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Date:2005-05-31 17:30

The Composition Podium was last night, 6 pieces were performed, of which mine was the last... the saxophone quartet. It went pretty well... we pulled it off without any major problems, and people seemed pretty impressed by it. (my goal? i don't know). None of the players had ever played modern music before, so it was a really big effort for them to understand and imagine the music in an expressive way... they did a very good job for how much time we had. (In other words, I wish my saxophone teacher didn't think my music was totally senseless, and that he had practiced more. Very odd position to be in.)
Afterwards some friends and I came to my dorm and made some food... we ended up salsa dancing in the kitchen!

I can't believe it's over already... Now I'm getting ready for the concert on July 6, and then I start preparing for my senior recital.

Hey, I'm excited that I have found a place to live in Nashville next semester... I'll be living with Alex and Tyler in the apartment they were in last year; three composers in one apartment = terror for the neighbors...!

The next 5 or 6 weeks are going to be pretty hectic... then hopefully I will have some time to make one last little trip, probably to Slovenia, and then I head for the States again. (19. July)

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Date:2005-05-18 10:55

I was going to write this in my paper journal, but I think letting people read it will be good.

This morning I hopped on my bike and made my way to the Hochschule...accross a couple of streets, along the river where the steamboats are carrying tourists and old people back and forth, over the main bridge to the center of town, past the opera, the parliament house, the palace, and up to the school, dodging cars the whole way. The weather is cool, very overcast, mist in the air, but fortunately not raining. There was a demonstration at the parliament house, hundreds of people had gathered with signs and were making an enormous racket...it was something about the schools - I couldn't make out many of the signs from so far away...signs of a healthy society, I guess you could say - I don't know. Anyway the studio is booked all day and I can't get in until this afternoon, so I had to go the whole way back again, now I'm going to practice at home. Yesterday I had breakfast with my roommates and worked on my composition. I went to the bakery and bought some bread...the girl was so nice to me that, maybe if it was still November or February I would have stayed and asked for her number. I have about 7 weeks left... enough time to perform the quartet, write one more short composition, travel one more time, and spend a lot of time with my friends here. I went to Lena's last night for dinner and another improvisation session...it was just three of us this time so we had a really good conversation, about our backgrounds and what we think of religion. I was excited to learn that not every young German person is completely disgusted by Christianity. My friends here were both raised catholic and have a lot of fondness for their communities and beliefs, but a lot of difficulties with certain parts too... we have a lot in common. We've all experienced hearing the Bible read very literally and then expected to be understood universally by everyone. And churches that have no energy and no reason to exist except to give people a place to go Sunday. I think everyone's just tired and wants something new to happen... so far it isn't happening here.
I think good things are happening in America, but many bad things too. I recommended a couple of books, although they're in English. What I find very difficult about my background is the the pressure to evangelize. When I was getting ready to come over here people said "maybe you will change someone's life," meaning 'spread my faith'... well maybe I don't want to change anyone's life. Just because I came from FBC Richardson and know some verses doesn't mean that I have a handle on problems that everyone in the world struggles with. In any case, it was good to learn where they're coming from.
So the point of all of this is that most of this year is over, the rest of the time is just finishing what I've started. I like it here; I would stay longer if I could. But I'll come home, when I get there I'll be glad to be back, and maybe I'll be back here again someday.

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Date:2005-05-17 12:52

Anyone know someone in Nashville who's looking for a roommate in the fall? I have a potential place, but I need one more person.

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Date:2005-05-09 00:49

listening to Ben Folds reminds me of a year at belmont
why is it that the past always seems like everything was in order? I know for a fact that things were so mixed up then
but compared to now...

I don't know what else to say...the web just keeps spreading, going out in every direction...one day I am one hundred percent on one side, the other day I'm on the opposite end of the spectrum...

the future is even more unsure, it seems every where I look for future development there is either a closed door or a barren desert.

