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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » My Dad was in Tears. (Page 2)

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Author Topic: My Dad was in Tears.
Launchywiggin
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First off, awesome work. Your music and my brain go together well. It's taken multiple listens to get the full impression of the 4 pieces, and I love it when I actually want to keep listening to figure things out. I like how the work shows your personal progression in the electronic medium throughout the 4 current movements, and the sounds and ideas you play with are delectable. I think the 4th has the most going for it (great effect) even though "Outcry" is amazing for your first attempt.

I think you're right about the titles--especially "Space" doesn't fit, in my opinion. The two words that come to my mind from the whole work are "stark" and "wet". "River" is aptly named, but doesn't work with the "vocal" theme of the other 3 movements. I'd think about finding another voice-related title for the 4th movement and for the whole piece. Or you could go in another direction--why not something relating to your time in London? I always think of it as "wet" and "stark" there, and the tracks would fit right into "Kid A" or Aphex Twin's Ambient works (They're both from that island, right?). I also get an "elemental" vibe from all 4, like they could be fire, wind, earth, and water (in that order).

For Scott, I'd agree that this music doesn't fit into "storytelling" very well. It doesn't seem to have "intention" in that regard. I like it because it's subtle and a little bipolar (development happens very quickly). It's much more about leaving impressions rather than telling stories. I think all 4 could be developed more and that more movements could be eventually added.

Come to Boston with your housemate, Lloyd. We're rife with musicians, and I'll be here another year for piano rebuilding.

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Orincoro
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Thanks Ldubb. Of course you'd mention Kid A given that so much of the sound in River is scrubbed right out of Kid A- I do cheat on some things.

Maybe I should lean more towards environmental names that have to do with "space." How a river moves in space, how the other movements work with space. I'll have to think about it.

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Uprooted
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Orinoco, this is the first time I've read this thread because I really have no musical education and when I've read your comments in other threads, I just assumed that your music would be inaccessible and unlistenable to the untrained ear.

So, FWIW, I have to admit that I enjoyed Space in 4 movements. That's about as sophisticated a review as you're going to get from me. Congratulations on the good things that have happened to you so far.

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Orincoro
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Uprooted, thanks for the encouragements. I do generally pride myself on my music being very listenable- I always think that if I can't listen to it, no one else will be able to either.

And in my opinion, you'll never see me recommend a piece of music that isn't listenable or accessible to anyone- I genuinely think people just don't listen to enough music to tell the difference.

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Launchywiggin
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Where DID you come up with the name "Orincoro", anyway? I've never met an Enya fan who was such a music snob at the same time. [Smile]

Speaking of music snobs, I was so curious about the short sample of "O Magnum Mysterium" in Whispers that I went through my library to find the composer--It's Tomás Luis de Victoria, Spanish contemporary of Palestrina. While we're on the subject, I've noticed you say "Des Pres" --when a musicologist would refer to him by just his first name, "Josquin". Kind of like how no self-respecting artist would ever say the Mona Lisa was created by "Da Vinci".

Anyway--I just listened to "Friction" for the first time. Liked it a lot. I'd almost say it was too pretty for the title "Friction" [Smile]

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Orincoro
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Haha. Yes, Josquin. Well I've sung enough Josquin, two quarters worth in the early music ensemble, to call him whatever I want. I also played "La Spaña" in my renaissance consort, so I'm a veteran of Des Pres.

I always get Victoria and Palestrina confused though- but yes the piece is the O Magnum Mysterium from a Victoria mass. It's incidentally one of the greatest pieces of polyphony every written. Amazing.

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Orincoro
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(Update, 4/24/08)

This piece is called: Forest Pavan

I'm considering it as part of an electro-acoustic piece to pair with the earlier cello work, and the movement I am writing right now for solo cello

This is, I think, the most technically accomplished electronic piece I've posted thus far. The overall sound quality has been improved as I've learned more about Logic and Max/Msp to help do just what I have in mind.

