Thursday, December 29, 2005

Spam lovely spam

I have begun on my project to write music for my spam texts. I cant wait to see the look on the face of my composition instructor when i show him exactly what kind of songs i've been writing.


Its scored for a non-vibrato soprano, a reading part, a violin, cello, bass, guitar and piano.

The text in this passage reads: " Penis growth patches are here! no pills, no pumps, its the patch!"

I couldnt help but crack up while writing this. I hope someone finds this as amusing as i do.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Sign my guest map?

Please? I put it up recently and i checked today and there's no 0ne on it. This saddens the M. Keiser, who is very sensitive.

Speaking of which, have you seen/read this new bigfoot book by Graham Roumieu? Its pretty hilarious. I picked it up while shopping earlier this month at the suggestion of a stranger and i became a fan. I've been looking around his website and he has some very witty, amusing cartoons.

Its good stuff.

Monday, December 26, 2005

New music from Vincent Bergeron

Well, I received an unusual email from a Monsieur Vincent Bergeron recently. At first glance I thought it was more spam, so of course, I opened it and read away. It was not spam, but I was not disappointed. Vincent had sent me a link to a site which has his music on it, his email gave me some good background on his artistic intent and ideas. He does much of the work for me in writing this:

After the Casse-tête de l’Existence, i naturally wanted to continue in the same line (futuristic epic songs), but this time with an emphasis on melody and with a certain primal energy. Synthetic atmosphere and electroacoustics effects are still numerous, but were less important in the composition of this album. They are hiding behind a greater harmony and a cleaner chaos. I learned to select the best ideas. I do think i got a lot better at singing. The album works well to document the recent evolution of my voice : strange androgyny lately (a lot of female singers in my mind). Also, transitions between tracks was a new preoccupation. This time, the lyrics (some english this time) have precise meanings (fighting against nostalgia and in favor of the outsiders of this world) ; Vincent...Van Gogh is based on real facts in the painter’s life. Also, right now, i’m writing music with a vocal in mind. Sometimes, this vocal never appeared because of my personal preference for the instrumental. It happens two times : Machiavélisme Magnifique and Introversion Extravertie.

You can find the music I’m talking about here, but as Monsieur Bergeron said, "This music will remain free for a few months only..." so listen to it while you can. I have had problems on the site trying to open the files with my winamp but i am successful when opening the tracks by simply clicking on "mp3" and using QuickTime player to play the music. The following links will connect you to the music itself, which may take a moment to load.

I have been listening to his new album L’Art du Désarroi, and I have to say, I am impressed! This is very much collage-based experimental music mixed with electronica, classical - atonality and Messiaen (sort of), rock influences, maybe even minimalist influences, its all over the place and practically impossible to describe. Certainly this music will stretch your ears. What I can say simply, and without exaggeration is that is different from what I’m used to listening to.

This is intense music, sometimes harsh and biting, sometimes hitting on some surreal beauty. There is a constant stream of sounds, violins to drums to high and practically non-harmonic electronic frequencies. It takes a bit to get used to. The track the disk is named after, L’Art du Désarroi reminds me of another collage-based group: The books. There is something beautiful in this, but its hard to put one's finger on it.

The singing is a also a little harsh, with all due respect to Monsieur Bergeron, more lyricism can be attained by more on-pitch singing, but the near-sprechstimme adds to the surreal feel of the music. If more lyricism is not the goal, so be it, the instrumentation is beautiful too, frequently bordering on atonality, but beautiful in an expressionistic sense, if that makes sense.

The final track, most lyrical of all the pieces, Nostalgie-Euthanasie , utilizes a traditional descending diatonic on the piano along with the percussion, violins, woodwinds, some electronic sounds found in the other tracks. This music, like others on the disk, is built up into very thick layers resulting in very unusual and constantly shifting textures, but the first half of this track seems to be lighter than most of the others.

