Friday, June 16, 2006

Boycott Delta

Being admittedly green about all this, I've been wary of unions and societies and other congregations of people wielding mob power. I did finally bring myself to joining ASCAP today, we'll see if I can sneak by with those couple songs I did long ago with my rock band of questionable quality.

The Union, and by capital U Union I refer to the American Federation of Musicians, still weirds me out a little despite that fact that as mainly a performer it's probably a better fit for me than ASCAP. (And look at all those cool people on the titlebar! How can they be bad if they've got...uh...the guy from the Goo Goo Dolls? And Paul Shaeffer?) All I knew about them was when Bryan told me that Disney didn't hire union musicians, and that was four years ago. However, they've now raised the alarm on something that has actually affected me.

Delta Air, long known as the worst airline ever for all time forever, is being boycotted for explicitly ignored a polite AFM letter asking to allow musicians to carry on their instruments. Violinist.org has the most vitriolic post, and apparently been hollering about it for some time, but ANABlog has the real grit, photos of some of the instruments decimated by their throwers.

Guitarists have it rather lucky, my Stephen Kakos classical is a masterfully made instruments and yet I obtained it for a mere $2300. (This post may be edited for insurance fraud purposes.) Also, after an incident where a Boston to Appleton to flight left me stranded in Atlanta, it's not a hard sell to get me to boycott Delta. Alas, I'm still the tax bracket where I have to Priceline all my flights. Just another reason to buy a Calton case.

Lastly, if it seems like I'm stealing all my post ideas from Darcy James Argue, I am. He's cool, I suck.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

How We Like Our Composers

I would scarcely be even close to attaining my goal of being a "modern concert music blog" without mentioning the passing of Gy├Ârgy Ligeti a couple days ago. Not to say that I just heard of it, I do try and pay attention. (Do The Math and On An Overgrown Path both give stirring eulogies) However as much embarrassmentt as it may bring me I wasn't really familiar with the man's work, and thus felt a little unable to add my praise.

My local library did manage to have some full length Ligeti pieces (most notably his opera Le Grand Macabre), but it of course had that most hallowed of Ligeti primers, the soundtrack to Kubrick's 2001. My feelings towards opera and my clearly patrilineal fondness for Kubrick will have to be different posts, but despite the soundtrack disc's feeling as though the Ligeti pieces were cut up into smaller pieces for easy chewing it's been haunting me for the past couple days. Is the Requiem seriously only six minutes long? What a bonebreaker!

Alas, what perhaps I regret the most is that the man still had to die before I discovered these riches. I'm not sure if his involvement with 2001 caused more notice in the mainstream media, and I'm sure if Kubrick had outlasted him he'd be making a scene. Just more of that "we prefer our composers/artists/poets dead" mentality. Requiem indeed.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

My Goals Beyond

First posts are always awkward, especially for readability, but falling out the door is better than not coming outside at all. There's also a heavy sense of purpose, the need to make it some sort of manifesto. But the hell with that noise.

I'm a guitarist graduating from Lawrence University, a small liberal arts school in Appleton, Wisconsin, and moving in the fall to the big cit-ay of Boston Mass. I aim to use this space to chronicle my full-scale invasion of the contemporary concert music scene. My pedigree isn't necessarily lacking, having studied with Kevin Gallagher and Marcos Balter, but isn't going to turn any heads either. My initial attempts to find a community were lacking, but hopefully being in the thick of things rather than depending on the Inter-tron will help.

I hope to be able to start a podcast of some sweet sweet bleeding-edge music, to followed by putting together my own ensemble following in the footsteps of skull crackers like Icebreaker and Alarm Will Sound, but I imagine everyone's trying to do that now.

Anyway, let's see where this goes.