Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Tomorrow, I'll be cooking food for about 30 people. I love grocery shopping, and I love cooking even more (and eating more than that)! It will be a nice break from school, working with my hands, a blend of recipes and improvising. Yum. And to aid with the digestion, I've checked out a slew of screwball comedies suitable for couch-parking with leftovers and friends.

In other news, I can be thankful for the syllabus I've finished up for next semester on Sondheim, and thankful for the enthusiastic students I've heard from so far. That's the nice thing about teaching this class—nobody is going to sign up for the class accidentally. It's sort of self-weeding. The only problems lie in trying to guess the students' familiarity with music and in the scant materials sometime that are accessible yet provocative.

I can be thankful for the great company I have in my life, both academic and not. I was sad to miss AMS this year, but I'm looking forward to SAM (and to the day I get something accepted to one of these conferences). I'm waiting to hear back on my dissertation proposal, but for now I'm happy to believe that no news is aphoristically accurate.

Happy Thanksgiving one and all!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Victory lap.

Between the Phillies and Obama, I couldn't be much happier. And I'm about to take off for two weeks of travelling around Europe free of academicness. Life here, for the moment, is good (comments about dissertation proposal draft 2 are imminent upon return).

There are other good signs out there.

In film theory class we had a good laugh about going as "the signified" on Halloween, just by taking your picture around with you. It's not the usual humor, but it has a place, and that place is 10 am on Halloween. I also like the professor's idea that Halloween should be more Brechtian.

This article gives a wonderful little glimpse into a great idea. Chamber music in a bar/cabaret setting. I particularly like Tommasini's comment that it doesn't matter that the audience doesn't know about Xenakis's theories, what matters is they're listening to it. As I set about trying to write program notes, this makes me realize it's a funny job. The notes may help explain things, offer some insight, amuse, intrigue, etc. But they're not pivotal to enjoying the music. So perhaps what I should be thinking about is not "how to make you understand the piece" but how I can get people to come back again, to be excited about it.

And I do know what it's like to feel excited. Oh yes.