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Music for Others

Posted by Sumiki , in Life, Music Oct 11 2014 · 130 views

Last year at this time, I was a featured performer at a local recital of the students of area music teachers. There were many present, and I performed (somewhat poorly, to be honest) the third movement of Charles Ives' dreadfully hard Piano Sonata No. 2, commonly called the Concord Sonata after the piece's cumbersome subtitle. The performance caught the ear of a young prodigy who had performed earlier in the recital.

This wouldn't be much to write about except for the fact that she is legally blind and she played a piece by ear that most college piano majors couldn't sight-read. In addition, she is slightly autistic, and shy around people, which made it all the more shocking to her teacher when she told her that she wanted to talk to me after the recital was over. It was there that I learned her story, including her new goal: to learn the piece I performed. (Her teacher, more familiar with the technical demands of the Concord, tried in vain to contain her enthusiasm.)

I found it a heartwarming human-interest story for many reasons, but I thought rather little of it as 2013 ended and 2014 began. But a new year brought with it another recital - this one sponsored by a different music club and featuring many of the same faces. I finished a rousing Brahms waltz and Gershwin's enigmatic Impromptu in Two Keys, but the star of the show was once again the young prodigy, who in a span of a few months taught herself to play the violin and perform a fairly technical piece complete with double stops - something she figured out how to do herself.

I congratulated her at the reception following the recital and - although she could barely see me - remembered my performance that past November and reiterated to her teacher her immense desire to learn that movement of the Concord. The conversation turned to her skill at jazz improvisation, which she and her teacher demonstrated on a rickety baby grand in the church basement the reception was held in. The next thing I know, I'm in the mix too, and we're playing a six-hand arrangement of a tune that the prodigy was improvising. It was, quite easily, some of the most fun I've ever had at the piano.

On the drive back, I thought intently about the way the recital had gone and decided to write some piano music to dedicate to the young prodigy. After wondering about structure, I decided to go with a 23-piece suite, roughly arranged by technical difficulty. With no other major compositional projects on my hands at the time, I knocked out 18 pieces between January and April. Another piece, which I wrote for my honor society's graduation ceremony, became the 19th piece (and one of my favorites).

I put it on the back burner during the third Great American Road Trip and it remained there through the summer's composition workshop (where I premiered eight of the suite's pieces) and then through the always-tiring BrickFair (#teamfarmanimals). Last month, most of my time was spent orchestrating one of my pieces for a local youth orchestra contest. If my entry wins, it'll be played and recorded - let's just hope the music director doesn't have any qualms with its difficulty. (I submitted it today - wish me luck!)

With another (much larger) orchestral piece progressing smoothly, I have returned my focus to the final movements of this suite, knocking out two more pieces over the past week.

I have two more pieces to write and edit while I'm putting all 23 into notation software, then editing all of the music so it can be compiled into a PDF, then printed and bound, all before November 2nd.

Why November 2nd?

That just so happens to be the next recital, almost a year to the day since I performed part of the Concord Sonata. This time, I'm playing Sunset by Frank Bridge, and The Tides of Manaunaun by Henry Cowell. (My piano teacher took a class from Cowell back in the day - to quote him, "it was a counterpoint class, but he didn't teach counterpoint so much as blow his nose into a handkerchief he never washed."

At the recital, I'm also giving her (and her teacher) a copy of the finished score. I'm expecting the final total to be somewhere around seventy-five pages of music, although with double-sided printing this number would obviously be halved.

I don't know why I stayed up so late writing this when I should either be sleeping or composing.


Concert Countdown: Two Hours

Posted by Sumiki , in AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA, Life, Music Jul 03 2014 · 118 views



Concert Countdown: Five Days

Posted by Sumiki , in AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA, Life, Music Jun 28 2014 · 117 views

I've practiced a ton and I'm really well prepared and really excited. July 3rd is less than a week away, almost everyone I know in real life who could realistically make it has been invited, and three string instrument players have been added to the program, meaning a larger audience because there are about a zillion chamber music players this summer.

Would have gotten more practice but I met this girl who is in the film program but is pretty handy with a piano despite a lack of formal lessons, and ended up spending a majority of the of the day showing her around the music building, finding grand pianos and an old out-of-tune double bass before going up an old staircase to the back of a concert hall. We struggled to find the lights at first, but once doing so we found all of these random percussion instruments and ended up doing an impromptu duet on a glockenspiel.

