Category Archives: MUSIC


(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.

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.


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!
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.
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.


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

Definition of NUANCE

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

work bubble



I keep getting distracted, of course. I was watching the A&E doc on Elvis the other night and it reminded a question someone asked me after browsing my playlists.

“What’s so great about Elvis?”

YMMV, but I almost treat these questions as rhetorical ones. It’s like asking why MJ is the King of Pop. These titans of pop culture – either you like them or you don’t.* When I listen to or watch these kinds of people, I am overwhelmed not only by their talent, but by their charisma. I fall under a sort of spell that makes me even giddier and more intense (if possible) than I normally am.

* I’m a hypocrite, because for the past year, i have been educating myself on Beatles’ music. And you know what? It’s working.



One of my compositions will be performed in a concert series at the University of Guanajuato in Mexico in April!

This totally motivates me to work on “IN REVIEW” which I was supposed to do last night.

Oh, whilst I was in the park a few days ago, I stumbled upon an idea for my environmental piece. Am very excited to get started on that too!

an account of a process

I’ve got about 3 unfinished drafts sitting, waiting to be posted on this blog, and I have 2 sets of characters that won’t leave my head, waiting to live out their stories. I am currently working on a story titled “Quit Freak”. Usually dialogue comes out much harder for me (I’m much better with mood and and setting and no-quotation marks required stuff. Exposition is damn annoying!) so I sort of wrote it all out in a rush. and now I an insert the rest of it organically. Le Sigh, indeed.

My ipod (1st gen iTouch) continues to behave irregularly but I simply can’t justify getting a spanking new one because “Sherlocked” (Yes, I really am that obsessed. Don’t say I didn’t warn you) is still loyal and he was the first major purchase I made with my own dollars. When I bought him, I cherried him out with a real leather cover, Bose earbuds (they suck, I am grown up now) and a myriad of other frivolous expenses (though I do not regret the case, in fact, it’s save Sherlocked many a times).

laid bare for you.

It’s been deathly cold these past few days and I can’t seem to wrap my head around it. It was still hovering above 0 degrees during Christmas, and all of the sudden, temperatures plummet down to minus double digits!

I’ve got all my candles out and burning. Now I wish I’d sweeter, creamier ones rather than the very cleanly scented fruit ones.

I’m craving heart stews and chunky soups!! It;s only Wednesday and I’m finding it next to impossible to keep to my budget. I resisted buying anything yesterday. But last night, I saw a good friend and we were planning a get together.It’s nothing fancy, but as I already used up my fortnightly indulgence (the offee on Monday), I don’t know what to doooo. Sigh, I’m going to create a chart for indulgences and meets. How very high maintenance of me.

Yahoo posted Zoe Deschanel’s fiance details. The break down is as follows:

Salary from TV show “New Girl” — $95,000 per month 
Dining-out expenses — $500 per month
Clothing expenses — $2,000 per month
Laundry/cleaning expenses — $600 per month
Cell phone and email expenses — $300 per month
Charitable donations — $1,500 per month
Credit card debt — $0  

I’m going to modify that and apply it to myself.

Also, lately I’ve grown to like Adele’s music. Her voice still irritates me to a certain degree, but I am fond of the kind of music she makes. All heart and raw.

I’ve made a small dent on my research project so I’m feeling pleased with myself at the moment.

I have 3 ongoing projects that must be completed in the first half of January-so I’m in a rush. But my eyes are tired of starting at the computer screen, so I’m going to take a moment and write some verses.

PS. I’m to much of a foodie to do a juice fast, but I am thinking of doing a no alcohol, sugar, caffeine, or processed food fast. Maybe for 5 days? Don’t know when I’ll do it though, probably during reading week.

UPDATE: one research project done!!

crashing over FIVE-

tired. drained. nausous.

result of OCDing on itunes and suffering through cramps. Had some congee-feel weak. Gahhhhh

 This is lovely-perfection to me. Open concept living space, plenty of color (that doesn’t irritate), soft but strong lighting-


Goodness me, it’s been a while.

Part of the reason behind this delayed post is because I’ve been awfully ill. I’ve been nursing a sore throat and a strong bout of flu for some days now and it finally seems ready to exit from my worn down immune system. My body is drained, just drained from being so exposed, so overwhelmed, so vulnerable to a variety of things that are invisible to my rational mind. I need time to make myself sensitive again. Somehow a plethora of things (both good and not so great) have been made available to me (or in the latter’s case, shoved in my way) that even my trusty agenda has been unable to make things simple for me. These are not times of ennui, and I don’t know the term to define what I’m currently experiencing.  I’ve written about how controlling I can get when it comes to my own affairs and needless to say – again, I feel absolutely drained.

Anyhow, to reenergize my soul, spirit, muse, or whatever phrase you’d like to use – I have been watching the great masters for guidance. It is exhausting, for me, during this stage to observe, but it must be done.

For example, I watched Streetcar last night and my mind felt absolutely raped by the genius of it all. The case is the same with Chaplin’s “The Great Dictator”. I was properly exposed to the latter back in HS when I first discovered the classics: Chaplin, Gable, Leigh, Monroe, Hepburn, Kazan, and countless others. It was an epiphany (and gosh, i dread to use the word. It seems to indicate some transformation that ought to be obvious and evident to the naked eye, the outside observer. But no, I want only myself to be aware of my metamorphosis.)

It’s hard, sometimes, not to feel talentless and discouraged against these giants who so inspire me with their persona, charisma, and presence.  Although music is what eventually elicits originality from me, it is the story (with its characters and atmosphere) that really induce a reaction from me. Whatever I am creating, it is always a reaction, sometimes a response to any certain aspect of the story. I must always observe first, whether fiction or reality, and then translate my observations and its implications into original work. That is why often times I haven’t a clue what I’ve produced, just because I’ve observed something, does not mean that I understand it, or that I even viewed in “correctly” whatever that means.

At the moment, I am reading Albert Camus. His work is mesmerizing, though when i am immersed in it, I feel lightheaded and as though i am heading straight into the earth like a fiery meteoroid.

Let’s return to Streetcar, which was the first of my inspirational reawakenings this past week. I somehow got my hands on Alex North’s brilliant soundtrack and have been playing it non-stop. The sound is perfect, every greasy slur of the clarinet echoes the inflammable atmosphere of Stanley’s initial contact with Blanche. And by Heaven does Brando take your breath away. Enough experts and fangirls have commented on this issue so i shall not squeal more on the pure exquisiteness of  his performance. But swoooon.

My mind is all over the place today and my headache is reaching new uninviting heights. I shall return to my work now.