Category Archives: ART

crunch

(Technically, as it is 12:55am right now) 2 more days until my last final!

I am trying to cover as much ground as possible, but when a course surveys 22 different thinkers on the topic of aesthetics, it’s really difficult to keep their theories all neat and organized.

Anyway, I’ve also been slacking off a little; keeping up with the filming of Sherlock Season 3 (THOUGH SOMEHOW I HAVE NOT BEEN SPOILED YET, PLEASE DO NOT RUIN THIS FOR ME) and my affection for BC only increases… That man is really taking over hollywood! I’m so happy for his success.

I’ve been watching Glenn Gould videos (we studied him in class). I really do think I have a thing for old dead guys. He’s so charismatic here! And very intense too, which i no surprise. I don’t really go for the easy going type, it seems.

OH! BrainPickings has been really brilliant lately! I’ve go so many entires bookmarked for later.

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checking in

How was everyone’s Christmas? Sorry I’ve been MIA, after my exams ended, I have been working everyday since Christmas Eve. I spent the 3 days been my last exam and work by watching films (was totally disappointed with Anna Karenina, and have mixed feelings about The Hobbit), skyping with my mom, and meeting with friends. I went shopping on Boxing day after work – and came home empty-handed. This is the norm for me, but I was so looking forward to buying a little something. The things I really wanted did not go on sale, and the things I didn’t care for were 50% off.

I am munching on a KFC sandwich right now. The meat is tough but it somewhat satisfies my craving for fried chicken.

I was supposed to get through my Aristotle readings, but I barely made a dent. I feel terrible for slacking off, but after 8.5 hours of work and trekking through all the slush and snow, I end up passing out on my bed. I did finish one of the novels for my CAN LIT class though. I’m starting on Margret Atwood’s ‘Alias Grace‘. I can’t say I’m absorbed, and I was never a huge fan of her writing – but hopefully, the story gets better.

I need to write more!! I have a ton of deadlines coming up and I don’t even have drafts for some of them. URGHH

I also need to reread those plays for my second semester of Shakespeare. I still have to meet up with people after New Years and it’s cutting into my prep time – but what can I do? Friends are important, and I need to loosen up a bit, too.

I went to see Frida last night. The museum is CRAZY crowded. It was a members only night, so I assumed it’d be dead – but I guess not. Sigh, I’d better go during the day time.

All my moaning and complaints about not having enough hours in a day are biased, I’ve been obsessed with this Korean drama called School 2013. It’s a refreshingly realistic (though occasionally exaggerated for dramatic effect) look at the Korean education system. I won’t fangirl about it here, but ARGH!!! One word: BROMANCE!

Meanwhile, I’ve been listening to a lot of jazz. It’s mostly Holiday themed – but still lovely. Do any of you use Songza? It takes me a while to find a playlist that is compatible with my taste, but it’s still pretty great!

 


Leonardo de Vinci: Anatomy

I got up to Unit5 Part A.7 of Symb. Logic last night and simply got too bored to continue studying. So I whiled away the night (I slept at 3am!) by watching countless episodes of anthony Bourdain’s “No Reservations”. Man, it’s always a mistake to watch food shows when you’ve only had a large veggie salad for dinner – but I persevered! I didn’t eat anything else, seeing it was so late in the night and there’s nothing I fancied in the house.

Whew! I’m literally starving…

Just  came back after eating a marshmallow sandwich because i didn’t have any toast spread left. It was surprisingly tasty. Hmm, looking at my agenda is going me headaches. The day after Tuesday’s midterm, I’m to meet up with my TA about the preliminary draft for my paper. Ugh, as you all know, I only have an outline. I suppose there’s another sleepless night! I’ll do a very detailed outline (with citations and everything) but there’s no way I’ll write 10 pages after that midterm.

During my procrastination this morning, I discovered touchpress apps! they are supposed to be fantastic! I bought the Da Vinci one – if it’s as good as it promises to be, I’ll probably get The Waste Land one too.

I need to get off the internet!! LATERZZZ

 


manners

people have got to learn them! I’m encountering a particularly bad case at work. I teach on the side and there is one private student who is unable to stick to a schedule. Granted, she is an athlete, so I am giving her some leeway – but her organization does not impress me. I recently heard back from a friend who’s also dealing with some unreasonable people and I don’t understand why some people are unable to figure what what happens in the next week of their life!

Sigh–is it really too much to ask?