I'm really excited.


How to Bite Off More Than You Can Chew

Posted by Sumiki , in Music, Life, AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA Jun 26 2014 · 121 views

So the composition workshop is going astoundingly well, all things considered - and by all things I mean that there are eight of us this year so not everyone can get everything they need done given that there's only one music technology lab. That's fine by me, because I'm not as interested in writing for the abstract little films, and my time in said lab has basically been to assist the others in the operation of various bits of technology because, having attended for three consecutive years, I know more of the ins and outs of the software.

So, within the next week, I should be:

- Playing the piano part of a fellow composers' song, which she'll be singing at open mic night next Wednesday
- Playing and singing Tom Lehrer's brilliant song "Poisoning Pigeons in the Park" at aforementioned open mic night
- Continuing to practice the recital pieces I'll play on July 3rd - next week aaaaaaaaaaa
- Finish writing, practice the piano part of, organize the rehearsals for, and present a piece for viola, piano, and percussion on the 11th

- Possibly a performance of a piano trio that was recorded last December but is still the only trio that has not had a public performance - if this happens, I'll be at the piano with aforementioned fellow composer on the violin and one of her friends on the cello

Which is insane.

At some level I feel as if I may have bitten off more than I can chew, but, to quote Leonard Bernstein: "To achieve great things, two things are needed: a plan, and not quite enough time."


No Rest for the Weary

Posted by Sumiki , in AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA, Life, Music Jun 19 2014 · 159 views

Having only returned twenty-four hours ago, I get just a few days off to unwind and rest from the trip ...
... except not.
I'm finally starting on the BIG THING that Pablo and I have been talking about for a while, but - and this is SUPER EXCITING NEWS that I literally only had confirmed earlier this week - I must practice and prepare all of the pieces that I've ever written for solo piano because I'm having a RECITAL DEDICATED TO THEM.
It'll be part of a composition workshop that I've attended and had great fun at for the past two years, but this is a much bigger deal, for in the concerts that have capped them off I've played the piano part of various trio ensembles. I'll do that again this year (piano, viola, and percussion), but I get THIS AS WELL.
In terms of number of pieces played this will be the most and longest I've ever performed at one sitting.


Is Bacon a Vegetable?

Posted by Sumiki , in Life, Music, Sumiki's Dad, The Great American Road Trip May 25 2014 · 139 views

