Thursday, February 22, 2007

No longer a dumb blonde.

So this year I have been taking a really hard class on live sound reinforcement and digital editing. I am a trombonist, so I knew absolutely ZERO about this subject, and the course is even supposed to just be a review, nicknamed "sound self-defense for 'fucking idiot' jazz musicians." to learn very basic things like what a mixing console is, and how to turn it on, and how to tell a sound guy you have feedback in your monitor in such a way that he doesn't just look at you funny and walk off to the beer tent during your show.

But I've enjoyed the class a lot. I also am a computer idiot, which puts me at a further disadvantage in the course, and I do have to spend a lot of time being like "wait wait wait.... how does that plug into the computer again?" But I have certainly held my own in the class, and learned a lot, and I do enjoy it once things click. I also sort of enjoy hanging out when Bill (the teacher) is doing work and just shadowing him.

So further study on the subject has often been crossing my mind. We also touch a little bit on midi and electronic music, and I wonder if I would enjoy crossing over into this field post-graduation. If anything, at least now I could hunt down some reasonably priced hardware and software, an external hard drive, and be able to do recordings of myself and others of reasonably good quality. Or operate a board at a club in a pinch.

Next week I will be doing a live multitrack recording of Legend Vega into DP, as well as running the sound system, ALL while playing keyboard onstage. Overdubbing background vocals later the following weekend. Wish me luck. I am a dumb blonde no longer.

Monday, February 12, 2007

The Roots

After everything I still feel very uprooted. In the past two months I have been through a breakup, went to a place where people speak a different language, started dating again, was called back for and auditioned at a grad school, registered for more classes than I can handle. Renewed contact with an old old friend with whom I may live with someday. It's too much. It leaves me unable to focus. I still haven't caught up with myself.

I'm going to Chicago for fun this coming weekend.

I had an orchestration assignment where I had to listen to Schoenberg op. 10 and do my best abstract art with pencil and paper. So despite my previous rant, it was a significant experience. My aesthetic is uprooted, as well.

I hope school is cancelled tomorrow for the snow storm.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Write on, write on.

I'm sorry but where do certain unmentioned arranging and composition gurus in the united states get off telling me that I need to take more tunes out of the jazz repertory and arrange them for five horns or big band. What about the music inside of me? Sometimes I don't feel like reworking other people's stuff. Sometimes a great jazz tune is perfect as it is and doesn't need to be messed with.

And who did Schoenberg think he was, anyway? Where did he get off all "not believing in tonality" and shit? And who does Bartok think he is, writing all these hidden palendromes into his music that NO ONE WOULD EVER HEAR ANYWAY, WHICH IS STUPID BECAUSE MUSIC IS AN AURAL ART FORM, and atonal music is stupid because it sounds like crap. No one would ever ever ever, in a million years, come home from a long day at school or work, and feel truly enriched and moved by popping in a cd by Schoenberg or Messiaen or whoever.

What did these people tell their mothers and fathers who didn't go to music school for years and years? Wouldn't a composer like to use their music to enrich the lives of their families, their lovers, their children, their community, their nation? Why would people want to write music that isn't for everyone? I am so tired of the high art/low art divide. Music can be written that everyone can enjoy for different reasons.

Maybe someday I'll understand. If anyone has a good explanation, I have an open mind.

Monday, February 05, 2007

New Gig

I got a new gig playing gospel piano at a gospel church (yeah i know that's a little self-explanatory) I feel like I am flying by the seat of my pants on this gig, but the reverend seems very pleased. I enjoy seeing people get so excited about jesus.

After seeing Prince on the halftime show, I got in a very Prince-ish mood and watched his las vegas concert dvd. Awesome. If I could wave my magic wand and do anything, it would be to work in pop music.

So I'm getting my keyboard chops back, learning how to use digital editing computer programs and other recording equipment, and about generally geeky stuff.