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Friday, December 21, 2007

Break on through to the other side

I have been avoiding blogging because it so much has happened that writing about it is a daunting task. To lubricate the muse, here is a video that I have just watched many times in a row.

The Jingle Cats - White Christmas

Finals are over, and if the Facebook-propagated way to check grades through some kind of security flaw on the university's website is to be believed, I made it through without blemishing my 4.0, huzzah.

Finals week just about killed me, though. I hit upon a novel way of dealing with the psychological stress of 18.5 credits: every time I finished the final piece of assessment for a course, I would subtract that course's credits from my total. After the orchestration reading, for example, I was only really taking 15.5 credits. After my jury, I was down to 14, and so on. For some reason, this approach helped.

I feel like the papers I turned in really weren't my best work, but only enough to get me the grade I needed, which is a shame because they were damn interesting papers. I wouldn't mind readdressing a Marxist analysis of the music industry in grad school one day - though no doubt, by then, someone will have already written the thesis.

This week, I have a temp job in an office in Conshohocken to help pay the Christmas bills. This is important because I have been rather taken by a dress on eBay, and through the listing, by the designer, Jessika Madison-Kennedy of Dadadie Brucke. Seriously, I think this might be the new style I've been vaguely searching for these past few years.

Finding a new visual style is important right now because Matt and I are about to completely overhaul this website using this magical thing we have for two weeks called spare time.

In PHILADELPHIA IS MY OYSTER news, the Philadelphia Shakespeare Festival announced their new season with the quote: "Romeo & Juliet is directed by Carmen Khan and features Festival favorite David Raphaely and Festival newcomer Melissa Dunphy in the title roles."

Also, here is a link on the Philadelphia Orchestra website to the Network for New Music concert at the Kimmel Center next month, with a composition by me. I wonder if the fact that I am so tremendously excited and puffed up about it somewhat negates the "real composer" cred. Incidentally, if you're interested, Network for New Music has a YouTube channel.

Speaking of composition, I had the overture and an aria from the Gonzales cantata played at the end-of-semester composition final, and they've been picked up for the New Music concert at West Chester University on January 31st, which is exciting. I really should devote some of my newfound and short-lived free time to finishing as much of that sucker as I can; I'm terrified that if I delay too long, Gonzales will blow over in the news, given the fickleness of the American press and public. I was pleased to note that he made Bill Maher's Dickheads of the Year list.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

I'm having a composition performed at the Kimmel Center!

Way back in May, West Chester selected me as one of a group of composers participating in the Network for New Music's 2007 Poetry Project. Basically, students poets write poems, student composers blindly select from those poems and write art songs, and the best ones are performed.

Results are in, and my song was picked! I will be one of six student composers performed at this concert at the Kimmel Center. I am so happy!

The song is called "Black Thunder," and the poem was written by Luke Stromberg, who also goes to West Chester, as it happens. Dan Shapiro, fellow WCU composition major, is also having a song performed. I can't wait for rehearsals to begin.

But for now ... back to writing an essay applying Marxist theory to the music industry. It's an exciting topic, but sudden immersion in Marxist theory is proving a little rough.