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We got on the road at 10:30 bound for Harrisburg. We wanted to avoid going through the gnarly traffic of New York City - we consider that a trip unto itself, to be done at an undetermined later date - so we decided to go up all the way to Scranton before cutting through upstate New York to Connecticut.
At 11:30, we entered the parking lot for the Harrisburg Senators, the Washington Nationals' double-A affiliate. The Senators' stadium is located on an island in the Susquehanna River, accessible from both sides by bridges. We drove on one of these bridges onto the island, then walked from the parking lot up to the stadium. This would have been an easy proposition if there weren't throngs of people traversing a footbridge to downtown Harrisburg, where an arts festival was being held.
We got into the team store, got a hat and a pennant for the esteemed Collection, learned valuable information on the mayflies that torment summer night games at the ballpark, and nearly walked over the footbridge to get a bite to eat. At nearly noon, the throngs of arts-lovers were peaking, and we knew it'd be nearly impossible to get anything to eat.
So we kept northbound, looking for a good stopping point on I-81. The thing about that stretch of I-81 (as is true for most stretches of that road I've been on), is that there really isn't much on it if you're not in a major city. The stretch between towns and exits is vast.
We got off at one of the few stopping points, a town with the rather unfortunate name of Frackville. We entertained the employees at the local Subway and filled up with gas.
A little after 2:30 we located the stadium of the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders, the Triple-A affiliate of the New York Yankees and known as the Yankees themselves until last offseason. Their stadium certainly isn't major-league size, but it is a quality park. We entered the team store, got our requisite gear for the Collection, and then walked into the park.
If they noticed, they didn't care. It was the sixth inning, and the Rochester Red Wings were beating the RailRiders. We gave ourselves a quick stadium tour, saw the control booth where they were broadcasting the game on a local network affiliate, and encountered their mascot - something akin to a mutated hedgehog. It surprised my mom with a hug.
We contemplated getting something else to eat, but with the subs still in our stomachs and the portions generous, we headed out of the park, having caught a few innings without having to pay the price of admission.
Leaving the park at 3:00, we headed out of Scranton and headed for New York on I-84. We went through some tedious sections of road work and evaded some nasty pot holes. (A few fault-line-style potholes were entirely unavoidable, but it didn't screw up our alignment.)
I-84 curved along the New Jersey state line before traveling into New York. The "I ♥ NY" logo was emblazoned on a hill as we entered the Empire State.
We pulled off at a "text stop" - a feature peculiar to New York and something that has left me with even less hope for humanity as a whole. Every few miles, they've built a turnoff - basically a rest stop without any buildings - so people can stop trying to text and drive - instead, they can text at the text stop.
I guess this is good for keeping the folks stupid enough to text and drive off of the roads, but it wouldn't do any good if the texters are looking down at their phones and miss the sign that says "text stop."
The views from atop one of these stops, especially when the road is already on a mountaintop - is stunning. I took over behind the wheel at this point, and the traffic increased around me with every mile as we traveled to Connecticut.
A little after 5:00 we got to the Connecticut welcome center. This is the first time on this trip that I've been to a state that I've never been to on any previous trip. We talked with the friendly fellow who gave us all kinds of maps, as well as one sage piece of wisdom about traveling in Connecticut: don't go on Interstate 95.
Guess what road we'd later find ourselves on?
He advised an alternate route from Danbury to New Haven which involved state highways. We were perfectly fine with that, and went on picturesque, winding, river-paralleling Route 34. We started to get quite punchy as we wound our way to New Haven, culminating in my mispronunciation of Fort Sumter as "Bacteria Bulge."
They've not let me forget it since.
On Route 34, there are a series of small towns, filled with Cape Cod-style domiciles. Some were incorporated before the Revolution, like the town of Derby - incorporated in 1675.
(Side note: the fine for littering in Connecticut is $219. They make this fact well-known on their signs, which is kind of hilarious, because it's not $200, or $250, or even $300. It's $219. I can only imagine how this came to be set as the maximum fine for littering.)
A little after 6:00, we got to the outskirts of the Yale campus. We needed something to eat and wanted to see a little bit of the campus, so we drove around quasi-aimlessly until we found it.
It's a masterpiece of gothic architecture encased in one-way roads and dotted with enough modernity to keep you rooted in 2014 and not 1814. The detail and beauty everywhere we went was astounding.
We found a parking spot near an ornately spired steeple and began to walk around. After asking around, we wormed our way over to where we thought the School of Music would be, but ended up finding one of the coolest bits of architecture on campus: the Rare Book and Manuscript Library. If we had been here on anything but a Sunday, on any weekend but Memorial Day weekend, I could have gone in and seen the manuscript to Leo Ornstein's Piano Concerto.
This Library was part of the greater Student Commons area. It stood on a plain of gray textured stone, and looked as if it was being held aloft by four pyramid-shaped structures on each corner. Much of the face was of the same monolithic stone, engineered into a geometric pattern. The entrance was on the bottom, underneath an imposing overhang of stone.
On the other side was the Student Commons, an ornate L-shaped building with the names of World War I battles etched on one side. Below was some temporary set-up, presumably for Memorial Day.
The in the "elbow" of the L stood a flag pole forged in New York in 1908, and between that and the Library was a hole in the ground - a rectangular hole which looked down on a courtyard area for the subterranean offices.
Since it was one of the only open buildings on campus, we walked into the Student Commons building. Most of the doors were locked - you could really only use it for its bathrooms and as a cut-through to the other side - but the interior was intricate and ornate. If it were a new construction, I'd consider it an ostentatious display of gaud.
Inside were the names of Yale alumni that gave their lives for the United States in war. Their names were carved in marble on the concentric walls of the interior. Other jaw-dropping details included the relief work, a tile mosaic on the ceiling, and old-fashioned stalls in the bathrooms.
We went back to the car to get some hand sanitizer, then headed in the opposite direction for food. We didn't go far before my dad spotted a place to eat - Claire's Corner Copia. Now, this was a vegetarian restaurant, which I saw upon arrival, but somehow this fact escaped my dad as he went through the motions of ordering. We both got the special - southwestern egg rolls - while my mom sprang for some nachos. I began thinking about the fact that we were going to eat vegetarian Mexican in Connecticut when the waitress came over and told us that there was only one batch of southwestern egg rolls left.
With no immediate back-up, I mentioned the mac and cheese that I'd seen in the display case. My dad looked the waitress in the eye and asked if it came with bacon, loud enough to shock some of the more sensitive patrons.
I was somewhat mortified internally, but I laughed my head off when it happened. The waitress thought he might be referring to soy bacon, which made it even funnier.
The nachos were rather plain, and accounts from my dad with regards to the state of his egg salad sandwich were good (although he ate the individual layers of the sandwich off of the bread with a fork and knife, leaving bread and what appeared to be arugula detritus on the plate by meals' end.)
But those southwestern egg rolls were something else. Spicy beans and corn inside what appeared to be some kind of rye wrap, served on an abundance of greenery with some sort of sauce over the whole thing ... it was a glorious experience. The portions of it - and the other things I saw, brought to our table and to others - were massive. I couldn't finish mine, a third of the nachos were left, and the lump of hardtack they tried passing off as bread saw little action until we felt like we had to do something with it at the end.
We did not book a room in advance since we didn't know where we'd end up - Danbury, New Haven, or even New London - so we looked into it when we got to the car. The only property available anywhere close to our route required a wee bit of backtracking.
In the context of how far we'd traveled, backtracking really wasn't a deal-breaker - it was only about three miles, as the crow flies, from the Yale campus - but getting to the hotel meant that we had to face those three miles on Interstate 95.
It was bad, but it could have been much worse, and I was thankful that we didn't try 95 when we needed to get from Danbury to New Haven. We entered West Haven and then exited, nabbing a room at a hotel that, despite being Memorial Day weekend, doesn't have an insane number of visitors. I guess that's because no one has ever said "hey guys, we're going to spend our Memorial Day in West Haven, Connecticut!"
Tomorrow: New London, CT, Narragansett and Newport in RI, and Hyannis, MA.


