turns out that it is kind of difficult to act drunk so Leanne took the reins in that department. She was pro. my character also became drunk in the scene. hopefully my acting was OK. we both just kinda winged it. one part that really worked out well was when i used a bottle of cleaner as a liquor bottle and two little lids as shot glasses.
P.S. i really like the "Freeze Game."

Monday, October 12, 2009

Hold me close, tiny dancer,

“But while music easily evokes in me a dance reaction, it is the development of the dance that a great divergence often occurs.” This part of “Composition in Pure Movement” really drew my focus. At first I thought of how this may relate to the theme of the saying, “it's the journey that counts, and not the destination.” but at a second glance it seems to demand more understanding. This “great divergence” Mary Wigman mentions must have a much deeper meaning. In her context of dance it appears as though she views her dance as more than just a visual representation of the sounds to which she is dancing. It is as if her movements are themselves instruments which accompany the already present music. A dance piece to an orchestra demands more than just expression of what is being heard. It demands the movement to be akin to the movement of the fingers and hands of the instrumentalists. She creates her own piece to a musical arrangement. I really like this idea. I feel like her ideas sort of transcend what it means to really dance to music.

Picture: Response. Pictures that create some kind of response.

After reading “Making Pictures,” by D.H. Lawrence, I was reminded of the initial question we were asked to think about in class, “what is art?” D. H. Lawrence makes a good case for filtering through what he feels makes art good or not. I feel, however, that art is still such a subjective craft. What makes a painting or a picture good or true has too much to do with that scientific approach that D. H. Lawrence was condemning. Science is very quantitative and art is not, therefore when one attempts to quantify how much emotion, thought, passion, or feeling one puts in a line of paint or a pallet of color, one leaves the realm of the very basic fundamental of art. The basic fundamental of art is still up in the air as to the definition. I say let art be art. Don't worry so much about the defining qualities of it or if it's good art or if it's not good art. If it speaks to you or stirs you in some way, great! If not, you may need to keep looking for something that tickles your fancy. Change where you're looking or write an essay about what you like, if that makes you feel better. In the words of the Beatles, “Let it be.”

Thursday, October 1, 2009


Last night i attended the orchestra concert at the U triple C. it had been ages since that last time i had been to an orchestra so i was very excited to be there. my roommate serena was gracious enough to attend with me. I enjoyed the performance thoroughly. from the first graceful lines of Mozart to the wasp-like buzzing of the strings, to the crash and boom of the cymbals and drum. i am always taken back by how powerful that classical music can be. Not only in a dynamic sense but also an internal emotional sense. for example, i really enjoyed the tension in Ralph Vaughn William's The Wasps. at times there was a very happy and energetic feeling, almost as if one would put music to the path that the insect might fly. naturally, the music became very intense as if describing a swarm of them, or even perhaps just evading a predator. My favorite thing about the show was definitely how accessible it was to really put yourself into the music and enjoy the ride.
there was one thing that stuck out to me that i really didn't enjoy that much. the snare drum. it seemed to me to be to demanding of attention, a little to harsh, or too "sore thumb." maybe it was the level of volume or maybe it was just me being picky that the beautiful strings and horns had to compete with an instrument so brash.
overall i thoroughly enjoyed my time and am very happy to have gone. thank you.