Overall, this music can be a little t0o heavy to listen to all at once, but it still very new to the ears. These tracks are all different but they all contain similar traits and a similar feel. Thank you again, Monsieur Bergeron for your fascinating music and your email!


Saturday, December 24, 2005

Im feeling a little strange today.

For the first time in my life I can't wait to get more spam email.

I plan on writing music, a song cycle - problem is, I need a text for these songs, but I know no poets and am allergic to most poetry. Another problem- I need a poet who would allow me to use their poetry. My approach has been to ask friends and acquaintances about their poetry but this has not resulted in anything usable. Why do so many people my age write banal poems about love and shit? I don’t get it, dont they know that good poetry isn’t about just fluffy, clichéd feelings and imagery? Either way, I was looking for poetry that dealt with some concept of the contemporary world, poetry that was meaningful and interesting.

So it dawned on me that I could use the texts from all that spam I keep deleating, day after day, in my email account. Now, through campus email, I am receiving some fucking bizarre spam mail, let me tell you, this aint your normal spam. Let me give you a sample from real emails I have received:

From: Paula Carr (this person probably doesn’t exist, i think they have a name generating machine)
Subject: You should read this:

said breakfast his attack was is to Bezdomny the start interrupted subject to an has sweetly heart please proof you late you Mikhail Ivan green unconvincing issues Now learned In it and anywhere there decides relegated seeing pause the stood Nisan wanted a this suit said breakfast his attack was is to Bezdomny the start interrupted subject to an has sweetly heart please proof you late you Mikhail Ivan green unconvincing issues Now learned In t and anywhere there decides relegated seeing pause the stood Nisan wanted a this suit...

it then just repeats this over and over again. Then another.

From: Omar Link
Subject: You should read this:

of the It will paces was gesture emigre thought his collected writing to a sight whispered powerful terrible later Frenchman truth oil the there the his suddenly Berlioz you Yes was as to hear Our about Library about you a the stranger the pleasure about of the It will paces was gesture emigre thought his collected writing to a sight whispered powerful terrible later Frenchman truth oil the there the his suddenly Berlioz you Yes was as to hear Our about Library about you a the stranger the pleasure about

Berlioz! a musical reference. haHA!

and I’ve received tons others which include quotes from Ambrose Bierce's Devil's Dictionary. They dont cite it as such, but i remember the quotes, i read the book. Spammers aint clever enough to write this themselves (but apparently they are very cynical, no surprise there)

Sibil Schmidt
Subject: Penis Growth Patches are here!
No pills, no pumps - Its the Patch
Life would be tolerable but for its amusements. Truth -- An ingenious compound of desirability and appearance. Smile, it is the key that fits the lock of everybody's heart. We must become the change we want to see.

and another...

Eveline Boyer
Subject: Male sexual enhancement formula
Fishing is a delusion entirely surrounded by liars in old clothes. The perfect love affair is one which is conducted entirely by post. Nothing succeeds like the appearance of success. I think, therefore Descartes exists. While you're saving your face, you're losing your ass.

So, as you can see, this spam is a little... unusual. I figure I’m going to take bits here and there and arrange it into my text for the music. I may not have the singers actually sing this, but its interesting, and would work well for someone to recite it.

Is this a bad idea? either way, im excited for more spam mail, as crazy as that is. I've got a collection going on a word file of all the strange/good ones. What better statement of post-modernity can be made? ... bahahaha.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

ok, this is lame.

But i dont have much time for a real, thoughtful post, so im picking up another quiz, something i found from a musician's site.

Cb major - life is full of complecations,
commitments and organisation. You love to make
sure everything is just perfect, but sometimes
this can cause you to fall over your own feet.
A slightly unsociable key: why Cb major when
you could be the identical Bmajor? It has less

what key signature are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

I'm unsocialble? not true. This is one random quiz.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

The last tw0 days i've just been listening to Iridian Radio on the live 365 site. The adverts are annoying, banal, but it cant be worse than the radio, which plays nothing these days but re-hashed christmas carols and second-rate 18th-century music. Honestly, this is the exact thing i've wanted for a long time- some opportunity to hear more contemporary music, and this station is perfect, as contemporary music is all they play. I had never heard the other John Adams' work (J. Luther Adams) and im really impressed by what i've heard. Thank you again, moondial!