General Update: The Next Six Weeks

Posted by Sumiki , in BZPower, Life, Music, Other Stuff Apr 02 2014 · 144 views

Alright, so I'm going to have to finish up being sick, play baseball thrice a week until May, prepare for the end-of-season awards day/roast for the team (I'm in charge of making dumb videos for the roast portion), and finish up my course work for this semester.
I was going to compete in a piano competition in Charlotte but that fell through - even though I passed the regional with flying colors, the state tournament conflicts with a home game for us against the toughest team we're due to face. This sucks, because even though I didn't care about the competition (Béla Bartók said "competitions are for horses, not artists," and I agree), if I'm going to put off learning tough repertoire that I want to learn in order to play stuff I don't care for and have now overplayed, I was hoping to get some mileage out of them before I went into "I'd-rather-give-myself-a-papercut-with-the-sheet-music-than-play-it-again" territory.

Oh, and I'm composing a set of 23 short piano pieces for a legally blind prodigy, as well as a longer piece to be played by myself for my honor society's graduation ceremony, which, last I heard, they were trying to move to a Friday specifically so they could accommodate my playing because people really liked what I threw together last time apparently. This piece might end up being for four hands, which I really hope works out. Because of reasons. (she's cute)
By now, you all should know what happens when May rolls around, so I'll try not to spoil anything there.

The things that could have been put off have been, I'm sorry to say. I'll try to get around to writing more for Rise of the Rookies (which is still a thing that I haven't forgotten about) as well as do THAT ONE THING which none of you know about except for Pablo. At the moment I'm swamped, but I'm still kicking.


The Strangest Pieces

Posted by Sumiki , in Writing, Rants, Not Essays!, Music Feb 12 2014 · 187 views

I swear this isn't a music blog.
(Okay, it kind of is.)
I've listened to a wide swath of different pieces of classical music, and I occasionally come across some things that are just ... well, strange. We're talking off-the-wall levels of goofy here.

