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Connectivity Issues

from Monday, September5th of the year2011.

We are gearing up towards the tenth anniversary of 9/11 never 4get, and I’ve been glutting myself on late night TV documentaries and hysterical websites. Counteracting all of that is Danny Felsenfeld’s very simple project Music After. Check it out here, and read Alex Ross’s take here. They have a funding link, too, here.

Beloved, y’all, gentle readers, I have been having connectivity issues! It’s too many hard drives, too many conflicting operating systems, I can’t get Logic to talk to Reason, I can’t get the samples to let me register them, it’s crazy! It feels precisely like trying to cook in an unfamiliar kitchen that has been child proofed: those maddening plastic clips on all the drawers, the almost-invisible blueballing plugs on the sockets. Your girl is VEXÈD. The upshot is that I have taken it upon myself to completely reorganize all my media, clean out the virtual drawers of unsent emails, and the physical drawers of knotted cables and chargers for Pay-As-Þú-Go cellphones from Iceland, now obsolete.

Also, I am trying to remove the presence of Spam from my life. I have the most hideous spammers: Sequenza 21. It’s basically a new music website — I stopped going there about two years ago, because I was in Iceland trying to explain to somebody the “Uptown-Downtown” argument and happened upon a comments thread to end all comments threads. I nearly drove a car containing some of my best friends into a lake, and so it was decided that I’m not allowed to go to that website anymore by community writ. Also, they’ve repeatedly, and over the span of many years, called me (or my music; one can never quite be sure) “flavor of the month,” and (cue Sex & the City music here), I couldn’t help but wonder what kind of puranic time cycle these people are living in in which a month can last so very, very long. Anyway, every morning, on the Twitters, I wake up to:

…which is doubly stressful because my last name is misspelled, and I can’t figure out how it even turns up in my feed! It’s a disaster. So any readers who are on good terms with our friends over at Sequenza21, tell them to call off the dogs! I suspect they’re not doing it intentionally, but if they’re doing hall of mirrors stuff to me, I wonder what they’re doing to the rest of you.

I am super excited, in other, much more pleasant news, that the wonderful Swedish outfit Loney Dear is about to release a new album called Hall Music. Click on that link for information about when it’ll be available where you live at. His music is wonderful. I’d like to say that I worked on Hall Music, although what I actually did is make some live arrangements for him last year, some of which partially trickled into what you eventually hear. Here is one of my favorite songs of his, from a previous album:

Loney Dear Ignorant Boy, Beautiful Girl

I love a song that is based on drones, too — Whitney Houston It’s Not Right But It’s Okay works in a similar way. The melody is, in a sense, an agitation of a single pitch, and the friction between the drone and its neighbors is what drives the song forward. Everybody get involved.

This fall, we’re starting to make Dark Sisters happen! I’ll be occasionally blogging about it, and there is a website (about whose impending redesign I am enormously enormously excited), and a twitter account @darksistersoper. The process for this opera is, I think, relatively rare. The three commissioning organizations — The Music-Theatre Group, Gotham Chamber Opera, and the Opera Company of Philadelphia got organized way in advance, and we cast the piece before I started writing anything. Then, they insisted on having two workshops with the actual cast, which is, I think, relatively unheard of? The end result is that now that production is about to start, I have nothing to do! We’ve workshopped with the orchestra (same players as the actual show), the singers have memorized the work already, we’ve collaborated with Rebecca Taichman, the director, on the characters with the singers, and the designers (the wonderful Fifty-Nine Productions) have been with us through all the workshops. I’m excited to see how this compares to the larger, more x-factor process of putting together Two Boys. Join us in November when it happens.

Linguists, I need your help again. My favorite online personality, Funky Dineva, has released a video that has a really clear articulation of a [tr] turning into a [kr] sound; one finds this in the south.

It’s really clear at 3:45. Is there a word for this process? You see it in print, too, rendered out in the fabulous blog MediaTakeOut. But then you see it transform from speech to text to speech again, in the case of the Hoe Stroll. The Ho Stroll (as I would spell it) gets rendered “Hoe Skroll,” but then gets re-rendered thusly. Ur help needed.

[UPD8! It’s called the Stream-Scream merger. Watch this space.]