Saturday, March 11, 2006
Unfortunately, both of my alma maters fared worse last night. The Lawrence men's team, though ranked #1, fell to Illinois Wesleyan in a very close game (71-68). I tried to listen to the game as webcast by Lawrence's campus "radio" station, but I have not been able to get their webcasts to work. And the Rochester women lost to Scranton, 68-63. This was probably a good thing, otherwise they could have ended up playing DePauw in the final four.
Tonight we play Hope College. Tremble with fear, you Flying Dutch(men)! There is no Senta at Neal Fieldhouse to redeem you tonight.
Friday, March 10, 2006
I always felt that the movie version's ending was a gyp, taking away the wonder of a magical new place. And it saddens me a little when my daughter points out that it is all just a dream, so she hasn't been transported to a new place of adventure and magic either. Thus we are reading the book version, so we can both be lifted away by a cyclone to a magical land surrounded by a great desert.
Update: I just found out via IMDB that the all-just-a-dream idea came from the 1925 silent film that had Oliver Hardy as the Tin Woodman. And Frank Baum didn't like the idea.
Tuesday, March 07, 2006
He spent a little time on the Summers affair. The whole situation is simply explained: Summers asked an innocent question, and the liberals formed a lynch mob. Hiss, boo. And, by the way, did you know that there has never been a great female composer or mathematician? It's been 50 years since Betty Friedan, so there's been plenty of time to raise one, if they were capable of it. (That's right, Betty Friedan fixed everything for women, so it's all your own damn fault now, feminists.)and from comments:
Piffle. As Horowitz explained, musical composition is at its root a mathematical activity; women aren't as good at math as men; ergo, there have been no great female composers.
PZ's commentors wisely point out some counterexamples to Mr. Horowitz's claim (Hildegard von Bingen, Amy Beach, Joan Tower, Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel, Elizabeth Jacquet de la Guerre, Nadia Boulanger, Sofia Gubaidulina, Louise Farrenc, Cecile Chaminade, Rachel Eubanks, Marta Ptaszynska, Lili Boulanger, Judith Weir, Ethel Smyth, Rachel Portman, Ruth Crawford Seeger, Deirdre Gribbin) to which I would add Augusta Read Thomas, Judith Lang Zaimont, Jennifer Higdon, Meredith Monk, Maria Schneider, Mary Lou Williams, et al.But what about the claim that composition is primarily a mathematical activity? Let's see some arguments for and against this claim.
Sunday, March 05, 2006
11:04 Phantom of the Opera as playout music? They should take these opportunities (playouts, montages) to give some airplay to film composers, especially those that haven't been nominated or previous generations.
10:55 Nice love for the orchestra by Jon Stewart.
10:32 Goodbye, Joel Hirschhorn.
10:23 Queen Latifah is funny, and the audience is missing it. And the oscar goes hip hop.
10:18 Ludacris is in the house! "It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp" I think one F-word slipped through at the beginning. And apparently they aren't even trying to bleep the "shit"s. I don't know enough about rap to adequately review this one.
9:58 At least the music with the special effects montage was associated with a movie. Ahh, Lord of the Ring's goodness. And now some E.T. love.
9:50 And the oscar goes to Gustavo Santaolla for Brokeback Mountain. I think this is more of an indication of the political support for the movie rather than that this score is better than the other nominees. It is nice that Gustavo acknowledged his orchestrators.
9:45 Penelope Cruz gives us a nice little history of film music. But more importantly, Itzhak with the Original Scores! I'm not sure how to feel about presenting the music "out of sync" with it's movie. It allows us to focus on the music more, but when the music is expertly crafted to lock in with the images, this form of presentation does a disservice. And by having Itzhak play all of them, we miss some of what makes these different soundtracks unique. The instrumentation, expecially of The Constant Gardner are rather missed in the Bill Conti arrangement.
9:37 So for the great American movie montage they use music from Aaron Copland that wasn't written for movies. What's up about that?
9:25 The next Original Song nominee, "In the Deep" by Kathleen "Bird" York and Michael Becker. This one has some space for the visuals, which I could see having potential for a movie. The performance was good.
