Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Ecstatic state in today's youth

Ecstatic state in today's youth brought on by the mural at the dry cleaners. And maybe chemicals at the dry cleaners.

Janka Nabay & the Bubu Gang, En Yay Sah
Orchestra of Spheres, Nonagonic Now
Paris Suit Yourself, My Main Shitstain
Liturgy, Aesthetica
Marnie Stern, Demo
Lightning Bolt, Wonderful Rainbow
Breaking Bad
My syllabus

Terry Riley, A Rainbow in Curved Air

Prince, "Purple Rain"
Medici String Quartet, Janáček and Fauvré: String Quartets
Emerson String Quartet, Intimate Voices
Owen Pallett, A Swedish Love Story
Dirty Projectors, Swing Lo Magellan
Robert Wyatt, Ruth is Stranger than Richard

This teaching life. Don't let anyone fool you into thinking teaching is a cushy gig. And I'm not doing even a quarter of the work an elementary school teacher does. I have three classes, two days a week and I'm already dizzy from piercing the clouded attentions of sixty college students with whatever I have to say on the subject of communication. One class is from 2:30 - 4:30, naptime for the contemporary American post-adolescent. I asked them what is up with the napping with their generation and I received barely hidden yawns as my answer. I'm hoping to bring them up to a "visit to the dry cleaners" level of enthusiasm by midterm.

I'd forgotten how heavily "Purple Rain" leans on its string section. It's like when you glance back to notice that every song in the 1980's had a saxophone solo in it, and somewhere we lost our coupling with the instrument and had to find a whole new way to get the pop music message across.

My first real interface with string music (and in many ways, with Music) was a recital of Janáček's second quartet when I was in college, about the same age as my students now. I remember thinking it sounded like "doing algebra during a plane crash" but I don't know if I feel that way now. I got invited to the reception and remarked to the cellist that I got into the arts because they always had great snacks at the parties and he said that's what attracted him as well.

From here.
I went to a party at a colleague's house (great snacks) over the weekend and he had a Red Grooms three-dimensional lithograph in his foyer, similar to the one at the left, but of a newsstand. I have colleagues now. With art collections. And dry cleaning. Weird.  At least there's snacks.

Anyway, he acquired it from a former editor who had it in his office and he made it known that he wanted it when the editor retired and he got it. Not saying anything. Just sayin'. I don't mean to cause you any sorrow... any pain. Just putting in a word if there is a word to be put. Communication. It's how things happen.

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