And i'd also like to thank villanefille for her very kind email. je l'apprécie!

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Something Fiery

One of my favorite works by Prokofiev is his incredibly angsty "Fiery angel" Symphony #3 in c minor. The music is based off of an opera which he wrote, The Fiery Angel, which was never performed in his lifetime. Prokofiev arranged this symphony so he could bring the music to the concert hall.

This poor symphony, apparently it doesn’t receive much attention; people gravitate towards his 5th or 1st symphonies and ignore this incredibly dissonant masterpiece. There are these yearning, achingly beautiful melodies surrounded by thorny, hostile harmonies allowing for a startling contrast. The first movement is wonderfully vibrant and full of energy. My favorite passage happens towards the end where the orchestra beats out a beautiful melody over sharp dissonances and rapid syncopation, as if it were participating in some demonic bacchanal.

The rest of the symphony keeps to the dark character set by the 0pening. The second movement opens peacefully with an elegant melody, but behind this gorgeous mask is something more sinister, something that is never seen in full. The third movement sounds something like Satan taking flight, the violins screeching in a flurry of chomaticism. A Sweet melody appears in the middle section and then its back to the violent, furious music of the beginning. This music, I’m sure, has served as fodder for Hollywood horror movies.

The final movement is the section that sounds straight out of Hitchcock, only more evil. The main melody reminds of the theme from Psycho, the violins at the top most part of their register and the brass pounding out harsh discords. I cant imagine how the 1920s audience reacted when they heard this symphony for the first time. This is some of the most angry "classical" music I’ve ever heard.


The subject of my post came from my image instead of the other-way-around. I painted this Delacroix-inspired work a few years back, and today, i was in part testing out my new scanner. Its shameless and very amateurish, but i enjoy it.

I just had to.

Hateful People, George Bush
Circle I Limbo

Circle II Whirling in a Dark & Stormy Wind

Oil Execs
Circle III Mud, Rain, Cold, Hail & Snow

Sexist Bastards
Circle IV Rolling Weights

Circle V Stuck in Mud, Mangled

River Styx

Dick Cheney, Scientologists
Circle VI Buried for Eternity

River Phlegyas

Religious Fundementalists
Circle VII Burning Sands

Racists, Osama bin Laden
Circle IIX Immersed in Excrement

Thomas Kinkade
Circle IX Frozen in Ice

Design your own hell

From Lynn's page. I cant help it.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

This is classical music, folks

There's a group of musicians in new york who call themselves the alarm will sound ensemble and they are doing everything i want to do... sort of. They have a myspace site where you can listen to 4 tracks of their making. There are two of Steve Reich's works on there that they've performed, the gorgeous tehillim and desert music- but my personal favorite is the track titled Cock ver 10, -Edit: its an aphex twin cover- thanks meg for the correction.

The instrumentation and approach endears me to them, i would love to be doing what they're doing. The only problem is that they got there first, the bastards. Personally, I think they emphasize the drums a little too much and some of the music itself isnt always to my liking per se- but, like i said, the concept is there exactly. The New York Times says- "the future of classical music", if that means anything to you.

There are several composers working in the group, and the instrumentation is too diverse to list, they list their influences as*:

Gyorgy Ligeti, Steve Reich, Aphex Twin, John Adams, Harrison Birtwistle, Frank Zappa, Michael Gordon, J.S. Bach, Benedict Mason, Conlon Nancarrow, Jelly Roll Morton

Why Beethoven, Debussy and Stravinsky arnt there, i dont understand. Nonetheless, i really like what they're doing and i wish i could be in new y0rk to see them perform/meet them.

