30 April 2007


So I was one of eight students nominated for consideration for an expenses-paid trip to "Convening Student Perspectives and Creating New Models for the 21st Century" at the Shepherd School of Music in October. And of course the conference coincides directly with the EROI Festival. At least I know there's no shortage of things to do next year. Ha. Ha.

In a way, I'm relieved to be forced to decline the nomination. Accepting it would make me feel sleazy. I've been frustrated at the lack of democratic processes here concerning opportunities like this. Many important things seem to happen by nomination rather than by request for interest and applications. I suppose this streamlines the process for the school and avoids situations in which nobody applies. However, it also perpetuates the current lack of interest in applying for or even thinking about participating in important non-performance activities. A vicious cycle.

For heaven's sake, I need to stop griping about my school and just accept that I have better things to do than worry about it or dream up ways in which it could be better. There are many other problems in the world that need improvement more severely than the atmosphere here.

new music for bells

New Works For Bells
With special thanks to Richard Baker for this spectacular photograph, which he submitted to appear on a random basis on the UR homepage to no avail. Clearly things were still meant to be, as the photo became perfect poster material once Randy joined the list of performers.

Do I feel as if I've hijacked the ECMC25 Concert Series by making the final concert a carillon recital? Maybe. But we do have that free-for-all of electronic pieces by ECMC staff at the end. The ultimate in subjecting your public to your musical whims: controlling both bells and amplification on high.

29 April 2007

things to see before i die, updated

  • One of the regional 'P.O. Boxes' to which IRS tax forms are sent each April. Chip suggests that these repositories are actually warehouses marked by giant "PO Box" signs.
  • Traveling gourmet dinner parties of strangers in the Bay Area
  • The aurora borealis
  • Will-o'-the-wisps
  • Petra

26 April 2007

the rube goldberg tax refund, aka pleasure beach revisited

How does it take 32 steps (some involving entire forms of calculations), 4 supplemental forms, and a total of 6 pages of paper probably harvested from old growth forests in order to calculate that I made only $840 as a part-time resident of Connecticut, owe a grand total of $0 in taxes to the state, and want my measly $42 refund donated the Endangered Species, Natural Area Preserves, and Watchable Wildlife Fund?

The operations involved in turning $840 into $840 and $0 into $0 in a dozen steps were, at least, entertaining in retrospect.

The whole thing was clearly meant to be, however. Certain I had missed the deadline, I checked the Connecticut Department of Revenue Services website yesterday to discover that the filing deadline had been extended to today owing to "the storm that caused flooding and the power outages throughout the state." Hmph, news to me. Anyway, not wanting my withheld taxes to go to the government's slush fund (where it would probably, as Paul quipped, have been used for the abolishment of the CT Department of Environmental Protection), I frantically filled out the flurry of paperwork between juries. I knew immediately amongst the charities that I wanted to support this one because I remember vividly where that department is lacking: Visions of wandering through a foresaken wildlife refuge and beach town near New Haven will always haunt me. So beautiful, so eerie, so sad.

23 April 2007

The weather changes every twenty minutes, going from thunderclaps and high winds to peace and sunlight before one has a chance to note the difference. Much like the changing facets of the shimmering gem I envisioned Franck's Prelude, Fugue et Variation to be in order to visualize its constantly morphing shades of mood, flitting from momentary hope to darkening disappointment but restless, never settling.

22 April 2007

on the eve of jury

Today was my day off. Tomorrow it will be over.

Why did the Kremeratica Baltica feature in the so-called Mosaic Series at Eastman to play yet more Beethoven, Schumann, and Korngold? They threw in Piazzolla as a bone at the end, but let's face it, spectacular as he is, Piazzolla isn't all that edgy. And I've decided that Kremer must be quite an insufferable megalomaniac for running the ensemble the way he does (and from the way he dominates the ensemble's bio).

Then again, am I so different from him? I want campanological rather than string minions. At heart, we're all the same. We all want minions.

21 April 2007

Finally received my graduate award letter. My pay and time has been increased slightly, thanks to Allan's conveying an idea of the real number of hours we do, meaning I'll actually be able to pay the rent next year. Imagine that!

Took home more colors of vegetables from the public market this morning than I've had in my fridge in a long time. Sunlight improves quality of life vastly.

15 April 2007

California college students want an egalitarian society, it seems. I wonder why the researchers didn't take the extra step of gathering a more representative test population from the area. Curious results, and encouraging. I can't wait to see the results this experiment would yield in different places and cultures. The question is: Is the "Robin Hood impulse" strong enough to influence our actions in everyday life?

14 April 2007

And today it is. Here goes nothing.

I like Arnie's political advice to politicians not jumping on the environmental bandwagon: "Your political base will melt away as surely as the polar ice caps -- I can guarantee you of that. You will become a political penguin on a smaller and smaller ice floe, drifting out to sea. Goodbye, my little friend."

It seems odd that a few days later, one would find the headline "Penguins rally past Senators" in Sports Illustrated.

09 April 2007

what tiffany does on saturday nights

Contemporary Organ Music Festival at Eastman
ECMC25 Concert 7. As it turns out, Michael Barone hates Richard Felciano's "God of the Expanding Universe" with its blatantly 70's tape track and doubled d drone. I hope he like's Paul's "Tiffany Sketches," or I suppose my budding radio career as an organist is lost forever.

On an unrelated note, Buffalo looks more exciting now that I'm aware of its dilapidation. Thanks to one of the founders of rocwiki for the link.

gay Cinderella weddings

Reluctant as I am to admit it, children's programming does affect their social perception. Tracy told me me how her daughter completed a coloring sheet for her religion class so that each person was of a different ethnicity, careful to ask what color to use for the Native American. Tracy thought the politically correct multiracial casts of children's television shows were behind it and marveled at how different the "norm" for children today is from the norm she knew. Should I be amused that children's understanding of the norm in society now comes from television rather than real life?

I'm curious as to what changes Disney's go-ahead for gay marraige ceremonies in front of Cinderella's Castle may likewise effect. (Incidentally, why is our government more conservative than the Disney corporation?)

01 April 2007


Just to reiterate some of my frustration with Eastman, already deeply exacerbated last night vicariously and directly, would anyone care to explain why the 72 bus runs on Sundays from late morning to early afternoon and then just stops? Since it was raining, I took the bus to the River Campus to demonstrate the carillon at the request of the college urbex group. I missed the next bus out, so I figured I'd take the following one--only to find that it was in four hours. So I had to call a cab. To get from one part of my own school to another.

I knew I should have biked. It was raining lightly, but knowing Rochesterian weather, the rain would have gotten heavier the moment I started pedaling -- yes, as a direct consequence of my getting on a bike. The larger point is: Who would think to check the bus schedule for four hour gaps? From what kind of public transportation malaise does my country suffer? I suppose there is truth to the opinion, expressed by Americans and Norwegians(!) alike, that Rochester is rather similar to midwestern towns. It's undeniably a car culture; you can't reach more than a few things by going to any one place unless you're going to a mall. Have people here ever envisioned lives not attached to their cars?

For a note of levity, Mark sent me a great link to architectural comedy. This scornful and droll observer seems to share my distaste for contemporary Dutch architects, some of whom even have delusions of being Le Corbusier.