Saturday

May. 29th, 2011 09:34 am
nonionay: (Default)
I had a nice, busy day yesterday. After discovering ants in my kitchen, I headed out to get some traps. This happened in a very roundabout fashion, as I got waylaid by an estate sale and had to lug home a 20$ set of drawers. It's going to be perfect for keeping my craft supplies in, and was great exercise. I can totally feel it in my arms and back this morning. :-)
In the afternoon, I went to Folklife, which was having a Bulgarian singing workshop I desperately wanted to attend. I keep meaning to join a choir, since I totally miss singing. There was well over a hundred people there, and I learned some fascinating stuff. I've been trained to mostly use my head voice, while Bulgarian music focuses on the chest. It's really, really hard to do that if you've been trained like me. Our instructor was Tsvetanka Varimezova, who's renowned back in Bulgaria. Afer hearing her sing, I realized she's on some of the CDs I own. She's the lead singer in this, which is a beautiful example of why I love this music so much:

This one is just her, but though the sound quality isn't the best, it's a great example of her capabilities.

She was excellent at getting her point across in few words. Those trills aren't that hard to do!
Anyway, this was the song we learned:


Afterwards, I wandered the rest of the festival for a bit. I wish I had some money to spend, but I gave myself a budget of 5$, and stuck to it. There was lots and lots of wonderful music everywhere, from a little girl playing the trombone by herself in a corner, to a barbershop quartet on stage, to some bagpipers and drummers playing Happy Birthday for a friend. Eventually, the crowds overwhelmed me, and I went home.
I worked on my webpage at home, and ended the evening with The Godfather. I've never seen it, because I either never remember to get it at the video store, or I'm not in the mood. I thought it was good, though not Blow Me Away Good. (Though Al Pacino was amazing, considering that was his first major role.) I think that about most of what are widely considered to be the best movies ever, like Citizen Kane and Casablanca. They just don't hit my particular buttons.
I'm not sure what I'll do today. Probably more research for WWII, since I'm in the mood for that. Maybe check out Folklife some more.

Cannons!

Sep. 2nd, 2010 10:08 pm
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Tonight I went to one of the highlights of my vacation--the Oregon Symphony's outdoor concert. It took place in a big park, and there were lots and lots of people. However, there was a round little plaza right next to the stage where, except for a few benches, no one was sitting. I sat on the bricks* against a low, curved wall that probably enhanced the acoustics. The sound was perfect, the view of the ballet was perfect, and little girls used the open space to be ballerinas. Of course, this open space was later abused by children running and screaming during the quiet parts of the 1812 Overture. Partially forgiven because one of the kids produced a glowing lightsaber, and so one of the would-be ballerinas became a graceful ballerina Sith chasing and hacking the other children. They did all stop in their tracks when the Howitzer** went off.

I was hoping the cannons would be better timed during the climax, along with the fireworks. They went off once right before the climax, and then a whole lot right after the end. But hey, cannons! Seeing the big metal towers of the Hawthorne Bridge surrounded by smoke was pretty cool. And walking back to the bus, while the Howitzers and fireworks were still going off, really did make me feel like I was in a battle.


*Yes, I was probably sitting in homeless person pee. I washed my hands. Jeans, too.

**The local National Guard light artillery troop operated the cannons. Last year, they couldn't do it because they were in Iraq, but they've just returned last April.
nonionay: (Default)
In other news, I think the Tuvan throat singing I've been listening to on last.fm is going to rot my brain. Mostly it's a pleasant drone, but sometimes someone pops up who sounds like a goddammed demon. Mind you, I like this music because it drills into your head. Like this singer. (Go to the Downloads to listen to her music.) I think part of it might be that the particularly creepy ones are women, since I'm not used to hearing them. Their voices are higher. Arjopa's particularly fun because her stuff starts out sounding all nice and folksy, and suddenly she turns into Mr. Hyde. Looks like she's just a German girl who learned from Albert Kuvezin of Yat-Kha (Who's also the shit.) Jealous!

