I've had a lot of school recently last week and again this week. Also, I wrote a vocal piece. Latest project is writing a little presentation on my music for La BarBare in English and in French. I'm trying to explain what I'm up to by quoting William S. Burroughs The Ticket That Exploded. (There's nothing that clears up confusion like a few well chosen run-on streams on consciousness from Burroughs.) The french title for this books is Le Ticket qui explosa and it does not appear to be indexed by Google books or anything (or maybe the Chinese government asked them to remove it). So I might go looking for a quote in The Electronic Revolution instead, because it's also posted in translation. Yay for copyright violation. You know, since I tend to end up periodically quoting The Ticket That Exploded I should just go buy the damn book instead of just using Google Books to find the relevant phrases I remember from when I had it checked out of the library. But I'm not buying it in French. Anyway, this very nice conservatory student is helping me with it, so I'm going to send her a draft after I figure out which Burroughs to quote.
When I'm not busy going to classes about Stochastic theories of statistical whatever, I need to write the flute piece that I forever talk about and never write. I was just listening to some piano something by Messiaen. (Ah, I was trying to listen to the Radio Vatican podcast on my ipod while riding the metro because they speak french very clearly, but I accidentally turned it to something that didn't give me hives.) It's sparse and lovely with a lot of open sounding chords that I think have 6ths in them in the manner of modern harmony and heavy metal. What was especially wonderful was the dynamics. The pianist would hit a phrase pretty hard and then follow immediately with a much softer, lighter variation, like an echo. So repeated variations with dynamic differences is definitely going in the flute piece.
I intend to actually write the damn thing down while at the same time writing a SuperCollider plug in to do waveset distortion. The plugin will analyze a waveform to find zerocrossings and the peak and minimum of one period of the waveform between two zerocrossings. It can then introduce distortion by replacing the real waveform with a sinusoid which conforms to these shape parameters of the pre-existing wave form, or a triangle or a square or just zeros of x out of y wavesets. This form of distortion was invented by Trevor Wishart and as far as I know, is not in SuperCollider currently.
Speaking of Trevor Wishart, he's playing this weekend at The Lab in San Francisco and I highly recommend going to hear it.
Tomorrow, I'm going to help Michelle sort out CD burning on her new laptop (she's the secret girlfriend of the soon-to-be-famous Cynthia). Saturday, my dad comes into town and stays for a week and a half. He's staying in the hotel next door and he'll probably want to see a bunch of museums that I've already been to, so it won't be super-intense 24/7 with Dad time for the whole stay. It's been a darn long time since I've last seen him.
Last weekend, I saw two concerts. One was a free concert at Radio France. I showed up too late to get into the show I wanted to see and ended up at the one immediately following it, which was a little disappointing, but still free. They played some Prokofiev and another early 20th century work by another composer. Both pieces tended to have melodies where short notes connected longer ones. da duuuuum da da da duuuuuuum da duuuuuuuum da da duuuuuuuum. Then, in the second half they got much more recent and the melodic lines tended to feature faster runs of short notes da da da da da da da with nice chords like Messiaen, which is the kind of music I tend to write for instruments. I felt validated.
The other concert was on a boat! It was called something like "Chicks Who Rock" in english. All these feminst/lesbian rocky things feature signs in english. Because english is sooo kewl!! Or not. I have no idea why that's so. Anyway, one of the bands, called Anatomie Bousculaire, was exceptionally awesome. They were really tight and the drummer had a very nice groove in which she would introduce, say, a slight delay in a particular beat in a rhythm and play that way in every bar, giving things a nice synchopated and slightly off feel. The bassist and the guitarists also sang and both had very nice voices, although disturbingly, they looked like twins... sexy twins. They sound great on their CD too, which I bought. Check them out.
I went to see both those concerts with Autumn and Stephen who were being tourists here for the last few days. I dig hanging out with folks from CA, it's nice to get visitors. Also, I drink much nicer wine when I have guests over. :)
In my last bit of news, a leetle record company contacted me saying that they're doing a compilation of solo analog synthesizer music, would I like to be on it? Oh, heck yes. The only catch is that the piece must be under 2 minutes. Um, I wrote something under two minutes once, but it was a choral, which doesn't exactly fit my image as a noise musician and also Sophie said it sounded like it was written for a class. Problem! Solution: I played a solo show in May 2004 which was webcast with a laptop and a room mic. I have a copy of the file created by the webcast. I just need to edit a nice 2 minutes out of that. It's a quicktime movie file type, so I need something like protools to open it, which we have at school, so as soon as they get the internet back up there, I can download it and work on it.
I don't think I have anything else to report. I haven't seen my conversation partner in like 2 weeks, which is too bad. I should have scheduled him for this evening, but I blanked on it. Um, and I set one of my gmail filters too tightly and it was dropping messages into a subfolder where I didn't see them until too late. arrrgh. Anyway, I'm keeping relatively busy.