9:15 Nice chance to listen to Laura's theme for awhile, before the villains came up.
8:52 Interesting, they chose Gladiator to accompany Russell Crowe rather than A Beautiful Mind. The Academy must agree with Jaquandar.
8:36 Dolly Parton is singing the first nomination for best Original Song, from Transamerica. It's okay, but rather generic as a country song. Dolly sells it well, but I don't see anything special about the song itself.
8:25 Nice joke involving the musicians forcing the speech-givers off.
8:15 ooh, background music for the acceptance speeches! That's different.
At the game I wore a Lawrence University sweatshirt, in honor of the men's team that was playing St. Thomas University at the same time. My David-sized Vikings (suddenly I envision the players like this) slew the 10x-as-big Tommies (almost as bad a name as Wabash College's Little Giants). It was a much closer game, thanks to a 4 minute scoring drought Lawrence suffered close to the end.
And I have to give a shout-out to the Rochester Yellowjackets. Since I was both a graduate student and located at the isolated, downtown Eastman campus, I don't have a strong connection to their sports tradition. But I must acknowledge them, even if I will be rooting for the Tigers instead. Go Old Gold!
Saturday, March 04, 2006
Update: the mimicry is even better than I thought, as the audio file is a transcription of Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 1, first movement. When I was originally writing this post I waffled between calling it Mozartean or Beethovenish, deciding that it was too classically oriented to be an imitation of Beethoven. And of course early Beethoven is much closer to Mozart than to late Beethoven. Sadly, I am not very familiar with Beethoven's piano concerti, other than the Emperor Concerto (no. 5). Thus I made the mistake from above. Thanks to Biton van Argos [not his real name] for pointing it out to me. And welcome to the Mozart Forum readers who have been justly mocking me for the mistake. As to Yihan Chen, I will have to wait to hear one of his original compositions.
1. Newport Jazz Festival Suite: Newport Up, by Duke Ellington
2. Les Rendez-Vous De Chasse Qu Les Vendanges Interrompues Par Les Chasseurs - No. 4 Allegro, performed by Darmstädter Hofkapelle / Wolfgang Seeliger, composed by Georg Joseph Vogler
3. "Fatal la parte," performed by The King's Singers, composed by Juan del Encina
4. Sonata No.13: IV. Allegro Vivace, performed by Maurizio Pollini, composed by Ludwig von Beethoven
5. String Quartet Op. 18 No.5 in A major: Menuetto & Trio, performed by Alban Berg Quartet, composed by Ludwig von Beethoven
6. Concerto No.1 for 3 clarini: Largo, performed by Barbara Butler and Charles Geyer, composed by Georg Philipp Telemann
7. Le Tombeau de Liberace - III. Sequin Music, performed by Paul Crossley / London Sinfonietta / Markus Stenz, composed by Michael Daugherty
8. The Noon Witch Op. 108, performed by Ozawa / Wiener Philharmoniker, composed by Antonín Dvorák
9. "(I'm Spending) Hanukkah in Santa Monica," Tom Lehrer
10. Notre Dame ("De ventri inferi clamavi"), composed by Franz Schmidt
Thursday, March 02, 2006
George Wolfe is a most dangerous creature indeed. A saxophonist by trade, he woos our women with his seductive jazz and confuses everyone else with his synthesizer-influenced classical music. You know you can't trust the guy, he engages in the most extreme of post-modern ideals, John Cage's 4'33".And – with his doctorate in higher education from IU, mediator training, research on the cross-relationships of religion, and fellowships to study different cultures – he is clearly unqualified to teach an introductory course on peace studies and conflict management. And apparently he is virulently anti-semitic, as shown by his leadership of the notorious hate group, The Muncie Interfaith Fellowship and his training at the ultimate terrorist school, All-Faiths Seminary International.
Thank you, David Horowitz and David M. Kinchen (do you think they are related?) for warning me about this dangerous professor. I'll not walk the streets of Greencastle tonight, out of fear that he might make the three hour drive to viciously talk to me about peace and love. In fact, I see from Mr. Horowitz's bio that he was brutally pied at the much closer Butler University. Fortunately, I've been educated in the ways of pie.