Old posts

It’s over now, the music of the night

Whew, long day!

I’m on page 156 of Roots of the Classical and I have plenty of quotes to blog hopefully sometime this weekend. I’m not really spending as much time with the musical examples as I’d like because I want to finish reading the book before school’s out, but I’d say it’s definitely worth the $65 for the paperback. However, while it’s now on my Amazon.com wish list, there are still some things I want a bit more, so I probably won’t be buying it anytime soon. (Afterall, college students are penniless!) It would be worth it to look out for used copies though. Anyway, one thing I enjoy about the book is that the author seems to agree with many of my preconceived musical notions, which is always nice.

I tried working on The Game of Gynwig for a bit, and after an hour I got about two paragraphs written. Blah, it’s hard to write!

Classes are finally over! My two classes today mainly consisted of not-very-helpful reviews, but at least it was easier to pay attention. I still have the final exams coming up, but all in all I’d say this has pretty much been the worst semester… probably even the worst schooling experience of my entire life… glad it’s over! (For the most part!)

I tried to work on my piece of music for a bit, but I was too tired and my own music lulled me into a state of consciousness that was not quite asleep yet not quite awake… so I really couldn’t get any work done on it at all. I guess classical composers never had that sort of problem, writing out their classical compositions on paper and not really being able to hear them the way I do.

I also did my laundry for hopefully the last time this semester. Isn’t that interesting?

By S P Hannifin, ago
Old posts

Thumb twitching

Woohoo! No homework left! At least, until next semester… argh…

I’m on page 110 of Roots of the Classical, a quite insightful book, and I have several more quotes from it to add to the book quotes blog whenever I get around to it.

Hmmm… I don’t really think I’ve done much else lately besides homework, reading the aforementioned book, and arguing on the forum. I have two things I need to work on now, besides studying for exams: finish the “Hour by Hour” piece and work on my novel. Well, those things and of course finish reading the book.

I had a dream the other night in which my thumb was twitching. When I woke up it was still twitching. Oh, how wonderfully annoying it is when our senses make their way into our dreams.

By S P Hannifin, ago
Old posts

Last of the homework

I must do my last homework assignment of the semester tonight… it’s like a threshold crossing or something.

I’m a bit farther along in Roots of the Classical… on page 72 to be exact. Because I know blog readers care about the specific page I’m on in a book. I guess I’ll just keep reading. It would certainly be nice to finish before the semester ends.

Tomorrow is the last day of classes. Looks like my first exam is on the 10th and then one on the 14th and two on the 15th. Blagh. At least I’ll have over a week to study.

And then I have two more semesters of this worthlessness!

By S P Hannifin, ago
Old posts

May means dead caterpillars

May is here, and the caterpillars are getting squooshed on the sidewalks… where are the birds to eat them?

I’m making slow and not very steady progress in that book, Roots of the Classical… I have at least one quote so far I want to put up on the book quotes blog.

I spent some time last night composing my entry for the Orchestration Challenge 12… nothin’ like orchestrating little whole tone melody.

I’ve only got one homework assignment left, and then the only thing left to do school-wise will be to study for exams. The end is near!

By S P Hannifin, ago
Old posts

Roots soak up water

Haven’t been up to much lately except some math homework… nothing like calculating some least squares polynomials by hand!

I got that book out from the library, Roots of the Classical by Peter Van Der Merwe. I’m not far into it, but it’s so far interesting at least. It’s not written in a repulsing style, for one, which is always nice. If I had much more time, I might consider it an easy read, but I’m only on page 12 of 470. My library’s copy is from 2004 and it’s all nice and new… the aesthetics of a book are always part of the reading experience!

Well, I’m gonna keep reading and I’ve got to finish up my math homework… and maybe I can work on my novel a bit tonight.