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Date:2005-05-02 17:44
Subject:another one
Mood: indescribable

I'm not going to say anything about how seldom I post here...

I'm still making some progress on the composition. It will be performed on the 30 of May, by myself and three other saxophonists, including my professor. I have really made it a point to make it look really professional, and to be musically tight...and because of that it has taken a very long time to finish. I am really hoping the sound of it actually reflects the amount of work I put into it.

I am really frustrated with everything else, though...I spent two hours in the electronic lab today and I left having made no progress...the whole semester I have only barely understood the concepts, but I thought I was grasping it...turns out I really can't do anything at all on my own with that program. Even though the manual is in English, it is still so technical that I can't understand it. Also communicating with people has been difficult lately - I can really say that I would like to go home. I really do love it here, but I have started seeing changes in myself that I don't like, and that are the result of the communication difficulties I have had every day. I would really just like to sit down and have a conversation without once having to stop and ask what a word means or how to say something.

That said, I have really made some amazing friends in the past couple of weeks. I hope that my time left here can be rewarding!

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Date:2005-02-17 10:55
Subject:Cut n Paste
Mood: mellow

OK peoples, you haven't heard from me in ages but I think I should just learn how to use lj and post stuff for you guys too. I'll start by cutting and pasting.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

I should be writing more on my thesis, but I am feeling meaningless right now...out of 16 emails I sent yesterday, 3 were answered, and only two had helpful information. I worked hard to get them to inboxes Monday morning, and now I'm afraid they're going to rot in the sea of oblivion.
The work is going ok, I've made some good plans, come to some good conclusions and have a good feeling of how it's all going to pan out. It will be done tomorrow.

I started writing music agian last night, with all these new ideas from reading it is already sounding different...more ambient, more direct, more tangible...good things.

The Crawfords will be leaving soon...It's hard to say goodbye to people for who-knows-how-long.

Made some good music finds last night: Stereolab - Sound Dust; Can; Thievery Corporation; Miguel Migs; Blue 6; Cassius, Daft Punk; Aphex Twin - Selected Ambient Works 85-92; Us3; Fettes Brot. I think I'm the most excited about the Stereolab album, although Aphex Twin's going to get a thorough listen too.

I'm looking for some kitchy jazz tracks...I heard one song in Hebeda's the other day, it has a latin beat with a vocal line that goes da-da da da da dwee-ahh.... Anyone heard it before?

There. Update: I did receive 3 new emails: one saying "I don't know anything and can't help you" and the other from a composer who has actually written a graduate thesis on the exact same subject! If I pay him back, he's going to mail it across the ocean to me...that's pretty awesome. So good thing I'm starting to cut 'n paste here...I might need the practice ;-)

I really need to get to work...it's 11:00 (4 am there). I need to get this turned in so I can go skiing in Czech Rep.!

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Date:2005-02-14 09:27

I've been working for the past week, pretty much non-stop on my thesis. In digging down into the core of knowledge, I've discovered that thesis is actually made of two words: thes is. Do you know what a thes is? I don't know what a thes is. This is why I must write a thesis.

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Date:2005-01-22 19:44

I have nothing to say
and I am saying it and that is
poetry as I need it...

Our poetry now
is the realization that we possess nothing
Anything therefore is a delight
(since we do not possess it) and thus need not fear its loss...

~John Cage

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Date:2004-11-07 20:43
Mood: frustrated

i wonder if i can post pictures on this thing.

that worked. i needed some good news like that. today i have sat on my butt because i slept in and missed a concert that i already paid for, and my computer is still giving me grief. but i did eat soup and french fries for dinner. that was a plus. and now i'm drinking tea.