Anywho, I am working on my Shakespeare comparative exercise. We are given a 2 page length limit so it’s a pretty short assignment – but that just makes editing that much harder!! Here’s a teaser (hasn’t been manicured yet–so beware):

Theses remarkable torrents of correlations also venture into the perimeters of their working lives. Social classes and cultural conformity were strictly enforced and were very much an integral part of everyday life in the Elizabethan and Victorian era. For Shakespeare, social hierarchy provided the backdrop and often, the major source of conflict in many of his plays. His characters are caught between the desire to break away from those customs to fulfill their own yearlings and the hesitation to reject social conventions. The central hurdle for Romeo and Juliet is the parental opposition from both families (who consider each other to be socially inferior). For Macbeth, the path to the throne is not by loyalty to the king, but by murder and deceit. In A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Bottom, the simple minded weaver, is given the most profound vision of the ballad. Shakespeare was not a member of the aristocracy and had none of the usual symptoms of “high society” about him. He was particularly sympathetic to the plight of women and of the lower classes. He often attributes intelligence and insight to the under privileged characters, rather than those of the nobility…

(I can’t get the font size to stay consistent on this blog. sorry)

I am going to follow this paragraph with:

For Shakespeare and Holmes, the casts of characters are not only governed by social hierarchy, but also by sex. Even during the Elizabethan era, women were not permitted to be on stage and all of the female roles were usually performed by young, somewhat inexperienced boy actors. Shakespeare was a savvy playwright who knew to write to his actors’ advantage. And hence, there are very few women characters in Shakespeare’s plays. Holmes, in stark contrast, is infamous for his vocal pronouncements of his disregard of women kind in general. His treatment of women is generally regarded as racist… 


FRANKENSTEIN [Part 2]

ohmygoodness, this is so overdue–apologies all around~~

CONTINUING FROM LAST TIME:

Following’s the Monster’s miraculous ascend, a man stumbles upon him. This is Victor Frankenstein, the creator. Frankenstein is stunned at the moving creature and throws a large red cape over the Monster. Frightened and confused, the Monster leaves Victor stunned at the perfection of his own creation.

There is a strange sequence involving a rowdy group of men and women. Thumping, rhythmic music plays (I like Underworld, but not in the context. To be honest, this musical-sque section of the play was my least favourite.) as they flirt and drink. Later on, the Monster learns about fire (by accidentally burning himself on a stolen cooking pot) and is ridiculed by humans. This doesn’t bode well.

We switch to a homely small house – its occupants are one blind elderly man, and a sickeningly sick couple. The couple leaves for the fields and the Monster creeps up to the house. Having no sight, the old man (De Lacey) welcomes the strangely silent stranger. This is the Monster’s first taste of human warmth and he quickly befriends De Lacey, who, upon discovering that the Monster does not speak (De Lacey assumed it’s due to some sort of PTSD), teaches him the English language. I love love love this entire sequence. The Monster is like a child, fascinated and by the world and so happy that there is someone to introduce all its beauty to him. As the Monster begins to grasp basic language skills, his queries become more sophisticated. He begins to question his existence, he wonders why he is in pain, in emotional pain be cause his creator abandoned him.

For instance (from here):

De Lacey:  There are two school of thought. One says that we are all made imperfect, and require the assistance of a higher authority—a deity—to overcome the sin of being born. The other school of thought—to which I subscribe—insists that when we leave the womb we are pure, that a babe in arms is untainted by sin, that evil is the product of social forces, and that God has nothing to do with how a man turns out, be it good or be it bad.

Creature:  Me not do bad things.

De Lacey:  I know you do not do bad things. You have a good heart. I know that.

Creature:  Why my hungry?

De Lacey:  Eh?

Creature:  Why my hungry? Why no food for me?

De Lacey:  I give you half of my food.

Creature:  Still hungry.

De Lacey:  It is the condition of men to be hungry.

Creature (jabbing a finger at his books):  Not kings! Not emperors!

De Lacey (laughs):  You’re learning fast.

Creature:  Why my not a king?

De Lacey:  I don’t know. Perhaps you are.

Creature:  Yes! A king! Is my name?

De Lacey:  I don’t know.

Creature:  King what?

De Lacey:  You have never told me your name.

Creature:  Gnaaagh! Never heard. Not know.

De Lacey:  You are a poor lost thing.

——————-

  • De Lacey: It is night in the Garden of Eden. Do you see the moon?
  • Creature: There. There it is.
  • De Lacey: Describe it to me.
  • Creature: Solitary.
  • De Lacey: That’s a good word. Good.
  • Creature: And sad, like me.
  • De Lacey: Why is it sad?
  • Creature: Because it is solitary.
  • De Lacey: Why are you sad?
  • Creature: Because with all that I read, all that I learn, I discover how much I do not know. Ideas batter me like hailstones. Questions but no answers. Who am I? Where am I from? Do I have a family?

He knows that there is something about his appearance that is disturbing and terrifying to other people. After many a time of De Lacey assuring him that his daughter and son-in-law are lovely, non-judgemental folks, the Monster allows himself to be seen.

Of course, it’s catastrophic. The Monster, feeling utterly betrayed and hurt, flees.

And it is here that he begins his moral descent.

LINGERING THOUGHTS:

  1. I loved the Monster’s relationship with the old man, even though it had to end. There was so much humour, truth and goodness between the two.

Creature:  White! What? White! What?
De Lacey:  Where?
Creature:  In the air!
De Lacey:  That’s snow. It’s not very interesting—a natural phenomenon, no more. Now please stop leaping about, we need to concentrate.
Creature:  Snow! Snow!
De Lacey:  Sit! We’ve work to do.

The Creature sits at a pile of books, rather grumpily.