By S P Hannifin, ago
Old posts

Classical music is da bomb

Somebody on the music forum posted a link to this interesting article: “Classical music could even become the new rock’n’roll”. Well, I’m not sure it will become the new rock’n’roll, but I don’t think I’d mind it! But I do agree with much of what the article says, such as:

The upshot was a deliberate renunciation of popularity. The audience that mattered to modernists (even the many who saw themselves as socialists) ceased to be the general public and increasingly became other composers and the intellectual, often university-based, establishment that claimed to validate the new music, not least through its influence over state patronage. Any failure of the music to become popular was ascribed not to the composer’s lack of communication but the public’s lack of understanding.

There’s a book mentioned in the article that I now am interested in checking out, so maybe I Am A Strange Loop will have to take a break for a week or two.

I tried last night to work on my novel, The Game of Gynwig, but I scrapped everything I wrote… which wasn’t much. It was hard to get back into the story even after reading through my notes on what’s supposed to happen next. I think I’m just going to cut whatever chapter I was working on short and start a new scene. I’m really going to have to go back and read through everything I’ve done so far though. How annoying! Well, maybe not everything… but I gotta get my mind back into it.

By S P Hannifin, ago
Old posts

Music but no soda

I got about one minute of music written today. Or two minutes I guess. One and a half, I’ll compromise. I spent about 3 hours working on that piece “Hour by Hour” … I’m still not sure how long it will be, it could go on and on… right now it’s at 8.5 minutes, which is pretty long for a piece by me, so I’d rather it come to an end before or around 10 minutes, but I’ll let it go on for as long as it wants to.

Uh oh, I’ve only got one can of soda left, and I’m going to drink it after I post this blog, which means I’ll have to start giving my one dollar bills to vending machines. It’s so sad when it comes to that…

I’m off to go read some more of The Moonstone, because I know blog readers care about what I’m going to do next… Oh yeah, blogging daily!

By S P Hannifin, ago
Old posts

The Moonstone is funny

I read a bit more of The Moonstone… I’m only on page 14 of about 400, but what I’ve read so far is funny. This is something written over one hundred years ago in the 1860s, and I don’t know how much the author Wilkie Collins intended it, but the current narrator of the story just has a wonderfully funny personality. It almost seems like the sort of story that should be read aloud. Then again, maybe I just thought the opening chapters were funny because I’m tired.

I don’t have a whole lot of homework left, so I hope I can spend some time with music this weekend. I checked out an interesting book from the library which is completely about Mozart’s “Jupiter” symphony. Woohoo! I also still have some plastic-wrapped classical music CDs that need listening…

By S P Hannifin, ago
Old posts

The music of the night

I’m up late doing math homework… hopefully for the last time this semester and maybe for the last time in my life! (But probably not!)

Following my failed duet attempt, I tried writing a violin piece, which I ended up turning into four-hand piano piece which I might call “Headache” because it gave me a headache. It’s very polytonal until the ending. At first I was going to scrap that too, but I noticed that it was playing back in my head later on, so I’ll probably post it eventually. It’s sort of like “A Little Harp Music” in that there’s no striking melody, just a bunch of recurring patterns.

I also uploaded a piece I wrote over a year ago called “Serenade for Strings No 2” because it is a serenade for strings… and it is my second one. You can hear it right here.

Ack, I’ve got a nasty annoying cough…

By S P Hannifin, ago
Old posts

Evolution is dumb

I wrote a short violin and clarinet duet this morning, but I don’t like how it sounds with those instruments. I’ve explored other combinations, and right now it’s a violin duet. It still needs some heavy MIDI data editing, and maybe I’ll write more movements to it… but probably not. And maybe I’ll just scrap the whole thing.

Hmmm… the Dow closed above 13,000. I hardly know what exactly that means, but I like how everyone tries to analyze it and draw conclusions from it.

Scientists say they may have found a planet that has a bunch of water on it and is just the right temperature to support life. It’s only hundreds of trillions of miles away. So what would aliens look like? What if… they look pretty much like us? What if among the dazzling variety of life that evolution can conjure up, the human form is a design that pops up over and over again across galaxies? Maybe there’ll be some variations on it, but what if evolution, if its paths from hundreds of earth-like planets are compared, tends to take the same kind of route all the time? Would that be amazing, or not surprising?

By S P Hannifin, ago