The piece was composed in three parts: first I built a patch in max/msp that would allow me to loud four samples of the cello, and then map their sampling speeds into a linear pattern that is unique for each sample. I started most of them at simple fractions of the final speed to give a sense of the "key" then designed the pattern to allow for individually marked glissandi, with each finally arriving on a pivoting set of chords. Then I arranged that in logic with a number of the samples in the native key interspersed through the piece, and used this to perform a vocal improvisation, which I then arranged at the end of the piece. Then I did my other Logic magic of EQ levels and compressors and densers, and I feel pretty done at this point.

Yay!

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Launchywiggin
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Best yet. Though you don't need any more praise from me.
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Orincoro
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Thanks LW, I do still appreciate the kudos. I just wish you weren't the only person listening. I guess that's a good sign that I really want people to listen- I feel proud of what I do.
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Artemisia Tridentata
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He isn't, just the only one commenting. I thought this latest one was great. Pavan, of course, is a dance, and I have been sitting here swaying to the music. It was easy to listen to. There was an old White Russian, through China, named Vladimir Ussachevsky on the faculty when I was in school. After large doses if his work, I have always been slow to appriciate electronic music. I'll listen to your Pavan anyday. Keep it up
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Orincoro
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Unfortunately with electronic music, people stereotype and generalize in a way that is, for someone who actually works in an electronic medium some of the time, really ridiculous and ignorant.

But there remains plenty of culture capital stacked up against the electronic medium in its entirety to keep people from listening, and also to attract members of the music community who are used to or even like being outsiders and elitists. Alot of the crap of oneupmanship and "craziness" and "elite" have led people I know and people I've met into the electronic medium for about 99% of all the wrong possible reasons to make music.

I mean, you wouldn't say that you don't listen to music composed for guitar or violin because people who like those instruments don't share any of your tastes- there are violins and guitars in every style of music, so the idea that "electronic" music itself has an aesthetic per se is a narrow view. The idea of electronic music being or primarily inhabiting the scope of "electronica" hip-hop, pop, trance or house music is pure folk wisdom, with no traction in serious study, or even casual listening to electronic music. Of course these styles exist, and they employ technology in some related ways, but their aesthetics are as unrelated to my work as country or Celtic music.

People are willing to distinguish between Bach on guitar and Nirvana on the same guitar, but my laptop is apparently incapable of being separate from a 90's rave party. I was having a nice conversation with a middle aged woman at my local sushi restaurant, and she was asking me all about school and the university. I mentioned my upcoming concert and she said, "oh I'd like to go, what are you having played?" I said: "A string quartet and some electronic music." She said, "well I don't like that type of music myself." I was amazed, as I tend to be, by the ignorance, but also the assumption that she had any real idea what type of music it was. I imagine being told by someone that they had built a statue out of wood, and me saying: "well I'm not into wood statues," without knowing what the subject matter was, just that the substance used was wood.

Now I'll admit that we electronic composers compete with a fairly sizeable population of "wood sculptors" that churn out mindless crap. But we aren't *really* competing with them for anything but our dignity.

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Launchywiggin
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I tried downloading the link target and it gets cut off at 3:53. I HATE listening to something that gets cut off before the very end. You should gmail me the file so I can put it on my ipod with your other music.

This brings up my single biggest pet peeve at live concerts: Applause before the end of a piece (between movements, after a solo passage). I understand that people want to show their appreciation, but often--my favorite moment in a piece is the silence after the final notes--when you can really take in the whole work and let the silence close it. I get that stolen from me way too often.

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Orincoro
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I think it was Ives who orchestrated the end of one orchestral piece with about 12 measures of conducted silence. Very effective as I recall.

Launchy- you should try loading the file again, but waiting for the whole piece to load before you save it. Also try switching browsers. If it doesn't work you can email me for it.

