Saturday, February 25, 2006

It’s 2006.

Have you ever looked into the future and just tried out some future dates in your head, to get a feel for how weird they ring:

This is a 2015 Chardonnay from California, it was a very good year.

It sounds so bizarre. I instinctively imagine any date more than a few years in the future as some crazy trekkied-out space age. I remember when I thought about 2006 that way. And now, here I am. Of course, the technology has gotten better; in some ways I think I would get really frustrated living in 1996, coming from 2006. Slow internet. Extremely limited cell phone use/network. Virtually no peer-to-peer, blogging, social-networking, or sharing of art that we now have happening over the web. No friggin Ipods.

But I can't help feeling, as I sit here in 2006, that in many ways the world is really the damn same as it was in 1996, and quite likely it was just as damn same in 1986 and 1926 and 1574. People have been getting by, and they continue to get by. When you strip away the superficial gloss - the longer life span, the better tech, the marrying for love, the free society, maybe we’re just the same as we used to be.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006


I switched majors again. I'm still in the School of Music, so this switch isn't quite as radical as the previous one. Nonetheless, it's another change, this time to music education. I think, purely as a degree, a music ed. degree will serve me better. If I chose to make this big, risky jump to music, I might as well have some padding.

Once I have a teaching certificate, I can at the very least get a decent job, and it's not too difficult to get certified in other subjects, as well. With K-12 certification, that leaves a lot of job opportunities. This isn't to say that I'm going to end up as a HS choir director (though that's basically what they are teaching me to do). It is something that I wouldn't mind doing, though, and something that could position me for further musical endeavors.

And so I did a lot of thinking at the beginning of this semester.... It's 3 years into the future... you've graduated college, took a LOT of years to do it... you've got a composition diploma...Great, you are now armed with the completely unmarketable skill of composing avant-garde sonic brain-fuck music that any normal person would probably cringe hearing.

I'm serious in my assessment of the University faculty's music here. I'm not being bitter because they didn't accept me at first and told me I was "unsophisticated" (you can read about that one in the archives). Being completely impartial, I can tell you that the music is not pleasant-sounding. It is not inspiring. It is not evocative. It is a sin against the Music Gods, because it represses all considerations of what one is supposed to feel, think, imagine when hearing music. These professors are interested in music purely as a philosophical, academic exercise. It's all numbers and matrices and pitch classes to them. Sure, they have concerts for an audience occasionally, though the audience is composed of primarily other university composition teachers, and their students, who are graded on the number of "new music" shows they attend.

But I've said enough unsubstantiated things... go listen to their stuff. Click on any one of the faculty members' name at the left of the page. Many of them have sound clips in that sidebar. What do you think of it? I decided that this was not the kind of aesthetic that I would want guiding my compositional development, but you are free to think differently.