Tuesday, February 16, 2010

call a convention cont'd

Or we'll end up like Greece.

Also, while we're on the subject of our depressing future, described in otherwise awesome Atlantic articles, what's a twenty-something to do?

call a convention?

If you've been reading the news lately, you know that talk of America's decline is all the rage. Jacob Weisberg at Slate thinks we the people are mostly to blame. He makes a good point. On most important issues, poll results display the shocking failure of Americans to recognize trade-offs and generally stay even minimally informed. Can you blame politicians when voters send them such mixed and incoherent messages?

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

piano sound, part 2

A friend complained to me the other day that my original post on this topic sort of built up to something, but never quite arrived. He was surely right; but let's be honest, it was getting a little long. You probably didn't even read the whole thing. Anyway, so what's the big deal? Why does it matter if I or anyone can recognize the sound of certain pianists?

Sunday, February 7, 2010

random not-watching-the-super-bowl super bowl memory

For some reason I just remembered this rendition of the national anthem from the super bowl a few years ago. For a really great tune it's butchered way too often. This is definitely the best I've ever heard live at a sporting event, and an interesting arrangement to boot. Maybe I could have done without a 4-3 suspension on every phrase ending, but what're ya gonna do.

Anyone know a better one?

Saturday, February 6, 2010

music in the modern era

First, support my friend in his innovative project.

Recently, I've been thinking about performance practice and public attitudes toward "art music" more generally. A couple of specific things have influenced me, that I'll talk more about, but I wanted to mention them quickly. One is Emily Howell, a computer program developed by UCSC professor David Cope. (JFGI and read all about it).

The other is improvisation, especially by Gabriela Montero, of whom I was just made aware three days ago, and have not stopped watching obsessively since. My favorites here and here. I've never seen anything like it. The most shocking part for me is that I had never heard of her before! This kind of thing just isn't really encouraged much in the conservatory world that I inhabit, which is a real shame.

More generally, though my friend and I have our disagreements about what music is all about, I think we agree that something is off about the modern concert hall experience. More to follow soon!