Month: July 2010

iDosing: Not the Newest Product from Steve Jobs

I read Huffington Post on my iPhone daily. Yesterday an article popped up that exposed the concept of iDosing, Digital Drugs: How Teens are Using the Internet to get ‘High’. From the title, I thought maybe it was going to be some stab at addiction to social networking. Nope.

iDosing/i-Dosing, sitting still with headphones on while listening to atonal digital audio files, is said to alter brain waves and produce a state of ecstasy for the ‘user’ (i.e. listener). (more…)

Score Study: Mozart’s Serenade in c minor, K. 388 (for wind octet), 1782

******NOTE: This post gets quite a bit of traffic.  If you intend to use/paraphrase any of the material, please inform me.  I strongly feel like there aren’t enough score study examples on the net, so I will continue to post my work – but NOT if I find they are being plagiarized.   I can and do check.

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My current project is Mozart’s Serenade in c minor. I’m conducting it next Thursday night and have been rehearsing it with a fabulous ensemble on Tuesday and Thursday evenings.

Here’s a random video I found on youtube of the first movement:

Although the players in this video are lovely, I don’t agree with their tempo in this first movement. It should be played just a bit faster, otherwise the piece tends to drag.

What made Mozart compose wind music? The often-told purpose is to produce music for entertainment, and often at outdoor performances. Wind instrument frequencies can carry respectable distances, and their timbre provided a stark contrast to that of their string counterparts. In addition, they have many qualities that give them speech-like character. In other words, they can display human sentiment (regardless of whether the piece was programmatic or absolute). The octet formation and the music that was written for it became known as Harmoniemusik.

My research on the piece is based on G. Henle Verlag’s Urtext score.

(more…)

In New Orleans you can wake up in Spain and fall asleep in France

It’s true I tell ya. This entire weekend was a defining “I love New Orleans” moment.

My Friday evening looked like this: two bar stools, Abita Amber, discovering the jukebox-friendly treasures of Miles Davis & Jimi Hendrix, bizarre conversations that only two brass players could have, cheap wine, unraveling the inherent rhythm in a line of trash cans, and a film named Pink Flamingos at a dive called Lost Love Lounge. It gets worse (better) from there.

Cue three hours of sleep. 7am rolls around and I jack-in-the-box myself awake, poke the other two sleepy folks in my apartment, and head 8 blocks south to catch the Running of the Bulls. This deserves a bit of a description. (more…)

an unmusical post lands on the blog

If you asked yourself what you wanted in life and answered it, would your fairy godmother be able to read it, flick her wand, and make your dreams come true?

Radical changes force people to think about their futures, and to resurrect the ridiculous search for their true selves. Then, a split second goes by and most folks realize that it takes being uncomfortable to find comfort. Uhh…Bam! (Just because I live in New Orleans doesn’t mean I can’t use Emeril’s harebrained slogan) – and so operation-unsatisfying-life resumes. I think though, that most of us owe it to someone in our past that caused some unbearable challenge for us. They would precipitate the plead for change – for a break in the cycle, whatever the cycle may be… Usually at least the acknowledgment is there.

Really – no one wants a dreadful life. But if you asked me, I’m not sure I could define a great one. I could qualify it maybe. I’d want it to be useful, musical, fun, full of love and laughter, rhythmically complex, honest, without a bucket of ‘shoulds’, and chock full of travel experiences to bore the great-grandkids with around a campfire in the Berkshires.

The concept of success scares the hell out of me. By yearning for it, I climb ladders and potentially push people off of them- every childhood Buddhist ethic gets sucked up the vacuum tube with my husky’s undercoat. At the other end of the spectrum, I get pushed off the ladder. The middle way? Does it exist anymore?

I define success as the absence of worry stirred clockwise with laughter and a few ounces of love, a wee splash of suffering (like tobasco, for kick), and a well-worn bar to set it on. Mahogany. Screw the mantle and trophy case. I need to let go of the worry, and I need to let go of other peoples’ expectations. Easier said than done. I have no idea if the life I want is attainable because I have no idea what I want, even as I sit in the pool of it. I’ve had nearly twenty-six years to think about this. Shouldn’t I be satisfied at this point?

In two weeks I’m moving to a brand new city – new house to live in, new friends to meet, new academic environment, and a new job… I’m hoping it’ll help me iron out a few answers. I want to help people through music and I don’t want to spend my life searching for gigs or standing in a classroom teaching quarter notes. I have definite ideas of where I want it to take me, but the second half of the path is still blurry. I’m so grateful for the upcoming opportunities I’ve been given – if I’m having doubts, it’s because of my own insecurities. The universe has suddenly dropped everything I’ve ever asked for in my lap, so I’m listening to it – going with it. I just hope that what I’ve asked for isn’t going to slap me around and cause me to realize that I already had the tools I needed without the letters behind my name.