Monday, April 21, 2008


Several things that are floating around my head tonight, in hyper-organized list format (which does not reproduce the highly scattered manner in which they rotate through my fevered brain):

1. Academic composers. Many (though certainly not all) of them are jackasses. According to Medvyed' (a famous musicologist who is only anonymous because I like making up code names), "composers do not usually have intentions such as we would like to ascertain." He means that performers whose highest goal is to reproduce composers' intentions are generally fooling themselves. However, I believe he is dead wrong when it comes to academic composers; they actually do have all of those nit-picking, absurd, control-freakish intentions. This is what makes so many of them jackasses. If you are a friend of mine who is studying composition at a university, this isn't about you. I promise.

2. The Body SPOILERS AHEAD! This may be the very best episode of Buffy EVER. I watched it yesterday and cried without stopping the entire 47 minutes. It's been said before, and often by me, that the reason it works so brilliantly is the complete lack of music in the episode, the absolute silence that invades the scene when people stop talking. This is true, but it's not the whole story. The musical gap heightens the emotional tension and surreal realism of the episode, but the writing, directing, and most of all acting are the things that completely rip my heart out every time. Kristine Sutherland was pretty much the best actor and character of the series, and her performance is gut-wrenching even in the few brief scenes (flashbacks and dreams) where she appears alive in this episode. Her growth as a parent is one thing that never gets noticed by even the most rabid fans, and it makes her, with Tara, one of the best examples of stereotype subversion on Buffy. I'll expound on Tara at a later date, but for now I just needed to work through the emotion of seeing Joyce die again. Wow does it hurt, in ways that fiction probably shouldn't but often does, for me.

3. School. This quarter, to which I have been looking forward for weeks if not months, is proving less fabulous than I anticipated. My classes, while fine, are not nearly as orgasmic as I predicted, and they feel more like slogging through than delighting in new ideas and knowledges. Boo for that. I expect things will pick up soon, but for now I'm only really enjoying my intro seminar.

4. Singing! I have an appointment for my first voice lesson of the new quarter. Thank Nonspecific Deity! Not taking voice lessons drives me moderately nuts. I'm also participating in a Corpus Christi chant thingy, which means once a week we read through part of the liturgy in old-fangled notation and learn how to make it not sound like crap. This pleases me mightily. Best of all, the piece we discussed in seminar today is made of unmitigated awesome, and several other people agreed, so I think we have enough interested singers to put together a sing-through, or several, or a performance (optimistically). If you are in LA and are a tenor, we can probably use you. Stupid SATTTB voicing.

5. Summercamp. Many of you, dear readers, don't know what my summercamp is. That's just too bad, since I don't have the energy to describe the bizarritude of it right now. The thought that I wish to relate is that I have decided to bring booze to it. This is a surprisingly large step for me, as I have never really drunk at camp. Results of this experiment will be posted in late June.

6 and final. Katharsis. According to Sugar (author we read for class, clever disguised by simply misspelling her last name), the concept of catharsis is intimately related to pre-Christian blood sacrifice. A cleansing by blood of guilt (see also: crucifixion). On my trip to NY, I had a fabulous experience of katharsis wherein Snoopo and I skewered our family, at length, over drinks. For the first time in my life, I was able to rip into my relatives the way I felt they deserved with someone else who felt the same way. We both still love our screwed-up family--that was not at issue--but we were finally able to relieve ourselves of the huge burden of 'not talking about it' that marks pretty much all of our family interactions. I think it was cathartic (through katharsis) for both of us. I remembered this with intense relief on Passover, when I would normally have been with them all and instead was running my own seder.

That's all for tonight. I must go back now to reading endless articles by the aforementioned Medvyed'. Wish me luck!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You have to start watching Angel. Like right now. If only so you can discuss it with me. And if only so you can get to the last season, which has a similar episode. Now I don't cry when I watch things. The Body was wonderful, but it didn't make me cry. This one did.

I've been (re)watching episodes of Buffy pretty much at random. I just watched the first one, with Joyce trying to be the strict mom, and then the episode after she finds out Buffy is a slayer. I really do need to watch The Body again. It was the details that got me on that one- the way Buffy randomly focuses on the EMT equipment, the "saving the day" fantasy, even the sweat on her face as she listens to the children playing outside. I think it was the most realistic bit of television I have ever seen, which is really creepy in a fantasy show. I also like the one where she wakes up in a mental hospital in LA, for similar reasons.

I need to be more on skype so I can actually talk to you.