Saturday, February 01, 2003

The New Music Festival is merrily rolling along. I've gone to three concerts so far and they've all had their good points, although the student works' concert was incredibly long. The Penderecki Quartet performed four string quartets last night and sounded excellent, despite a violinist with inebriated Muppet performance syndrome. I also think I've discovered a reliable formula to creating contemporary music, which requires equal parts of the following musical fragments:

  • silence followed by a Schwanter-esque piano hook and Schwanter-esque percussion use
  • a solo flute playing a melody with a contour similar to a cross section of the Himalayan Mountains' topography
  • violin, or multiple strings, with bowings slow and raspy enough to imitate Florence Foster Jenkins with laryngitis
  • Feedback from one or more hearing aids turned up too high
  • An occasional tutti unison to fake out the audience with tonic. Or is it?
  • People coughing

What happened to the shuttle Columbia during the concert was a tragedy. I can still remember being a first grader in the library for "Reading is Fundamental" when Challenger exploded in 1986 (I was looking through the Berenstein Bears books for one I didn't have, and there were TVs set up so students could watch the launch). The Bush administration threw the "terrorism" keyword into the mix at the outset, but luckily they've been well-behaved so far and haven't declared war on the axis of space.

Happy Chinese Lunar New Year. Apparently it's the Year of the Sheep.

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