2. I found the couple really irritating. They were over the top with cheeriness. And of course, the reason for the Monster’s ill-natured transformation.


Spread

 

 

I feel completely overwhelmed by the quality of arts that is available to me. On the Asian end, Answer Me, 1997 and Gaksital are totally rocking’ my socks off. The former drama is reminiscing an era slightly half a decade ahead of mine, but I can still relate to its stories and characters. Gosh, episode 12 came out and heck, my heart just feeeeeels.

It is so silly and nostalgic to think of my teenage years,  when I used to go insane over certain celebrities, when everything seems like the end of the world, when I talked like a James Dean wannabe and pinned after older guys when I was already attached myself. And all those one sided, hopeless crushes, they killed me.

Gaksital is killing it for me in a different way. The taut plotting and rich complexities between and within the two male leads are making it the best period kdrama I have ever seen.

TIFF will be in full swing in a week’s time, so even more goodies to come. All these films I am dying to see-it’s just a matter of time and money. I’m frugal, and the money saved from buying used textbooks goes away in a flash on things like this.

If only I could live a life of leisure and be guiltless of responsibilities. But hell, what would be the point then?


it’s all semantics

I am in the habit of exchanging music, literature, and art with like-minded friends. A recent one to a music major went something like this (below). I’ve edited the emails a little for continuity and clarity. Heads up: these opinions are not meant to offend anybody. all opinions and views are solely mine and those of my friend’s.

ME:

http://suddenlyfalling.tumblr.com/post/19271153236/deareje-beautiful-piece-played-by

what do you think of this interpretation. it’s a bit sloppy, but i think i like it.
(ignore the wacky site, i can’t find a youtube version)
the reply (I’ve bolded the parts I take issue with):
The one thing this pianist does well, is bringing out the melodic voice.
Sometimes, maybe it’s too much that the chord qualities are not so clear.
For that reason, he should play more Bach..
 
Other than the melody line, I wasn’t so impressed,
I can’t feel much difference between duple and triple.
Also, when there are two notes between the hands, they don’t land quite together.
Of course Debussy writes the arpeggio sign all over the place, but you can’t really do arpeggios with just 2 notes— and I think that he is not intentionally doing it. Just lack of focus on those notes..
 
Well, Piano is hard and that’s why I’m not doing it.
And actually, I think that interpretations don’t really matter that much.
Unless it’s a disaster. Most people won’t even notice the subtle nuances..
Instead of nailing down every notes, playing the same music for 10 years, people need to move on and learn other things..
To me, a lot of Classical musicians don’t dig into new and less-known pieces.
Now, classical musicians are different from each other only because of subtle nuances in interpretations, which are not even that big of a deal. They lack of unique personality, and I don’t know if I should consider them as a part of the creative world—- compare these classical music performers to fine artists, actors, composers, writers and choreographers. How uncreative they are!
ME:
Well, he isn’t intensively trained as a classical musician-so I don’t expect him to have the chops. I didn’t much like the YouTube vids I found of him.
 
I am one of those people that REALLY care about the nuances. There are a lot of musicians that are technically competent, but I dislike their style of playing. I think that is y I like Joshua bell, he doesn’t have the best tech chops, but I like the way he lets his music breathe.
 
Although it is true that a lot of pieces are overdone by musicians, I don’t mind. There is a reason why some works are timeless. The guy prob got a lot of joy out of doing a beautiful piece of music, and that’s never wrong.
 
what a good Clair de lune I should listen to?
the reply:
Hmm. I thought Nuances meant very small details.
From the way you’re describing, the differences that you describe seem pretty big.
You mentioned about musicians who are technically competent and compared those to Bell, whom you admire for the music breathing.
This difference seemed to me pretty big deal.
Of course, these things should matter.
 
My definition of nuances is something very small- choices you make in nuances are neither right or wrong, it’s just a matter of taste. Well, somebody could say playing music purely with technical proficiency is also a matter of taste (because there are a lot of them and some are very successful), but I don’t really buy that, so no, not in my definition.
 
 
Although this one doesn’t say the name of the Pianist…. This one nailed down every note.
ME:
Ok, perhaps what I meant was INTERPRETATION, which, in a way, is the sum of all these nuances?
ALL RIGHT, so i took umbrage that my friend doesn’t place much importance on nuances, which, for me, is what makes a particular recording great. What is the purpose of covers, if not to make the piece your own? I’m not sure what he would say is the most importance “ingredient” in a successful, truthful cover.
In the email thread, we ran into a conflict over our usage of the words NUANCE and INTERPRETATION.
Here is what I got from the Merriam-Webster Dictionary (i wanted the OED, but can’t). My understanding of the two words in context are in bold.

Definition of INTERPRETATION

1
: the act or the result of interpreting : explanation
2
: a particular adaptation or version of a work, method, or style
3
: a teaching technique that combines factual with stimulating explanatory information <natural history interpretation program>

Definition of NUANCE

1
: a subtle distinction or variation
2
: a subtle quality : nicety
3
: sensibility to, awareness of, or ability to express delicateshadings (as of meaning, feeling, or value)
Thoughts??