from Wednesday, December29th of the year2010.
So I totally lost my mind the other day. I had about seven thousand things going on; I had written more music in 2 months than I had in the previous year, my mother was moving to town for a month, there was mild puppy-related chaos in the home, and I had a mild sleep disorder. Magically, a weekend opened up, and I booked a flight and a hotel in Las Vegas. Goals: recharging the batteries through cultural vapidity. Going to a place with a million empty signifiers is always enormously relaxing for me; CNN, RAI1, Univision, wall-to-wall carpeting, buffets: it’s all very soothing. So! Off to Vegas I went. I decided, because it seemed meet and right so to do, to see the Cirque du Soleil show called Kà that was directed by Robert Lepage, who did the new Ring cycle at the Met, which I really liked (at least the Rhinegold, which is the only one open at this time.)
Now, Kà has, like, a $2579 million budget or something crazy, and they serve 32 oz. margaritas right there, with cupholders, so I was like, table for two! Girl. This show is amazing. Acrobatics, flying, falling, this unbelievable stage, the sense of infinity below a stage, which is really hard to achieve. But you will never, in your entire life, hear worse music ever. This shit is like, racist, fucked up, synthesized, terribly mixed, disastrous. It’s like those Québecois munchkins from Willow got a beta version of Garage Band, drank some maple schnapps, and went to town while watching Tampopo. I was shock. There was, on stage, a plot-element wherein some kind of children had a flute which they played, and the flute itself was synthesized! And not just synthesized; we’re talking 1992 General MIDI shakuhachi, and one thinks to oneself, for however many millions of dollars, you can’t do better than this? Send me $2,000 and I promise you, I will fix at least that part of it in 72 hours. It was really galling given how gorgeously rendered the stagecraft was; I don’t think I have ever seen any technology so elegantly merged with moving bodies on a stage, but then to have this pan flute from digital hell…
The other thing I saw recently, in the department of giant spectacles, was the penultim8 Harry Potter movie, which was totally great. Fun, loud, big, IMAX, etc. I went in the middle of the day which is so great. Pretty cool score. The thing that I still have yet to figure out is how these writers and directors haven’t figured out that while it’s great that it’s the UN of races scampering around these films, it’s no gay people and it’s completely stupid. English boarding school is where they make gay people from scratch – 4get nature/nurture — and while I am delighted to see hella black people (who are terribly color corrected, by the way) and Indians (albeit with their cobra-phobias, which I will leave alone), and those deeliteful Jamaican shrunken heads (?) everybody is completely crazy because it should be wild faggots up in those films, awesome at magic and deftly translating those dreadful French peoples’ prattle.
I should also say, though, that there is this amazing film-within-a-film in Harry Potter that tells an important story that is, I think, the most gorgeous thing I have seen on a screen in a while. It’s paper shadow-puppetry, but not Indonesian; it feels quite European in its shapes, and folksy without being Kuntry Kitchen, and completely appropriate for the film while maintaining a really tactile and individual profile. It’s made by a firm called Framestore whose logo and website are too awful for me to properly continue exploring who they might be, but I think they might be Swiss? I mean, really, how can you make so beautiful a video and have that be your logo? What is this, a ransom note? People are crazy.
Whatever. I’m going to listen to Russian Orthodox Music and pretend it’s all fine.
Thou Art Blessed, O Lord
Chesnokov 2nd Requiem
Cantus Sacred Music Ensemble