Jan 27


I think expressionism is a little misunderstood.

Freud, too, maybe.

But there is so much projected darkness and miserable feeling, and most of all a stated relationship between Madness and Fear…nearly as polar caps in a very dark, watery, earth.

Rather I would like to express (!) that this may come from a much more middle place.

Possibly, less honest, but more aesthetically driven.


What expressionism is not:

Lethargic (my biggest point, here!)



Cheap (aka, the twilight series “darkness”, or music like Evanescence the band)


What expressionism IS:

focus on blurriness

focus on darkness, night

focus on the mind/thought

focus on perception

an interest in the feeling of something rather than the something

a transference of excitement in darkness

Archetypically, Professional thieves live their lives and perform their jobs in the night, in a hiding, natural cover. Their job allows them to perform something very risky over and over: their potential for mistake is fatal, yet hardly possible to actually achieve! Their jobs mean punishment and death, near the end. But for this kind of brooding future, they are given repeated excitement about the job, each time. The impending death hangs over their head, making each moment filled with some equal amounts of fear and thrill. 

I do not think anyone would assume one of these thieves is an evil person without knowing them, so we can throw the assumption that these people are crazy, bitter, or just plain facetious. Yet, they prefer to hold no innocence, yet in lieu of purity they gain an everyday life that is more worth living, in a way.

They are guilty, and this acceptation of sin allows life.

Expressionism is exploring this thought in the mind of a thief, allowing the darkness to become the source of excitement and energy! Its sensuousness performed in life. Opulence of evils, decadence of night. 

Pierrot Lunaire, by Arnold Schoenberg, in my opinion is the epitome of this attitude in art. Darkness of ancient and modern ideas are all converged under one moon, in the form on one man with many dualities. The instruments are in constant elusion with each other in a conversational way. The dark music of cabaret is thrown into the world, much like the film Moulin Rouge, as a basis of working, as an everyday evil that is just a venue for excitement. Here, we have the moon, and the moon holds us in conversation with our most grotesque ideas and we feel no shame, hate, lethargy, but are filled with electric energy, and merciless excitement. Ah! 


Jan 24

Something that is important to all of us is how our energy flows from one moment to the next. Its really unpredictable, and takes concentration and dedication to a moment to really harness this in a mental way. It is so much easier to achieve these things in a physical way. Learning how to balance, or play an instrument, yoga, running, etc. allows us to shape our own energy, and make it into something that is displayed, into ability.

Aventures by Ligeti is a perfect study of energy transfer, because it moves between extremes with such ease that one is both always surprised, yet never lost. A hilarious gesture will lead to a musical nothingness of texture, to a moment of intensity, then expressive, then silence, yet it all comes from one string of momentum. 

This is one of my favorites of all time.


Jan 15

collecting some pieces

I feel like the last 20 years of my life have been about exploring everything I possibly can, taking the things I like out of everything and trying to build a world made up of these constantly new experiences, without looking back or with any regrets.

I am very glad I have done this, but recently my mood has changed slightly. Lately I have been revisiting some of my childhood favorite books, and things and it has made me really see that I am not a whole lot different in what I love, regardless of the things that change.

So, I think I will now try and recollect all the pieces and things and experiences that I have enjoyed and bring them together and around me. This is not a complicated thing, but finding elegant solutions to anything is difficult.


This semester I need to write a large ensemble work:

The first thing I need to do for this is to find a way to record at the Dallas Aquarium, in research, taking one of my favorite things and turning it into work, combining it with the strictly musical instruments to reverse the roles: the fish get to sing, and the musicians are to communicate.


I also need to do the white noise/sine tone etudes:


I. Space only Counterpoint

2. Total Noise Immersion

3. Subtraction Methods

4. Rhythmic Clouding


And after these etudes I will be sufficiently ready to do the traindance idea.

Rhythm based on surgeon’s techniques, plus my own interest in granular windows, stretching windows, (longer means a slowing down, shorter means a quickening!) so that a single sound can go from being a snare drum hit, in a dance music sense, to a field recording of a train.


I *could* achieve all of these this semester. I do not need to *wait* to do the wnstetudes to do traindance, because I am more familiar with the latter anyway, and since I am more excited about that work than anything, perhaps I should begin. Who knows how long it will take for the Dallas Aquarium to approve my internship, anyway. Hm.


The last thing is that I need to talk to myself more, in order to stay on track. Writing down workouts and things like that have made me improve, so I need to start cataloging everything else as well.


Alright, semester. Do your worst. 

Jan 14

Jan 03

I have now been crushed 2 years in a row on my favorite holiday, but I am starting to see that this is ok, and what that means. 

I didn’t sleep at all NYE because I was excited, nervous and happy because I thought something had fundamentally changed, at least for a while, soon to learn that nothing really had changed at all, and I was mistaken. I understand that these things happen, and its my fault entirely.

But it took this gigantic emotional leap to show me something that I had already known, but had forgotten. It is something I cannot describe well, so I am going to turn to music.

In Ravel’s Piano concerto, nothing that is supposed to happen ever does. In this movement, awkwardly, the familiar melody sadly floats above the accompaniment parts, harmonically going deeper and deeper into a kind of calmness, imagining an impossible romantic future with someone who only accidentally glanced at you. You swoon over this fantastic future you imagine, falling more and more in love with this person, blindly and instantly. You think of whispered nothings, cuddles, sex, houses, jobs, children; by the time the orchestra fades in, your entire daydream has gone too far, and you know that the entire world you are imagining is false, and has already left you, yet a quiet hope fills all spaces, tinged with the heartbreaking reality. You come from whence you came, yet after that kind of joy, you feel every scrape of loneliness that you were able to block out before.

Ravel then, @3:45-8 brings your dreams and regrets to the most unfulfilling cadence ever written, a mark of complete quietism, the cold shiver that comes from within you, filled with the ironic melancholy that your own love is causing these pains. Then, at 3.54 the melody becomes the nostalgia over something that never happened - the memory of a wonderful, impossible daydream that is now lost.

After this, we can only ask ourselves if one of these lovely dreams will ever actually appear as we dream them, or will romance always be pairs of mismatched longing, bad timing, and moments of a lonely intensity that overbears any happiness. Ravel only tells us to continue to hope, without anger or forgetfulness, but with a sad eagerness. Nothing that is supposed to happen ever does, and this is just a part of what it means to be alive, and allowing yourself to fall in love.

Dec 03


Ai Weiwei - Dropping a Han Dynasty Urn, 1995

(Source: atavus)

Nov 21

“3 days ago, Palestinian terrorists used a stadium to fire rockets to Tel Aviv & Jerusalem. We targeted site this morn.”
Twitter / IDFSpokesperson


“3 days ago, Palestinian terrorists used a stadium to fire rockets to Tel Aviv & Jerusalem. We targeted site this morn.”

Twitter / IDFSpokesperson

Nov 08


I like music that makes me feel clean.

I dislike most music that makes me feel dirty.

Oct 14

Sep 28
In the courtroom, the idiot judge went so far as to say 'Comrade Ai Weiwei'...I puked