-----La Monte Young - Piano Piece for David Tudor #1

This piece doesn't even have a proper score, just a sheet of paper telling the performer to come out onto the stage with a bucket of water and a bale of hay for the piano to drink and eat. Performance consists of either feeding the piano or letting the piano feed itself, and that the music is over once the piano had been fed.

-----Erik Satie - Vexations

Satie's Vexations is a remarkably unassuming piece of sheet music - but inspection reveals a peculiar direction in the corner: if you want to play it 840 times in a row, Satie advises performers to prepare beforehand, "in the deepest silence, by serious immobilities." John Cage - who will appear later in this list - was inspired by the inherent ridiculousness of Vexations and organized its first performance in New York in 1963. It lasted 18 hours and was played by a dozen pianists working in shifts.
-----Karlheinz Stockhausen - Helicopter String Quartet

The controversial Stockhausen composed Helicopter String Quartet to be part of one of his massive operatic projects. Each string quartet member is lifted in a different helicopter, and they coordinate their playing in tremolos, with the intended effect of making the helicopters instruments themselves. The piece is by far the most complex string quartet ever written.
-----Karlheinz Stockhausen - Fresco
Fresco is not composed with the audacity of Helicopter String Quartet, but nonetheless makes this list because of the scandal that marred its only performance to date. Written as background music for four orchestras situated around a hall, the instructions in Fresco irritated the classically-trained performers. Tensions between composer and performers grew wider, and some performers tried to refuse playing it, only to realize that they were contractually obligated to do so. (This didn't deter the concertmaster, who threatened to kill the head conductor.)
Remaining performers did so under protest, and the performance was a complete disaster. Performers took to practicing other repertoire instead of following their score as an act of protest, pranksters and hecklers distracted the few that stuck to Stockhausen's instructions, and the performance was halted when somebody cut out the lights on them.
-----Erwin Schulhoff - In Futurum

A lot of people are familiar with John Cage's famous "silent piece," 4'33", but it's not here. Few are aware that, while Cage's motives were different, the idea of a completely silent piece was not his own - the first one was composed by the Czech composer Erwin Schulhoff over thirty years before Cage. In Futurum - with its ostensibly crossed hands (the clefs are switched) and irrational time signatures (3/5 and 7/10) - appears as the third movement of his piano collection Fünf Pittoresken. The rest of Schulhoff's works take influence from jazz, making In Futurum all that much more remarkable in its uniqueness.
-----John Cage - Atlas Eclipticalis

Cage's music ranges from the serene (Dream, In a Landscape) to silence (4'33", 0′00″, One3) to more or less off-the-wall concepts. Atlas Eclipticalis is for any number of instruments playing the music however they wish, with the sheet music consisting of star charts graphed onto music paper. Because of the undefined instruments and the lack of both tempo and dynamic instructions, performances of Atlas Eclipticalis are all remarkably different.
-----John Cage - Organ²/ASLSP

A fan of extremes, Cage wrote ASLSP (standing for As Slow As Possible) for piano. The piano version usually takes around an hour to perform ... but the organ edition, owing to the nature of the instrument, can sound indefinitely. It wouldn't be on this list if not for an organ that was built expressly for the purpose of performing the piece - an organ piece that will end in September of the year 2640. But, while slow, it's still - theoretically speaking - not as slow as possible.
-----György Ligeti - Poéme Symphonique

Ligeti's music is full of rhythmic variation and unique sonority. Equal parts rhythmic experimentation and avant-garde parody, the score calls for 100 metronomes, all of which are set to different speeds.

-----Leo Ornstein - Suicide in an Airplane

This piece isn't really strange in the ways that the others are, but it honestly has one of the most metal titles of any piece of music I've ever heard of. I've decided to hone my orchestration skills and I've chosen this piece because of its musical depiction of a dogfight and rumbling engines, which is equally well suited to an orchestral sonority.