* this information and more is on the myspace site, so why im posting it is somewhat of a mystery to me.


Probably photoshopped, but still funny as hell.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

I have an audioclip!

So now you can listen to me bang away on my well-loved piano at home in a little piece i like to call Improvisation based on a simple decending triadic phrase.

Not very clever, but what can i say, it an honest title.

So its not of the best quality, and its certainly not my best improvisation- its longwinded, bombastic, lisztonian and far too traditional for my tastes, but its a year old and it was fun to play. thats all. So i enjoyed myself, i hope it doesnt cause much suffering on your end. I chose this file only because its one of the few files i have of my piano playing.

woo! this is fun! i might have to post more of these things. I am able to do this thanks (a big thanks) to

Criticism is welcome, as always. I know my playing can be sloppy, but its an improvisation, thats my excuse this time. ha.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

The Previous post!

...was written in a sleep deprived state- but with two finals now out of the way, i can once again write complete sentences!

I listened to a local band play tonight- A bass, voice and two guitars. The unusual combination of timbres that sometimes created a startling effect. The bass and a guitar in its upper register produces a really wonderful and rich sound. The instrumentation was awesome, but unfortunately, i enjoyed their playing much more when they were warming up.

That being said, i would like to re-state that i really really love Bach.

Thank you.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Original Position.

I remember my brother playing Mozart sonatas on the piano (and not the sonata facile either) at a young age (10 or so). One day, I remember, I decided I would sit down and actually listen to what he was doing. I enjoyed myself and started listening more often, eventually learning the melodies and humming along with them. This, and a smattering of Beethoven sonatas was my first real exposure to classical music. I, of course, found it necessary to imitate my brother. Eventually i worked up the gumption to just go up to the piano and started hitting notes like the 7 year old i was. I sat on the piano bench just trying to get a consonant, pleasing sound out of the piano (which, you can imagine, is really hard for a 7 year old). I think i did this several times before my mother finally asked me "do you want to take piano lessons?" and that’s when i started.

I think i was 8 years old, maybe 7- not sure, placing the date around 1993/94 (be warned: dates fascinate me). I played all those annoying children’s things, those stupid children’s music books with things like mary had a... ba ba black sheep, and dumb little cartoons to go along with the sheet music.

I have never been a person who enjoys being patronized, and i distinctly remember hating those children-music books because i felt they suggested that i was an idiot, they were pandering to adult assumptions of what children enjoy with banal cartoons and happy smiling 8th notes. (i may not have know how to express this hostility at the time, but i know i felt it) So i made little progress for a few years. I also had difficulty sight-reading, i hated it. But this changed with my exposure to Bach.

Bach! i was probably 10 or so when my teacher presented me with a minuet in G (after going past the advanced children’s books). I was thrilled, i knew the music! i liked it too! how different. I ate it up and in two weeks time i was on to a new Bach piece, a prelude. From there i progressed to another prelude, and another. Then i remember my teacher presented me with something novel and different all together- an arrangement of Sakura, cherry blossoms, that famous Japanese tune. I loved it! I wished for more music with an eastern sound, so my teacher presented me with "Chinese lanterns", which became a favorite in that period of my life. A little later i played my first Chopin prelude (e minor, which, i must say, i played with a lot of emotion for an 11 year old) (circa 1997) i was filled with enthusiasm. That music was dark, somber, melancholy, like nothing i had ever played, and certainly nothing like the always-cheerful Bach and Mozart pieces i knew up to that point. I fell in love with Chopin immediately.

Then more Chopin preludes (the easy ones, of course). I impressed my friends by playing with such drama and i loved the attention. I continued to play this and that for awhile... some Bartok, some more Bach, even a few Beethoven bagatelles. Anyway, after this i remember stuff more clearly, and here i am now- still playing...

People often ask me how long i've been playing and usually i just respond with "im not sure". 12 years almost? Thats what i think, could be wrong though.

