Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Steve Reich's Drumming

I have been studying a percussion/voice/piccolo piece by my favorite minimalist composer, Steve Reich. Minimalist music, you say? Why sure! Just as visual art went through the movement with pieces like this, so did music with pieces such as "Drumming" by Reich. While it is easy to see why one would describe this kind of artwork as minimalist, it can be difficult to conceptualize minimalist music if one has never heard it.

The best way I can find to describe the allure of "Drumming" is to compare it to that of a lava lamp. We stare at lava lamps for hours, transfixed by the slowly morphing of the ever aesthetically pleasing goo. In the same way, the delicate melodies and slowly phasing rhythms of "Drumming" invite the listener to enter a trance-like state that, with the aid of certain controlled and illegal substances, would rival any of the free-love dreams of the 60's. Drug hazes aside, "Drumming" remains a piece that can fascinate those more apt to analyze than inhale. Following the complicated rhythms and melodies resulting from the interplay of dozens of instruments is enough to occupy even the best ear for an hour, never mind the rest of us.

The University of Wisconsin - Madison Western Percussion Ensemble, along with piccolo and three voices (one of them mine) will perform this work on Tuesday, April 20th in Mills Hall in the Humanities Building. I suggest that anyone interested come, if only to sit in the back and have some killer music to accompany their required reading.
So, it's another day in the life. Today I've spent a fair portion of time wondering what one writes in one's blog. I've read some blogs that center around current issues, cool websites, fuzzy pets and daily drama, but none have really appealed to me. My goal isn't to create something cool or innovative or important; nor is my goal to publicize over-dramatic version of my everyday existence. The former is probably beyond my skill, and the latter wouldn't do anyone any good.

So I blog about what to blog.

Tuesday, March 30, 2004

So, I finally caved and made a "blog" so that loved ones and hated ones alike may peer into my daily doings and thus feel closer to me than they really are. More of an excuse not to make my own crummy website, really.

On a side-note, I'll post some pictures here for the curious, particularly from vacations and of my precious Sophie. Who knew so few people could envision an albino hedgehog as a pet.

More blogs to come. Be afraid.