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Artemisia Tridentata
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quote:
This brings up my single biggest pet peeve at live concerts: Applause before the end of a piece (between movements, after a solo passage).
I applaud whenever my heart rate reaches the jump and shout level. If you are not moved to applaud after a cooking solo, you might consider having your soul recalabrated. Often the final cadence in a great performance will lift me to my feet. That is the beauty of live preformance. If you want glass listen to a studio recording.
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Orincoro
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The cadenza to Mozart's first violin concerto is rarely called a cooking solo.
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Artemisia Tridentata
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I was ready to respond that I hade never applauded it in concert. But, upon reflection,I have witnessed this solo done with so much flash and personality (the artist was beaming, her teacher was sobbing, and I was amazed.)that I applauded right there. It was appropriate. Hey, if it moves you, then dance!
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Launchywiggin
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quote:
If you are not moved to applaud after a cooking solo, you might consider having your soul recalabrated.
I'm plenty moved by incredible performances--but why should I be moved to applaud in the middle of the music? The thing is, I have way too much respect for the musicians and the music to start making noise while they're playing. Not to mention--I have respect for other listeners around me. I could just as easily say "if you want to make noise, listen to a studio recording instead of ruining my listening experience". My soul is calibrated just fine.
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Orincoro
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I think the overall sense of self is probably involved in the distinction between noise makers and non-noise makers. I think we can agree that the soul expresses itself in its own unique way.
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Mike
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Why are we arguing about this? There's a difference between classical music and jazz. As far as I can tell making noise is more about culture and context than anything else.
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Orincoro
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"We" weren't arguing about anything. Yes, culture and context have to do with the "overall sense of self."
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Artemisia Tridentata
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quote:
Why are we arguing about this? There's a difference between classical music and jazz.
Except that I am a classically trained orchestrial musician. I would agree about people who just clap because the guy in the next seat is clapping, or because the music stopped. But, as a performer, I am rewarded when someone is excited and moved by what I am playing, and expresses the same right on the spot. Then again, I suppose it's like an Amen in Church. It might seem strange to some.
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Orincoro
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:Badump: Updated with 3 new pieces from my senior concert at the top.
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Orincoro
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[Cool]
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Scott R
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quote:
I mentioned my upcoming concert and she said, "oh I'd like to go, what are you having played?" I said: "A string quartet and some electronic music." She said, "well I don't like that type of music myself." I was amazed, as I tend to be, by the ignorance, but also the assumption that she had any real idea what type of music it was. I imagine being told by someone that they had built a statue out of wood, and me saying: "well I'm not into wood statues," without knowing what the subject matter was, just that the substance used was wood.
So this should be a lesson to you-- when you say "electronic music" to anyone outside of your music program, it means "electronica," which means either dance music, or 80's synth rock.

And "string quartet" means "classical music."

At some point, I hope you realize that just because people don't speak the same language as you, they're not ignorant. What's warranted is not your amazement or condescension, but for you to consider changing the language you use to describe your interests so that they can appreciate them for what they actually are.

I've come around to this way of thinking myself, recently. I write speculative fiction-- which is a term that the general public (i.e., non-genre reading masses) is not familiar with. So when I mention that I'm a writer, I no longer say "I write speculative fiction," because I've come to realize most people don't know what that means. I say, "I write science fiction and fantasy."

(For those of you reading, and remembering, this is a change from my earlier stance.)

Most people use the term science fiction to describe material I write; when I'm communicating with them, since I'm in the linguistical minority, and happen to be bilingual, it behooves me to use their language so we can understand one another.

And they can buy my books.

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Orincoro
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You know, I'm not actually interested in a lecture at this point. You've said this before, and I've heard it before.

If you think that my interactions are typically like this, they aren't actually. But composers occasionally get strangely vociferous and opinionated and highly political reactions to the mere mention of the types of music we make. I'm really not interested in doing a lifetime of hand holding. The woman who cuts my hair at supercuts also gnaws my ear about how universities should teach pop music theory... and I am never really given a chance to tell her that a) they can and do, and b) it's not a very big subject because it's too simple.

I'd sound more condescending than you think I am if I actually did try and explain these things to people irl. They don't like it very much. My other option is to shut up and take it, and that's normally what I end up doing. Hence, lecture unnecessary.

In that particular case with electronic music, the woman vehemently waved off any and all of my attempts to explain that this wasn't beep-beep-boop-boop-boop-bop-bop electronica. Se insisted that she just didn't like that type of music. I mean, the really weird thing to me was that she made no pretense of her disapproval, even though she had been the one who asked ME about what kind of music I did.