Here's some videos:
Read more... )
nonionay: (Default)
In other news, I finally got around to playing with last.fm. I'm listing to a Tuvan set. There's a guy singing the blues, but with the gravelly, barely-human sound of the throat singer mixed in. Also, I learned that at some point, two of my favorite things in the world got together, presumably because they want to see what the inside of my skull looks like after it explodes.
Huun Huur Tu AND Le Mystere Des Voix Bulgares!!
One is Tuvan throat singing with a bit of a contemporary sensibility, the other's the assymetrical rhythms and dissonant harmonies of Eastern European folk music.
Hmpf. Now the station just jumped from Yat-Kha (Tuvan punk!) to just regular old punk. Hmpf.

Muse

Sep. 19th, 2009 10:57 am
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I first heard of Muse on Wednesday, driving back from the hike, when Keffy ranted about Muse (who had apparently just played on the radio.) He said there were a few nice songs, but after that, they all sounded the same. Later, I saw LJ muttering about Muse. Someone said they were trying to hard to be U2. Turns out the new album's downloadable from their site, so I got it. Previous commenters were spot on, that's what I have to say.

But happy news on the music front: I'm going to be getting music from Kenya, thanks to my co-worker. Of course, this also means I'm all alone at work for the next two weeks while he brings suitcases full of Emergen-C and macaroni and cheese to his friends over there.
nonionay: (Default)
Sofa FM has a special Mission Control station, featuring lovely ambient music played over the Apollo 11 recordings. I sent the link to my co-worker, who adores any music containing space beeps.
nonionay: (sepulchrave)
Not too bad of a day.
Last night was part 2 of my novel critique. Again, it went well, but fixing the novel will likely require some personality tweaking. I'm way, way too sensitive, and as a result, writing (and often, reading) highly emotional stuff is almost literally physically painful for me. It's all super magnified for me. As a result, my character interactions are way too subtle, and if I go too far (by my definition) it feels false and overly dramatic. This, I need to get over. So I tried to write a histrionic scene today. Time and my critique group will tell if I'm successful.

While writing this, some Wendy Carlos came on over Pandora. She did a lot of the music in A Clockwork Orange, and was an early pioneer of electronic music. I worship her. Full of desire, I headed out in search of her work (iTunes produced nothing, damn them). My first stop was Henderson's Books, where I ended up getting the second season of Carnivale for 12$. Score! God only knows if they had any Wendy Carlos. Their music selection is barely organized, and piled two deep behind glass.
Then, on to the big used music store. I didn't realize how big their DVD section was. Immediately, I saw the first season of Carnivale, and nearby, the second season of Deadwood. Second score!

As I was paying, the clerk asked me if I wanted anything else, and that's when I remembered the original reason I came! I ran to the soundtrack section, and glory hallejuah, they had Clockwork Orange. And not just the soundtrack, but Wendy Carlos' original, remastered score, containing her own original vision for the movie which got trimmed a little for Kubrick's purposes.

So today, I got in writing, room cleaning, washed that neat little fake-PVC dress I got at the clothing exchange at Norwescon, AND cleared the library table of books (just like I promised Keffy). I got [livejournal.com profile] kaerfel and [livejournal.com profile] awriter to watch the first episode of Carnivale, and now I can relax, just me and Wendy Carlos.

My weakness

Mar. 6th, 2008 09:24 pm
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I was walking home when I passed the library. The great red "Book Sale" sign of doom was out front. Oh, no! I wasn't going to go in, I told myself as I felt for my wallet. Fortunately, I didn't have any cash, so I couldn't buy anything. But then I opened my treacherous wallet and found six dollars. But hey, I have willpower, and they only have crappy books at the book sale. I wouldn't buy any books I felt wishy-washy about. Six awesome and heavy books later, I'm home.

In other news, Nine Inch Nails rocks. I hear they've already made 750,000 dollars off their Creative Commons album. I downloaded the 9 song free sample, and will undoubtedly shell out the five dollars for the other 27. It makes great, low-key writing music.

Ooh, I'm especially liking 6 Ghosts I.

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