Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Amy Winehouse

Meaningless celebrity update: I read on CNN this morning that the singer Amy Winehouse is only 24 years old. In fact, she's almost exactly a year younger than I. But why did I think she was at least 35? Oh, right.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Cool Ministers

I subbed as the pianist for two Lutheran Church services this weekend and I chatted with a very cool husband and wife minister team! The husband is totally batty. But in a good drinking buddy way. The female minister and I chatted for a bit in between services and she seems really cool, as she said she likes giving sermons because it gives her a chance to use "guerilla faith" and try and motivate people or inspire them. Well, it's a little sneaky sounding, but I don't think she has any intention of trying to convert me or anything. In fact, she added my name to some list of available musicians for hire within the church world. Maybe it'll result in some side gigs pounding out Joyful, Joyful a few more times. Cool with me.

The lady minister also said another thing which I admired, which was very plainly stating, "I don't shop." Not like "I don't buy groceries" or "I've worn the same worn-out shirt for 37 years" or anything, but in the context of "I don't fall into anything resembling consumer culture". And being a minister seems appropriate to that way of life. I oscillate between wanting to own every book and cd in existence, and then wanting to get rid of everything I own and live with my one book, one shirt, and one drinking glass elegantly arranged on the immaculate floor. But in any case, I think it's pretty awesome for someone in this age to admit without pretention, "I don't shop...I've been to Shadyside once, with all the fancy stores, but it was for a gift for someone."

Monday, July 21, 2008

Part-Time International Male Model

I can't believe I've neglected to mention that I've also become a part-time international male model. Semi-professional, of course. I'm looking for a part-time semi-professional agent.

A while back I posed for some photos that Sally took in an entry for exhibit at Pittsburgh Filmmakers. The exhibit was showcased as 'Uncensored!' and Sally's idea was to take several long panoramic (and vertical) photos and affix them to a spinning cylinder (actually a lazy susan), then encasing the cylinder in a box with a hole cut into it. The piece is titled 'Intimate View' and the viewer can only see a tiny fraction of the photo at one time, piecing together what the photo actually was without ever seeing it all at once.

I've included a photo for scale, and then a tiny photo of one of the interior views. Suffice to say being a show called 'uncensored' the photos were slightly scandalous, and NSFW, so they say on the internets. I, for one, was delighted to be a part of the experience, and I applaud most chances for people to have an excuse to be naked in the name of art. And hundreds of people saw Sally's work, which is great, ahem, exposure for her as an artist and photographer.

Now that the show is over, Sally has the box looming large on a table in her living room, allowing house guests to unsuspecting view my every thing.
I'm available for future photo shoots on a part-time basis, preferably at exotic international destinations.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Night Vision Composition

Rare footage of a composer in mid-composition, won't get to see this one very often. Look how he wears his music like a stole and hides from public view...Oh, and look over there, a zebra. Are they black with white stripes or white with black stripes? Maybe if we're lucky we'll see the wallaby today.
So I'm writing a piece for two clarinets, strings, and a bass drum, and I was having trouble "seeing" the piece as a whole even with a map drawn out and computer playback and all. Not a particularly good sign, but I'm trying a new kind of form, a quirky instrumentation, and some new polytonality as well, so I didn't expect a quick churning out of a piece. I wanted to see it printed out in long form, so I shoddily cut all the pages of the score up and taped them together. Well, the piece was a bit longer than I thought, so now I use it more like a scroll rather than a tapestry. Luckily it helped! And more edits can now be made.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Turkey Hunting Alarm Clock

In my parents' hunting catalogue there is an alarm clock for sale in the shape of a turkey, which, when time to get up, sounds an alarm with the "realistic" sounds of a rifle, and a bird scurrying off into the trees. I'm totally serious. Now I know nothing gets me going in the morning quite like gunshots next to my head, but this seems a little out of control. Then again, some hunters are out of control, camouflage-ing both their trucks and their tool boxes inside the truck beds. As if we couldn't see it driving down the highway the other day.
But what should really happen with the ideal turkey-hunting alarm clock is for a life-size shotgun to unfold out of the back end of the alarm clock and actually blow your turkey-shaped clock to smithereens each morning (well, just once, unless you have a good supply of crazy glue). This will certainly get you up on time without having to ever hit that pesky snooze button.

P.S. I know you want to go trademark this right now, 'cause it's a goldmine in product development. Well too bad, I totally call it.

10,000 page views!

Guys and gals, we're almost at 10,000 page views! 'Course, a lot of them are me checking my own blog, but that's not important! If you are the lucky person you should let me know. Prize for you!