Music Since the Twentieth Century

Posted by Sumiki , in Writing, Rants, Not Essays!, Music Feb 11 2014 · 120 views

After my opinions on Mozart and much of the Classical era, I got to thinking about modern classical music, which in this sense means any music written after 1900. I have ... mixed feelings, shall we say.
Time for another music history lesson.
By the turn of the century, late Romanticism was beginning to die out. Gustav Mahler was writing symphonies of epic proportions, Maurice Ravel and Claude Debussy were defining a musical style dubbed "Impressionism" - though Debussy hated the term - and Alexander Scriabin was writing increasingly mystical music based on his own egomaniacal philosophy. These folks, and figures like them, were continuously evolving the musical language that had existed more or less continuously from about 1600, when the Baroque era started. Romanticism was fracturing, and there were sub-groups of composers who sought their own styles, and composers who simply struck out on their own path.
As time went by, harmony was extended, and by 1900 the usage of chromatic harmony - a technique whereby harmonies are derived from both pitches within the scale of the music you're working in and from without - was everywhere. In many composer's eyes, these kinds of rich, expanded tonal structures would go on indefinitely, with composers adding to the additions that had been accrued over the years.
Other composers thought that there simply was no place to go, that traditional tonality had reached its breaking point, and new rules had to be developed. Scriabin, who started out writing very Chopinesque music, evolved his own brand of harmony derived from fourths, altered dominant chords, and a few stunning examples of bitonality in some of his late preludes. Igor Stravinsky embraced rhythmic drive (and bitonality as well) in The Rite of Spring, which was so groundbreaking that the first performance was marred by a riot in the Parisian audience.
Most lasting was the music of the so-called Second Viennese School, headed up by Arnold Schoenberg. Schoenberg's first few opuses show the influence of Mahler and is filled with intense chromaticism - so intense that even those early works - far and away his most accessible pieces - were met with incomprehension at their first performances. Undaunted, Schoenberg veered into extreme atonality, writing pieces such as Pierrot Lunaire. Pierrot made waves not just with its atonality, but for its unique ensemble (known henceforth as the Pierrot Ensemble) and with its half-speaking, half-singing writing for voice.
But Schoenberg, for all of his cacophonous music, realized that this kind of free dissonance and atonality - something that composers such as Charles Ives and Leo Ornstein had experimented with - needed some sort of structure to hold it together, just as tonality had held music together before him. To make a long, diagram-necessitating story short, he came up with something called the 12-tone technique, whereby every note was sounded equally through the use of tone rows, which were essentially randomized chromatic scales.

Schoenberg's two major pupils, Anton Webern and Alban Berg, took Schoenberg's techniques and personalized them. Webern idolized Schoenberg and often moved just so he could be near him, and took the 12-tone technique and honed it to a disjointed science. Webern was known for writing exceptionally short pieces, and his piano music is characterized by its brevity, sparseness, and unholy dissonance. He died at the end of World War II after a trigger-happy American soldier saw his cigar and mistook him for an enemy soldier ... but strange composer deaths are a story for another time.
Despite the fact that his music was aesthetically terrible, Webern became one of the most important modern composers, for the avant-garde for most of the rest of the century followed his lead to some extent. The 12-tone technique was applied to other areas of music - instruments, dynamics, note lengths - to derive an incredibly strict kind of "total serialism," where the composer writes a few rows and the music more or less writes itself.
Alban Berg, on the other hand, experimented with making Schoenberg's ideas accessible. He wrote a masterpiece of a Violin Concerto and an opera, Wozzeck, which half-succeeded in this endeavor. He's considered the easiest atonal composer to listen to. His middle-ground approach makes him an oddball figure on both sides of the fence.

But back to Webern, whose techniques had a significant impact. Pierre Boulez took Webern's usage of serial composition to every extreme imaginable, writing music where every imaginable aspect is controlled by rows - pitch, velocity, register, etc. While Boulez has always composed this kind of music, even he realized that total serialization leaves no room for creativity.
The Greek composer Iannis Xenakis took off in a different direction. A mathematician and an architect, Xenakis was one of the first composers who took to "Musique Concrete" techniques - sound collages of recorded tape. Aside from his solo percussion pieces, his music is frankly ridiculous, as he wrote music based on mathematical formulas. Similar approaches were taken by Karlheinz Stockhausen, a controversial and influential figure in the sphere of electronic music, and who once wrote a string quartet where every instrument is lifted on a separate helicopter.