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Date:2004-10-24 22:33

Editorial Reviews
Charlemagne Palestine was a constant presence on the downtown New York City scene in the '70s and was best known for his punishing feats of endurance on the Bösendofer piano. Lately, many of his early recordings have been reissued. A few years back, a 1975 piano marathon, Strumming Music, was reissued, which is Palestine going nuts on the keyboard, banging out a repetitious minimalist pattern for 45 minutes, never missing a beat (Palestine is rumored to have pounded the strings so hard that he would often snap them). Soon thereafter, some of his minimal electronic works were rereleased, which earned him a following in the electronica community. Thankfully, New World Records added this CD, which dates from 1979, to Palestine's growing discography. On it, Palestine simply holds down a single note on a church organ for an hour. So little happens that the monotony makes Steve Reich's Four Organs sound like a Mahler symphony. But it's the extreme act of minimalism that makes for an intriguing exercise in just how much can be squeezed out of a single gesture. It takes extremely concentrated listening to even notice the dozens of small events such as overtones and harmonics slowly and quietly unfold across this seemingly static--yet oddly sensuous--field. --Kenneth Goldsmith

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Date:2004-10-24 15:41
Mood: content

here is the first live journal post. if you want to read about what i am doing and see pictures, go to my xanga site (www.xanga.com/the21stimpression). i gave the address out to so many people that i decided to open this one, so i could write to a small group of people again.
i started looking for graduate schools today on the internet. hard to believe i'm already starting to think about where i'm going next. first i need to decide more specifically what i want to do in music, whether i want to keep studying composition, or go into a new field like musicology. it's kind of scary because i still don't feel like i've done any real work in music, just exercises. i have a lot to accomplish this year. i've started writing a saxophone quartet, but i hope to finish it soon and get into a more experimental project.

i went to church today at an english speaking community...only about 20 people, but from all over the world. it was great to be in a place where people were talking about god again...i think it has been nearly two months since i have been to a church service! maybe i will make this place my home soon, i'd like to check out a couple other churches though. it's tough to find them in dresden. after church a german guy named Markus took me and amy to a palace near dresden. i think the greatest form of ministry anyone can do is to give someone else some of their time. i have always known that, but it isn't until you are in a situation where you need to recieve the ministry that you can fully understand it and really be changed by it. we do not do that in america. we are so self-service oriented, that we hardly have enough time for ourselves, much less others. i think we also have a lot of social barriers that make us afraid to reach out to someone without losing our guard. i don't know how else to day it...i can't say anything i haven't heard before about giving others your time...i grew up with people that really emphasized hanging out as the best way to minister to someone. but i was never the one being hung out with i guess. think about how easy it actually is to just let someone hang out with you

right now i'm listening to a singer named Youssou N'Dour. he is from Senegal and has made a lot of popular records in the states and europe also. kind of a westernized version of african music. his voice is so fluid and joyful, it really makes me more excited about life just listening to it.

i think that if i look at this kind of music from the common classical perspective, it can only be regarded as fun or light, insignificant in musical terms, over simplistic, shallow. for african music, you could look at the cultural implications seriously and say something about that. however, if anyone were to bring the actual music into the theory world, it would be effectless...there just wouldn't be much there to evaluate! but this music is just as important, and provides just as strong an emotional effect as the most poignant, well-written Vaughan Williams or Walton or Takemitsu piece i have heard. when one paints a picture of his or her musical identity, it includes everything...from the most completely satisfying classical music, to the the stuff you heard on the radio, in church, at the mall, at your friends houses...what i am saying is that i want to combine what i know about classical music, which takes the most complex and culturally-advancing music seriously, ethnomusicology, which takes the folk musics and 'simple' musical devices seriously, and commercial music, which takes popular melodies, beats, and lyrics seriously. the musical disciplines we have provide very fulfilling paths to go down, but to make real progress in understanding music and experiencing it as it evolves in the future, there needs to be a lot of exchanging back and forth between the disciplines until they can actually communicate with one another. Specialisation has its advantages, and is very necessary. but the fields we have are so specialised already by this 21st century that the next step is to integrate fields of knowledge. who knows what we will come up with.

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