Wednesday, February 25, 2009

...and furthermore

...and furthermore. I hate succombing to the handcuffs of well, anyone. Currently on my mind... Masters degree, disserations... you're at Their mercy and if you want to get out, you best fold up your own thought, style and opinion. GR!

And so do ya see how the library fiasco just, well, just didn't help matters! krg!

Blessed Balance of Library and Children's Museum

Well, here I am in the "quiet" River Room at the Gail Borden Library. I only find myself hear after having been shewed out of the reference section of the library by the horribly ambient noise. The children's section is downstairs. The library is beautiful with a lovely open atrium and half-spiral staircase to the second floor. OPEN atrium implies no floor between the lower level and second story. And indeed that's what we have hear. I don't mind the ambient sounds of a soft chat, shoes on the floor, pages turning, librarians giving directions, patrons asking questions, laptops opening and closing, fingers typing, an occasional guffaw or the ding of the elevator. I do mind children crying, lengthy conversations loud enough to include my ears, phone conversations, field trips, vocally disruptive teens, family meetings,

BUT WAIT, in an effort to relieve myself of these irritants, I moved. I did not complain that the library exhibits more elements of a funny farm than fount of intellect, quiet curiosity, and contemplation. I thought, 'the library is open to all, including the children and babies, homeless residents, dads, moms, meetings, clubs, and teenagers.' So, I moved. Well, the River Room is an assigned quiet space. The library is aware of the particularly louder environment, as libraries go, and have set aside space to all individual quiet study.

RIVER ROOM... hmm, a seeming family of three is enjoying the view of the river but not enough to be contemplating it's presence in a quiet fashion. I can still hear the children crying.

I simply can be hear or there!

Monday, February 16, 2009

80 years of shadows

So, it's Aunt Lois's 80th birthday tomorrow! The fam threw her a surprise birthday party last Sunday.

I wanted to do something BIG for the anniversary of her blessing the earth. What could be greater than having a scholarship created in your honor? A scholarship awarded to a student from your high school alma mater. I pitched the idea to a couple family members. I called a few educational institutions. I had to ask her permission to create this scholarship. She said that she wasn't comfortable with it.

She put the kabash on my plans, thoughts, sentiments.... needless and needleless to say, I was a bit crushed.

Classical artists who happen to be black

Why is it that black composers appear in major orchestral concerts only in February or in a minority-composers-themed concert? I know that's a huge generalization. But is it? Raymond Harvey, conductor of the Kalamazoo Symphony orchestra, has been asked what it's like to be a... Oooo.... black (African American) conductor. His response is something along the lines of... misconceptions abound regarding black composers and conductors. Just because he is black doesn't mean the black population will unquestioningly flock to the instrumental orchestral series at the local symphony.

The Chicago Sinfonietta under the direction of Paul Freeman, a black man, has a greater and very public mission of great art through diversity. This diversity is in the repertoire, guest artists, members of the orchestra and conductors. This organisation attempts to minimize barriers for students to experience and participate in the arts. I don't suppose the same persons questioning Maestro Harvey ask the same of Maestro Freeman? Well, it's clear that such a diverse orchestra and arts organization would natually be lead by a person of color. Questions being begged:

Should an orchestra that prides itself on diversity naturally have a person of color as its musical director? Would an anglo-American director compromise the integrity of the organization's mission to offer music through diversity? Do you suppose Raymond Harvey would desire to hold this post? Do you suppose Dr. Harvey believes that the best director of color should hold the post? Or would be believe the best director regardless of color should be awared the honor?

But let's return to the statement regarding composers. Should the best black composers appear on programs or should the best composers regardless of color appear on programs? Should musical directors make it a point to diversify their programming to include pieces regardless of quality or color of the conductor? Whose definition of 'best' is used?

Monday, February 9, 2009


Wasn't it Weezer that recorded the SWEATER song? I'll have to look it up. And then in the same year (way back in the '90's) I studied a poem that used a knitting analogy. I'll have to look that up. And now (in the aughts), Ingrid Michaelson, recorded a song about KNITTING you a hat of blue and gold. And it was Shakespeare that mentioned a tangled WEB that we WEAVE.

Things aren't going well? we get all KNOTTED up. Massage is makin' it big right now. Have you been caught in a BIND or hit a SNAG? And because everthing right now is leading back to the Masters degree. We have been examining discussive STRANDS. Strands?

I had a wild HAIR recently to create a scholarship fund for my aunt who is turning 80 this month. Turns out she did not feel comfortable with the idea. Se la vi? I'll just buy her a SWEATER for the 80th birthday.


Does it ever seem as if broken things pile upon you? My mom said that death comes in threes. Is it just possible for broken things to come in threes? Of course, it would feel exponentially greater because of the consistency. Or maybe it's to-do lists. Look at your to-do list. Are three items particularly outstanding? Wouldn't you receive such relieve if just one of the top to-do's just went away. I had three to-do's... paper revision, course summary submission, and a final project. I recently checked off the course summary submission and I felt like dancing in the street. Of course, my husband has banned me from any form of dancing in the street. But I did breathe easier. And the mention of breathing takes me to my next big item on the list, the paper revision.

Did The Etude: a Music Magazine breathe the air of its time? The specific issues in 1915 did breathe the air of its time. The magazine supplemented what schools were teaching in music. The magazine provided music for study and recreation at home. The magazine was an outlet for the advertising of music, instruments, soap, furniture, silver pieces, typewriters, Gramophones, embroidery supplies, train tickets, and other magazines. The magazine published articles discussing fast-breaking practices in education and old tried and true ways to teach violin. And now I need to revise my paper. This process is similar to knitting a sweater, then unraveling it up to the neck and knitting again. My professor might also argue that my 'sweater' had one sleeve at the neck and another around the abdomen.

Next time, I shall discuss the sweater analogy and its wide-spread uses.