Edit: And Scott, if you think I seek out these interactions, I don't. Living in such an intensely collegiate town, cursory and sometimes probing questions about your education are unavoidable. Sometimes I just say English is my major, but it always feels like lying because it makes me feel as if I look like a totally different kind of student than I am. The custom is at least two follow up questions, and a career question, and if I don't make full disclosure at the beginning, I really will be lying after a minute or two. So maybe I'm ultimately frustrated with the prying from the community into students' business, so that we never get left alone- that, and the very strong reactions that any mention of studying music can elicit.

I have an idea Scott. I suggest that you try this, just as an experiment. Tell people you are a composer. The fascinating kaleidescope of reactions, which are at once: mystification, interest, boredom, deep conviction, respect, and anger, are never exactly predictable. One thing they are is often unpleasant, so I really don't bring it up irl. I don't even want to bring it up here anymore, except in my little oasis of a thread, where I would like to keep talking about what I do.

[ June 13, 2008, 04:00 PM: Message edited by: Orincoro ]

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Primal Curve
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quote:
Originally posted by Orincoro:
You know, I'm not actually interested in a lecture at this point.

You must be new here.

Dude, you get your hair cut at Supercuts? Is this why all of the music nerds I've ever met have terrible hair?

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Launchywiggin
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I sang a solo at our graduation--you know, the cheesy graduation song...I didn't expect my parents to be balling. It's definitely a weird feeling.

So congrats on the senior recital, Lloyd. I'm sure it was better than many of the student composer's concerts I've been to [Wink]

I sat with one of the "funnier" professors at one of them once. She criticized just about every piece the guy wrote--no originality at all--neo-romantic, neo-classical pieces that all "sounded like" (Chopin, Debussy, Bartok, etc.) I've listened to everything you've put up here, and I hope you keep composing even if you don't make a career out of it.

So how much do you have left before getting those stamped diplomas? Are you totally finished?

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ClaudiaTherese
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Congratulations, Orincoro.

quote:
Originally posted by Launchywiggin:
I sang a solo at our graduation--you know, the cheesy graduation song...I didn't expect my parents to be balling.

*whisper
I really, really think you want "bawling" there. [Wink]

[Though, actually, that may well indeed be the more surprising reaction.]

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scifibum
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quote:
Originally posted by Primal Curve:
quote:
Originally posted by Orincoro:
You know, I'm not actually interested in a lecture at this point.

You must be new here.

Dude, you get your hair cut at Supercuts? Is this why all of the music nerds I've ever met have terrible hair?

Hey!

Supercuts is fine, at least in my experience. Granted I have a simple hairstyle that you'd have to be a klutz to mess up significantly - heck, I even cut it myself sometimes - but I haven't seen anyone leaving the place with "terrible hair."

Terrible hair is most often a result of letting a family member cut it. [Wink]

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Orincoro
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I occasionally get an awful haircut at supercuts, but most times it turns out just about the same as any place would do it.

I did get a cut yesterday at a nicer place before my commencement tomorrow, and it does make a difference if you're planning on spending 30 dollars instead of 14.

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Bisbigliando
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I feel your frustration Orincoro. I'm working towards my doctorate in music. When I tell people I specialize in classical saxophone, I get the same "ewww" expression. Our roles as ambassadors of contemporary art music are not always easy.
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Orincoro
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And as you know, the reason we have terrible hair, as Primal points out, traces its roots back to a long stylistic, or anti-stylistic trend among music nerds who don't comb, style, or otherwise care about their hair. When you're playing music, bad hair is in fact a plus. It reminds you that you have more important concerns, and gives a realistic image of the self.
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Bisbigliando
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Family member haircuts are great. All you need are a bowl and a pair of scissors.
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Scott R
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quote:
So maybe I'm ultimately frustrated with the prying from the community into students' business, so that we never get left alone- that, and the very strong reactions that any mention of studying music can elicit.
In the first example you presented, I don't think anyone could reasonably define the woman's questions as "prying." Certainly not from the way you categorized all but the tail-end of the conversation. And that wasn't 'prying,' that was 'opining.'

