Commission Music

Commission Music
Bespoke Noise!!

Wednesday, 3 October 2007


55a Frederick Rd
Selly Oak
B29 6NX
Great Britain

Actually, I'm, alas, uncertain about the last line there. Should it say "England?" "United Kingdom?" Or what? I live in England, and I know it's a small part of the whole country, much like Holland is but two provinces of the Netherlands. But what is the name of the country in which I live? What's the difference between "United Kingdom" and "Great Britain?

While I'm on these sorts of questions: What's a licenced restaurant? What's an off-licence shop? Does "going around with your dog" mean brining her to the country or just to that particular establishment? How did I end up in a city with even worse weather than The Hague? Why are posh british accents like nails on a chalkboard? It doesn't matter if they look out the window and just say, "oh, it's raining again" I want to bash them with my laptop and shout "shut up, you insufferable twit!" but maybe that's what comes of eating tiny, cheap jelly donuts for breakfast and the resultant sugar crash.

In other news, my dog is a health and safety violation. Um, because she's rabid and will rip your throat out. And she covers floors with all sorts of dirt and germs that could not have found it's way indoors through any other means, especially not shoe bottoms.

I'm so dumb. Never ask permission! Just do it and when somebody tells you that it's not allowed say that you've already been doing it for weeks with no problem.

This country is extremely paranoid. I mean, I'm glad to finally live someplace where they've heard of smoke alarms. But the sheer number of fire regulations here . . . all explained to me in detail. I had to ask if the building burst into flame every tuesday. They act as if EVERYTHING is a ticking time bomb. The building will burn to the ground any moment now. the dog will go mad an attack. The kids will go mad and attack (why else are there so many stupid surveillance cameras in the student lounge?)


Daniel Wolf said...

I'm very much of mixed minds about performances of Lecture on the Weather. Cage intended it to be performed by men from the US who had gone to Canada to escape the draft and the war in Vietnam, and a performance now, divorced of that reality is a substantially different piece -- it's only a document, or even an artifact now. The closest we could come to that spirit now, would perhaps be a performance by men and women who have have left the military in protest over the war in Iraq.

I -- as a US expat -- was asked to take part in a performance here and I turned it down for the reasons above (I missed the draft and Vietnam by a five years or so, but was in the first group of men affected when registration was reinstated); I thought that it would have been inappropriate to take part. Unfortunately, the organizers went with a professional choir, which was even more wrong and a musical disappointment as well. To much damn singing.

BTW, the "squiggly lines" in the score are taken from drawings in Thoreau's journal, and are also used in the projections. Another important aspect of the piece is the contribution by Maryanne Amacher, someone who is very particular about using the right technology: I hope that the organizers are sensitive to this.

Daniel Wolf said...

Geography lesson -- you are living in the country (or nation) of England, on the island of Great Britain (which is shared by the countries of England, Wales, and Scotland) and in the state of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

I hope you learn to enjoy the linguistic diversity of England; local dialects are a treasure, and local dialects become national dialects (as in France) only through political force, and often at a cost of linguistic liveliness. By all accounts, dialect differences in the US are actually increasing in spoken language; this is a very good thing. Stand up for your Californian dialect while you're at it.

jenny said...

licensed restaurant typically means they can serve liquor, off-license that they can sell it but it must be consumed off premises (and usually charge way too much too.)

Polly Moller said...

My brother Will learned RP ("received pronunciation") at the Mountview Theatre School in London. He also learned to pronounce many other local dialects from the UK. Interestingly, now that he is back in the US, he recently had a chance to use his Welsh accent in "Dancing at Lughnasa". What the U.S. dialect coach watered it down to, so the audience in California could understand it, didn't sound much different than the Irish accent the other characters had.

Nick said...

I was told that in British English, a "country" is a subdivision of a "nation." (In American English, the two words mean more or less the same thing.)

So England, Scotland, and Wales are the countries that make up the nation called the United Kingdom of Great Britain, which can be referred to in short form as either "the United Kingdom" or "Great Britain."

Am I right?

Whatever the heck it is, congratulations and welcome to it...!