Went to Matt’s show last Thursday. A musical composition (Violin, cello, and piano) with dancers, inspired by Hazel Hall, a poet from Portland in early 1900’s. it started with a presentation, then the performance, then Q & A. It is nice to get out and see some shows. I love to do this more.
Did a Steve Reich’s P Music relaization in the History of EM class.
IT was very fun. Nice to listen to the “Sound of Air” that is what I called.
EM History Question response…
Q. What is the relationship between man and the sounds of his environment and what happens when these sounds change?
I always believed that human being should be always tied closely to the environment. What we are in right now, which we called civilizations: skyscraper, manufacturers, mass production, etc, is all just destroying the harmony of universe gradually. The industrial culture and civilization cause us lost our essential ability to live in nature. The degradation of our hearing and body strength is enormous. Centuries ago, human’s hearing was sharp, in order to survive, man needs to be very alert to all sounds. But the advent of machinery quickly take away the nature sound, and push all other species out of their nature habitats. For the time being, it may seems like human is controlling everything. But the truth is, someday, we will loose even more.
When the nature around us starting to disappear, our listening response gets dull as well. Mostly because there are too much “secondary sound” around us, like traffic and machine sounds. I can fell strongly that there is almost not a single moment that I can feel “silent”. Even when I sleep, I hear the sounds coming from the appliances around the house, the sounds coming from the traffic on the road. When I am working, I hear clicking sounds coming from my finger typing the keyboard, the hard drive spinning, sometimes, even the light bulbs hissing.
Q. Is the soundscape of the world an indeterminate composition over which we have no control or are we its composers and performers, responsible for giving it form and beauty?
I think we have some level of control over this “world soundscape composition”, but not totally. For the past 200 year, we used our power, change the world so much: the wars, the industrialization and the invention of all sorts of technologies. we do have the ability and power to shape the soundscape of the world. But what kind of sound we want? There seems to be two distinct groups in the world whose composition ideas are totally opposite.
We are totally responsible for the soundscape of the world, but I also believe that there are an unforeseen force (someone might call it God, and I would call it Mother Nature ) out there, once in a while, joining in the process of composition, bringing dramatic changes (storms, fires, tsunamis…) altering the composition we are writing.
LCC / UO classes next term
It is such a challenge to plan out my LCC and UO schedule. I want to teaching as much as I can , but at the same time, taking as many classes as possible at UO. I know I can do it, only it needs a lot of discipline. Family is still my no 1. Forcing ourself taking Friday night and Saturday all day off each week for family time is great. even we may do nothing, just sit around the house doing stuff with family is something very nice.
Matt at LCC asked to if I can teach MUS 118 winter term at 2pm. Gee, this is such a great news. I was just feeing headache about my next term schedule, which originally my UO required class has time conflict with my LCC teaching schedule. If MUS 118 can move to afternoon, then I can take two UO required classes in the morning! Sometimes, God is listening. Ha.
Week 2 is Gone
Time goes so fast. Week 2 just ended.
Thursday night, went to Collier House attending a talk about Electronic Music in Germany. I am so surprised that NON of the attendees there I know from FMO group. I guess everyone just so busy on their school work. However, this is why I come back to school — trying to get involved as much as I can in this field, and not just living inside of my own academic bubble. The talk was good. it reminds us some good points of the EM development in Germany. It is so tight together with the war, military, and society. The war is terrible, brutal, and destructive. yet at the same time, it also pushed technology moving forward in a much faster way., then had great influence toward so much other fields in our world.
Beethoven Op131/Schubert/Henry von Ofterdingen
Write a short paper for the Survey class “Romantic Era”. Today in the class discussion, I really feel that as a students, especially graduate student, we are living in a 象牙塔. We all talked about STUFF. Discussing what is the meaning of the music, the poem, the life. How Beethoven transform his great musical idea into the form of eternity, infinity, and unreachable. things like… the death is actually another form of re-live your life… Then I turned around, thinking, what I need to cook for dinner for my girls and husband… Isn’t this nice? One minute, you are living in your dream world, talking high and spirit, the next moment, you are dealing with grocery shopping, house cleaning, and chicken poop… Fun life and, enjoy it while you can!
What values from Henry von Ofterdingen do you find in Beethoven’s op. 131 and in Schubert’s “Die Schöne Müllerin”?
In both Beethoven’s String Quartet op.131 and Schubert’s Dir Schöne Müllerin we can find some trace of the Romanticism values that are mentioned in Henry von Ofterdingen.
From the beginning of Beethoven’s Op.131, the melody gives a feeling of longing. It feels like someone is trying to reach out, again and again, but never be able to reach to it. The desire is so powerful and beautiful, it almost becomes painful. Just like in Henry von Ofterdingen, the poet is struggle for the infinite and the unreachable. Beethoven here is searching for the unreachable, the infinite, though musical notes.
The last movement of Op.131 stands out so much. The rushing, forceful string sounds deepens the yearning; the sudden change of music gesture echos romanticism and brings out individual subjectivity strongly.
Dir Schöne Müllerin is a song cycle about a man loving a girl, but eventually, the girl turns away from him, he is terribly heart broken and dies at the end. The song cycle contains 20 songs, and each of them depicts vividly a man’s desire, unsettling, longing when he falling in love. Just like in Henry von Ofterdingen, the whole composition is intermingle of love, desire, longing, and relief.
In Henry von Ofterdingen, the idea of “blue flower” symbolizing love, is also used in a few places in the Dir Schöne Müllerin . For example, in The Miller’s Flower, it uses the metaphor of blue flower —
“And my darling’s eyes shine bright blue, So they are my flowers”.
Also in the song Rain of Tears, the idea of blue flower is mentioned again. —
“And saw them nod and gaze
Up from the blissful brook,
The flowers on the bank, the blue ones,
Nodded and gazed as well.”
In Henry von Ofterdingen, the author uses green to represent Nature. Very similar idea, the poems also use “green” in a few places. In the Interlude and With the Green Lute-Ribbon, the Green Ribbon is used in the poem. It symbolize the girl that the man loves. But later in The Hunter, it also mentions the green branches, which is related to the hunter who also takes away the girl from him. And it leads to the next song Jealousy and Pride. The the man struggles in between love and hate. His favorite color is green, because his dear likes green so much. But the green also becomes The Hateful Color, because of the hunter.
In the last song The Brook’s Lullaby, both the color of green and blue show up in the same poem. —
“If a hunting horn sounds
From the green forest,
I’ll rumble and thunder all around you.
Don’t look in here
You blue flowers!
You trouble my sleeper’s dreams.”
First week of school
Star Fish Story
This story was in the email that LCC president Marge sent to all faculty today.
There was a man on a beach with thousands of star fish washing up around him dying in the sand. A little boy watched as the man picked up one fish at a time and threw them back in the water. The little boy seemed confused and asked the man why he bothered to toss one fish back at a time when there were so many others in the sand. The man looked thoughtfully at the little boy and told him that it mattered to the fish he saved.
This is what I would like to remind myself everyday…
It was a long long day. Left the house at 7:45am, and came home around 8pm. Tomorrow will be even longer since I will start my first studio time in the evening from 6 to 8:30pm.
Still enjoy very class.