And really, man, this is Hatrack. We don't do anything BUT lecture here.

quote:
I mean, the really weird thing to me was that she made no pretense of her disapproval, even though she had been the one who asked ME about what kind of music I did.
So you've learned that curiosity doesn't lead to acceptance, right? It's a good lesson to learn.

I was flabbergasted at how many people would volunteer the opinion that my talents would be better used writing "for the Lord." And how vocal and public they would be about it. At a book signing.

So I get what you're saying, Orincoro. I've had parallel experiences.

quote:
I'm really not interested in doing a lifetime of hand holding.
I suspect this is the difference between us, and is probably the instigator of our conflict. I look forward to teaching people about my genre. It's fine that you don't want to put yourself in this situation-- but I've got real problems with calling people who don't like X style "ignorant."
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Orincoro
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I think the ignorance as I was referring to it was one not of the specific style, but of... something for which I don't exactly have a word. Aesthetic appreciation in general? Art in general? What you can tell from the way I deal with valid criticism of my own work, I hope, is that I do engage as much as I can with people who show me that they are thinking interestingly about the work. I've reflected on what you said a while back about my electronic pieces, and that criticism effects the way I view that work, and other things I've worked on.

I think that's one of the best parts about studying music, that often times the abstract subject matter helps to clear the way for very concrete and clear analysis. Ironically, the vagueness of the forms involved allows people, and encourages them, to be very specific about the workings of a piece. It's not something that people get to do as much with, say, a short story, where plot and diction, and genre can get in the way. Music still has those elements, but they are free from their hieroglyphic connotations, ie: an F# is not associated with a particular image, language, history, or subject, but depends entirely upon musical context. I am probably in a very small minority of people who actually think that Theodore Adorno, despite his rather massive shortcomings as an elitist pigheaded fascist, made some really good points in this particular department.

I think you're right- ignorance of a specific issue is not, in itself, anything. Willful ignorance of obtuseness, or a lack of the ability to think constructively when one talks to people about things that one doesn't understand completely, is something I encounter too often, and something that compels me toward insider groups with people who are willing or able to understand my motivations. It's great when you can connect with people on different levels, but for the life of me, I am probably frustrated more often than I am rewarded.

Now, I've also had experience with the extreme ends of elitism and snobbery, and I can assure you, I am not that. There is a similar obtuseness in the thinking of many people whom I've studied with and interacted with in music, who completely fail to understand that their opinions or tastes are not equivalant to laws. And you would think from talking to these people, that they are not aware of having ever learned anything from anyone, except in their occasionally self-serving and patronizing nods to their own teachers, whom, you get a sense, only acted as stepping stones.

I am aware, however I may project myself, that I am constantly learning, and constantly unsure of whether I have ever learned enough. The really good teachers I've had have had ways of making this clear to me in a constructive way, and I've had one or two teachers who have been far less constructive.

What you might not know about me though Scott, is that at least in my particular program, I have garnered a reputation as being the most engaged in interdisciplinary thinking. I spend more time talking to people outside of the musical world about music than any other student I know, (such as I am doing now), and that creates problems for me, along with avenues of discovery that are important for me. Of the graduating students in my class, though there aren't that many, I am the only double major with two liberal arts degrees, and the only musicology student who has presented papers on aesthetics and aesthetic evolution, rather than musical sociology, pure mechanical theory, or history. Actually, my composition teacher, who I'm very close with, admonished me rather strongly this past quarter for my reliance on rationalization and literary contextualizing in my music, because he felt it was distracting me from mechanical deficiencies. He had a point.

[ June 14, 2008, 08:12 AM: Message edited by: Orincoro ]

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Steev
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By day I'm a software engineer. By night I'm a film composer.

I can relate with Orincoro's interdisciplinary situation a lot. It took me many years to sort out the frustrations inherent to the situation and still years getting over my injured self- esteem.

I have two sets of friends. Two worlds in which I live. One world that likes my art and the other world that is indifferent or hates it.

And yet the my art world friends still appreciate my skills as an engineer. But my engineer friends just don't get the art world at all.

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Orincoro
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You should woo your software friends with This.
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