I really like putting superficial elements into my compositions. I recently did a Schenker analysis on the first quarter section of my thesis piece, and found that I might as well write the whole piece in sonata form!--yes, I am working on the development of it--but who will hear it? I won't. The Schenker analysis did help me a lot with composing, with figuring out or planning out the structural pitches and registers/contours of sounds and tessitura. This piece is a lot about tension and release.
This weekend is gonna be sleepless for me... I need to somehow start thinking about my Max/MSP piece for next Tuesday. I really wish I have more time to just sit at the computer messing around with the program, but this thesis piece is really demanding--not that I have to finish it before the end of the semester, but at least I should aim for it...
I bought a new pair of Westone UM3X from an ebay few weeks ago. Unfortunately, I had to return it to the manufacturer because of a dislodged part inside the left-ear unit, which causes reduced sound quality. I couldn't get a return from the ebay seller, but I was so glad that the manufacturer was willing to exchange a brand new item for me, and my new pair arrived yesterday. Seriously, this is the best earphone I have ever used. I am happy.
I am hoping that the leaves won't all fall off from the trees soon ---- I need to go photograph! I can't wait for my next photography trip!!!
Went to Chicago's Millennium Park for Chicago Symphony Orchestra's free concert celebrating the grand beginning season of 2010-2011 with its new director Riccardo Muti! They played music of Verdi, Liszt, Tchaikovsky and more... was pretty good ---- except that we sat so far away...
So, I started seriously learning music when I was eighteen. I can't remember when exactly I started to be possessed with the idea that I couldn't live without music? I used to think I could.
What is a soul? Why does human possess a soul, and animals don't? Do I possess a soul? Do I express my soul through music? Listen to my music and tell me, because I don't know... also tell me what a soul is.
I have come to realize how lucky I really am. My loved ones are all healthy and alive, and I am healthy (maybe...) and alive. This world is simply wonderful. Maybe that's what gives me a soul ---- appreciating life ---- I love it, I enjoy every single moment of it, no matter how much pain/grieve/suffering there might be.
I enjoy being surrounded; I also enjoy being alone; I simply enjoy breathing in the air. Sometimes, the air is melancholy, filled with sorrow, but it is all good, all good. It sounds good ---- melancholy air sounds good. Indeed, every sound is music, and every glimpse is a photograph.
I can feel everything this time; it's like breathing in all the air in the world. Now, the only thing I have left to do is to fart really loud and celebrate the joy of life full of arts. Ain't I funny.
I went to the Black Swamp Arts Festival with friends today ---- nice art works, and we hit the happy hour at a bar! I bought a tea mug. Too bad it rained and made it so cold outside! I envy the artists who run the booths ---- they probably don't make much money, but it must be fun to share art works with others!
The masterclass today with Jennifer Higdon was very rewarding. She had lots of nice things to say ---- "this song really breeds." She made no suggestion for changes, but she did prefer the altered version with alto saxophone than the original version with clarinet. The Dal Niente ensemble's saxophonist's (Ryan Muncy) interpretation was compelling, and the sound of the instrument really fit the character of the music, but I am also very eager to hear "How Can I Keep from Singing?" with clarinet. I also played "Immortality", and she seemed to like it as well.
The talk that precedes the masterclass and the convocation that follows were both good. She had much encouraging words for the students. It was shocking that she didn't know music at all when she started college in Bowling Green, just like how I started college teaching myself piano... One thing that strikes me the most from the conversation with her, is that, when I asked her how much theory she thinks about when she composes, and she said, NONE ---- it's all intuitive... Well, I've tried both ways, and I've certainly been educated that I should find a balance between my gut and logic. Now, should it all come down to personal preferences? Well, the ultimate judge of my music is the audience ---- COMMUNICATION is the key.
Also, we've talked about the business aspect of being a composer ---- the house keeping crap. Other than that, I remember asking her, "how do you usually start a piece?" "Daydream, a lot," she said. I can't agree more. As a composer, we think about sound ALL the time. Just like all the other arts ---- a visual artist probably sees lines and shapes at all time; a script writer imagines his/her own life as a script...
There is too much to learn in music ---- it is an eternal learning process, and it is awesome!
August 23rd was a day of grieve for the people of Hong Kong, China and the entire world ---- The Manila hostage crisis... if you don't know about it. May the dead rest in peace.
Live like there is no tomorrow...