Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Song of the Week: Gerard Grisey's 'Partiels'

Gerard Grisey was a French contemporary composer of spectral music. The song I chose for this week (and the dozens before when I didn't put anything on here) is one of his from a series of six; the series being "Les Espaces Acoustiques" and the piece being "Partiels" (1975).

The basic idea of the piece is that it spectrally analyzes the attack of a low 'E' on a trombone, and then has other instruments in the orchestra synthesize the individual waves and overtones. It's a remarkable piece, hugely complicated and awesome. Listen here:

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

A Personal Story

I don't share the following story because I want to make you laugh, or because I have delusions of inter-fame. I don't share it because I want you to like me more, or for the ad-revenue your page view elicits (well, that's not entirely true, it turns out all of the poor college student stories I had heard weren't exaggerations; on an unrelated note, check out the various fine products offered by local merchants to the left!).

The reason that I share the story is because it truly has had a profound effect upon me. I'm not proud of everything I did, and you might not be either. Please, though, keep in mind that I was a very socially-frightened seventh grader.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Ganked: A Tale of Two Teens and an Unexpected Visitor

So, a while back, when I was 17, a friend of mine and I drove over to Milwaukee to see a show. We got there, enjoyed the show immensely, and left. We decided that, since it was fairly late, we'd drive halfway back to Madison, stop for some food and a chance to relieve our bladders, and then go the rest of the way home. Unfortunately, my dolt of a friend went the wrong way out of Milwaukee. We got off the highway and found ourselves fortuitously at a Wendy's. We got out to go inside for food and a bathroom but found it closed. We got back into the car and were about to turn around when, a bit down the road, I sighted a McDonald's. I should mention here that we are not in a good part of town. We're in the part of town where you keep your hand in your pocket, clutching your phone in case someone holds a knife to your back. And it's late. About 11. And so we naively drive over to this McDonald's. Pulling into the parking lot, we see that the lights are still on inside. Excellent. My friend parks his parent's car and we get out and start walking towards the building when, lo and behold, a large black woman approaches us. She wears clothes that have a two-day build-up of grime and when I say large, I mean large. Huge. Obese. And so it begins.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Zak and Sara with an Orchestra

Back in early 2005, Ben Folds did a concert in Perth, backed by the Western Australia Symphony Orchestra. He played versions of his songs that had been arranged by Australian composers and it is probably the best live DVD I've ever seen. Case in point: Zak and Sara, the very first song performed:

This just illustrates how totally awesome Ben Folds is. For those of you that want more (the smart folk), you can buy the DVD here. Seriously, just twelve bucks. I've listened to it innumerable times and it never gets old. Track list:

Zak and Sara
Fred Jones Part 2
Steven's Last Night In Town
Annie Waits
Not the Same
The Ascent of Stan
Rock This Bitch
The Luckiest

So... yeah. Pretty awesome.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Video Dating

I can't decide if this is funny or sad. Probably sad. Some of the best phrases:

"I'm an executive by day and a wildman by night."
"Perhaps a nice bath with some champagne and candles."
"What I'm not looking for is some big, overgrown monster that's always thinking about food."
"I'm looking for the goddess. Are you the goddess?"
"No fatties, no hamsters, no dopers, no smokers, no alcoholics, no Donna Juanitas, no poseurs, no crazies."
"Life is a playground and I want someone to play with."
"I'm interested in most phases of data processing."