Hope i didnt bored everyone to tears, just a little bit of dull personal history thats good for me to remember. I suppose that would make this a rather selfish post. .. eh.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Our darkening world.

I have been floating around- from one site to the next. In the process i have wandered upon some sites of my interest.

Contrary Motion - A site run by a music student in New York. Some good thoughts in there and i should like to add it to my list.
Felsenmusick - "The Web Log of a Certain Daniel Felsenfeld: Composer, critic, avid reader..." i can just let him write for me. Added bonus, this guy lives in Brooklyn. woot woot*
Music and Cats - Im not fond of cats, but the writing is about everything else im interested in- architecture, music, food, etc. Added bonus: they live on Queen Anne hill.
Botanizing - I always loved botany and biology. Fascinating stuff- and even if those two sciences arnt your thing, the owner of this blog, Larry Hufford writes on a diverse number of topics. The category "our darkening world" is a compilation of monstrously depressing posts about scientific illiteracy in America, as enlightening as frightening.

Now i come to the question- all these links im posting, are they detracting from themselves by their sheer volume? - i have no choice but to add these new ones to my list... and its true that my list of links is already long. too long? should i stop adding links? Its a tricky thing.
Maddox, that famous internet asshole, actually wrote a very good bit about blogs. "more links than anyone with a job or semblance of a social life has time to click on" Well, my friends don’t even kn0w i have a blog, im that sneaky/bad at it. But Maddox's insult-jokes have a base in legitimate criticism. How many links are too much? the ever wise Maddox says- "its not necessary to link to every site on the fucking internet, asshole"


I could continue to build categories to try and fit people's sites into them, i could imitate others and create a separate page just for links. I could do a number of things to try and rationalize my ever-expanding collection of links. Maybe i should cut out every blog that doesn’t link back to this site? Or maybe self-control is the only answer. Bad M. Keiser, Bad.

* again, i disgrace myself and the entire borough of Brooklyn.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

the avant-garde is old.

I should warn any readers that I’m not really convinced of arguments like this but thats not going to stop me from writing them out.

What is the point of innovation if it proves useless to later artists (for artistic or practical matters)? John Cage's 4'33" is a good example of where innovation is useless to later artists. Any type of silence-gesture can not be developed any further. A 13'12" or 1'29" would do nothing to elaborate, expand our understanding of this particular expression, and by definition these pieces would be pure imitation (unless you perceive differences in the length of a piece as furthering artistic expression). Does innovation without any practicality or applicability, innovation that never can be utilized, can that ever be valuable?


If an innovation in the 20th century proves itself as un-used, unexplored, and unknown by more mainstream artistic currents, if the avant-garde explorations are neglected well into the future, lost, forgotten, unimportant to artistic practices, it was in vain. It must cease to be innovative and end as being meaningless exploration. Afterall, how can innovation be that which is never or can never be adopted?

just a few thoughts.

And all of western civilization
The sun may rise in the east
At least it settles in the final location
It’s understood that hollywood
Sells californication.

Living in the suburbs has really left me sympathetic to this music, to these images and ideas.
Especially these days, and for my age group- images and clichés of California are so important and popular (think, The OC, Laguna Beach, MTV in general) This Red Hot Chili Peppers song may not be the highest artistic achievement of the 21st century, but it is important- it gives voice to a kind of post-modernist california-philia, something which i think Baudrilliard expressed to a much greater degree decades ago.

The endless, zone-less sprawl of suburbia is part of this californication (a term which i believe was first used by the city of Portland in their wise (if belated) attempts at zoning restrictions)- the companies, the cars, the asphalt parking lots and strip malls, the social organizations even to the mannerisms and tastes of a generation, shaped by Hollywood’s self-marketing and self-aggrandizement. Has Hollywood culture ran through so many ideas that the only thing left is to start glamorizing the world just outside their production rooms? Its sunny and warm, there are those beautiful palm trees and botox faces galore- why not?

excuse my writing, i blame it on the mango rum and the late hour.