Saturday, February 19, 2011

philemon and baukis

i'm working on this piece by lou harrison for violin and javanese gamelan for a performance at the seattle asian art museum with local group, gamelan pacifica. the violin part is hand-written in standard western notation, but to read it as such, i have to de-tune my violin by approximately 1 half step and adjust intervalic spacing note-to-note. without frets, so much of violin playing is dictated by muscle memory. you memorize the hand shapes. you memorize where to place your fingers in relation to other fingers. you memorize how the spacing between 1st and 2nd finger in 1st position on the A string feels in your hand.

this piece poses 2 unique (and daunting!) challenges. 1: i have to listen differently. i have to hear pitch differently. i have to hear the relationships between pitches differently. i have to try to get inside of the sound of the orchestra, of the tuning, of the timbres, while setting on top of it as a soloist. and 2: i have to alter my hand shapes. i have to alter 22 years of muscle memory. i have to change and relearn the feeling of where to place 1st finger in relation to 2nd finger.

i have to suspend my aural and physical associations cultivated and built-in over nearly a lifetime of study.

it makes me consider what else i've spent nearly a lifetime cultivating - patterns, aspects of personality, reactions, likes, dislikes, ways of communicating (or not communicating)...and the resistance, difficulty, and huge fear often associated with enacting change. it helps me have compassion for myself around change, transformation, evolution, undoing, relearning...and it helps me also believe that it's possible. change is possible. change is positive. change is necessary. and the less resistance and fear i meet it with, the more ease and joy i can find in the process.

tuning reference no. 1:

tuning reference no. 2:

Thursday, February 10, 2011

immersion composition society

ICS session - 2.9.11 - 4:30pm-12am

found amp / detuned electric bass / broken violin bow

2 cassette recordings of 'her_no.1' played/manipulated using 2 tape players (sans digital effects/manipulations)

violin / voice

cassette tapes i've found, made, or that have been given to me, played/manipulated live on 3 tape players / voice (sans pop filter................hello, oversight!)

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

precious gifts

thank you, you...

Saturday, February 5, 2011

a dance. a recipe. a solo. 5 minutes. (maybe less)

february 4 - 8:28am

watching a date in a bar. it was like i was on it and like it was on tv, then like i was coaching katie through it via text. i could see what was happening until i couldn't. i wanted to know. she bought him a drink and told him if she liked his story, he'd know. she caressed his leg with hers under the table as she said this. it went well and she was taking him home. i found them on the street. she had invited 3 other friends who all had dates that looked like them. they disappeared up the stairs. i was in a shoe(?) store. steve martinish type wanted a book from a few doors down. he wanted a particular edition - the one he had gone out of his way the night before to get me. i hadn't even looked in the bag yet, so he went to get it for himself. i was walking down the street trying to decide where to go. i felt alone. her place? his place? my place? i had the keys to all 3. i would be alone at any of them. i had a bag of my boots. i was barefoot and carrying my favorites in one hand. i kept looking through the bag to make sure i had them all. i couldn't tell. i couldn't see. i felt frantic. a man started following me and calling me dillion. he had long, stringy, silver hair. there weren't very many people on the street. it was like prudence street in tucson. i turned down one of the side streets without him noticing. it curved to the right. i could see him through the brush. i had that feeling like i couldn't run. i was half crawling, half running along the curve, praying he wouldn't see me, still frantically checking to see if i had all my boots.

Friday, February 4, 2011

words from a 5 year old me

"now i'm gonna play you some hanukkah songs. these are really fun. these are like my most favorite to play."

"that was a fun little tune! and now, i'm gonna play another folk tune. and the speed is gonna go moderately. so, i'll play it kind of medium - kind of slow, kind of fast. you'll notice, also, that this is a little active tune, too."

"that was a dandy little tune! now, we're gonna play another song. it's a folk tune and it's in an allegretto speed."

"hi, grandma! i'm back again! now, i'm going to sing some songs for you like i told you i would. but i'm not gonna sing o christmas tree for you because i'm having a little problem with it. now, i'm going to sing one hanukkah song. it's called, my dreidel."


transcribed from a mixtape my parents made me for christmas - 90 minutes of myself singing and playing violin, ages 3-6. this portion was taken from a tape i made my grandmother when i was 5.

other gems include:

yamaha keyboard jams
classical violin jams for my grandparent's 50th anniversary
excerpts from a fiddle lesson
a voice lesson (age 3) where the teacher made me state words of my choice with increasing emotion:

pretty, prettier, prettiest
proud, prouder, proudest
calm, calmer, calmest
brave, braver, bravest


songs recorded at "center stage" (remember that recording studio in the malls for a while?) including:

the rose
somewhere over the rainbow
don't worry, be happy
zing went the strings of my heart
jailhouse rock

[WOUND: to dream that you are wounded signifies grief, anger, or distress. you need to slow down and take time to heal. consider the location, size, and type of wound.]

[CORNERED: to dream that you are cornered signifies feelings of frustration and lack of control in making decisions. you may feel trapped. it indicates self-punishment.]

[SURGERY: to dream that you or someone else is undergoing surgery signifies the opening of the self and/or the need for emotional healing. you need to cut out or eliminate something from your life.]

[FEAR: to dream that you are scared indicates feelings of self-doubt, incompetence, and lack of control in your waking life. perhaps you are having second thoughts about a decision you've made. anger often masquerades as fear, so also consider issues about which you are angry in your waking life.]

[TRANSSEXUAL: to dream about a transsexual indicates that the masculine and feminine aspects of your self have been damaged. you may be unwilling to confront your shadow self.]

[CHASE: to be chased in a dream signifies that you are avoiding a situation you don't think is conquerable. it is a metaphor for some form of insecurity. in particular, to dream that you are chased by an animal represents your own unexpressed and unacknowledged anger which is being projected onto that animal. you may be running away from a primal urge or fear.]