(Don't ask.)
I give all these examples to illustrate one point: since Schoenberg, many composers have taken refuge in music that is of theoretical interest, but not traditional musical interest. Say what you want about Schoenberg, Webern, Boulez, and Xenakis, but their music is aesthetically unpleasing. They thought that there was nothing of strict musical interest left to say, and so they found their own paths.

These paths are now showing themselves to be dead ends. The same strict adherence to predefined sets of rules makes much "modern" music as boring and as aesthetically similar to music of the Classical era.
But it's not like all 20th-century composers took to serialism. Alfred Schnittke and György Ligeti were remarkably innovative and wrote significant pieces without adhering to the strict serialism that had gripped much of the classical music cognoscenti. Schnittke likened his departure as getting off an overcrowded train, and Ligeti mercilessly parodied his fellow composers in his Poème Symphonique for 100 metronomes.
Other composers, such as Henryk Górecki, Lowell Liebermann, Einojuhani Rautavaara, and John Corigliano have abandoned serialism in favor of a return to late Romanticism, a kind of musical reboot. They all have written music of musical and theoretical interest. Even Krzysztof Penderecki, a noted avant-garde composer who gained fame through his manic pieces for string orchestra (Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima and Polymorphia among them), abandoned that style, saying that we "must go back to Mahler and start over."
Suffice it to say that I very much agree with Penderecki.


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He's the lord of all strangeness. - Ignika: Nerd of Life

How awesome is Sumiki on a scale of 1 to 10? - Waffles
42. - Black Six

[He's] the king of wierd, the prince of practicality, the duke of durr! - Daiker

Sumiki is magic. - Cholie

Sumiki says, "Do I creeeeeeep you out?" Yes, he does. - Waffles

Sumiki is a nub. He's cool, but he's still a nub. - Ran Yakumo

"What is a Sumiki?" You may ask. But the answer to that is still unknown, even to the Sumiki itself. - Daiker


Sumiki is best snickerdoodle. - Takuma Nuva

BZPower = Sumiki + McSmeag + B6. And Hahli Husky. - Vorex

What's a Sumi? Does it taste good? - Janus

I would have thought Sumiki wanted to reincarnate as a farm animal. - Kraggh


Sumiki: the horse_ebooks of bzp - VampireBohrok

Everything relates to Sumiki. No really, everything. - Daiker

Sumiki - hat-wearing ladies man. - Black Six

He's in worse mental condition than I thought. - Obsessionist

I'm just wondering why I'm looking at some cat dancing ... I suppose the answer would simply be "Sumiki." - Brickeens

I was like a beast, screaming through the mind of Sumiki at the speed of sound. I.. I wasn't strong enough to stop myself. What I saw was the end of infinity, through which one can see the beginning of time, and I will never be the same. - Portalfig

I imagine the 13th Doctor will be rather like Sumiki, at the rate we're going. - rahkshi guurahk

I was quite sure Sumiki had another set of arms stashed somewhere. - Bfahome

Note to future self: don’t try to predict Sumiki, he’s unpredictable. - Voltex

Let's be honest, I would totally have picked my main man Sumiki to lead my goose-stepping night killers anyway. We tight like that, yo. - Xaeraz

10/10, would Sumiki again. - Bfahome


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Every week, I post a new "Tuesday Tablescrap", a small MOC not worthy of a topic, but something to post and inspire me to build more.

10/25/11 - Duplo Flower
11/1/11 - Slender Man and Masky
11/8/11 - Bizarre Black Spaceship
11/15/11 - 2001 Monolith

11/22/11 - My Little Slizer 50
11/29/11 - Punching Bag
12/6/11 - Thunder and Escorts
12/13/11 - Three Concepts
12/20/11 - Kaxium Alternate
12/27/11 - None (Christmas Break)


1/3/12 - Daiker
1/10/12 - None
1/17/12 - Volant
1/24/12 - Nidman's Chute Shoop Shop
1/31/12 - None (Brickshelf down)
2/7/12 - None
2/14/12 - Atomic Lime
2/21/12 - Spearhead
2/28/12 - Glatorian Kahi
3/6/12 - Seeker
3/13/12 - Skyscraper
3/20/12 - Microphone
3/27/12 - Toa Vultraz
4/3/12 - Flammenwerferjüngeres
4/10/12 - Umbrella
4/17/12 - Lime Beetle
4/24/12 - Special - Flame Sculpture
5/1/12 - None (BZPower down)
5/8/12 - Purple Ninja
5/15/12 - The Original Sumiki
5/22/12 - 7/24/12 - None
7/31/12 - Tahu
8/7/12 - None (BrickFair)
8/14/12 - Special - Chess Set
8/21/12 - Heavily Armored Wasp
8/28/12 - Spaceship Drill
9/4/12 - Scuba Vehicle
9/11/12 - Orange Guy
9/18/12 - Strange Flying Thing
9/25/12 - Goblet
10/2/12 - None
10/9/12 - Aim .............................. Down
10/16/12 - Gold Bot
10/23/12 - Teal Mech
10/30/12 - Special - Teal Mech (#2)
11/6/12 - Bits and Pieces
11/13/12 - Two Spaceships
11/20/12 - TARDIS Interior
11/27/12 - Christmas Creep
12/4/12 - Toaraga
12/11/12 - Fireplace
12/18/12 - Abstract Duckling
12/25/12 - None (Christmas)
1/1/13 - Black Bot
1/8/13 - 1/22/13 - None
1/29/13 - Handheld Rhotuka Launcher
2/5/13 - 8/6/13 - None
8/13/13 - The Hinklebot
8/20/13 - Special - Post-Apocalyptic Piyufi
8/27/13 - 8/5/14 - None
8/12/14 - Another Chro Original
8/19/14 - Kanohi Zatth
8/26/14 - Miniland Hatpile
9/2/14 - S. S. Starfish
9/9/14 - Special - Claude Hairgel
9/16/14 - Green Flame
9/23/14 - Avohkah Tamer
9/30/14 - Special - The Havoc Wreaker
10/7/14 - Fire Snake


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Formerly known as the Bring Back Teal Club, the Unused Colors Society is a club that serves to promote colors that are little-used or discontinued, such as teal, old purple, or metallic blue.




ToM Dracone
-Toa Lhikevikk-
Dirk Strider
Toa Flappy
Lime Paradox
Toa Robert
The X
Dave Strider
Akuna Toa of Sonics
Commander Helios
Popup2: The Camel
~Shadow Kurahk~
~System Of A Down~
Kohrak Kal17
Jackson Lake
Thunder on the Mountain
Ackar's Follower
Bitter Cold
Doc Scratch
Mendicant Bias
Darth Eryzeth
Toa of Vahi
Makuta GigaDon
~Toa Drokonas~
Progenitus Worldsoul
Toa Kuhrii Avohkii
Bohrok Kal
Toa Neya 2011 Edition
~prisma son of dawn~
.: WoLVeRINe :.
Alternate Velika
Schnee 1
Brickeens (again!?)
The Great Forgetter
Thomas the Tank Engine
Jonah Falcon
Oh my miru
Element lord Of Milk.
Lexuk Toa Of Insanity
Michael J. Caboose
knuckles chaotix
The Bean
Lord Kaitan de Storms
Toa of Dancing
Toa Arzaki
The Oncoming Storm
Lego Obsessionist
Toa of Pumpkin
Teal Armada
Toa Zehvor Blackout
Mr. M
Mylo Xyloto
Lord of Ice
Gamzee Makara
Zarayna: The Quiet Light



Vorex: Keeper of Time


Toa of Smooth Jazz



Dual Matrix

rahkshi guurahk
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Bing (1), Sumiki


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If you learn one thing in life, learn this:

You should never, ever question why demons would possess a soda.

just a heads up - Cthulhu would probably eradicate mankind before bringing back Bionicle

so yeah, all I'm saying is, please think twice about this okay

nothing gets democracy flowing like erratic capitalizatION

[the NSA] couldn't say no when I offered them an ostrich farm in exchange

Sumiki -- nice try but we all know Toa Mata Nui stuffs its bra

You have a great understanding of history, but don't forget, war, murder and other poor decisions are also huge characteristics.

Also a long line of really great hats.

Shhh, I'm trying to focus on the negative to justify my dislike of history.

have we mentioned hats

To be fair, I am the one responsible for the invention of Mafia in the 1320s by seventeen bored italians locked in a mine shaft.

It's a long story.


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