Monday, March 21, 2005

Cat-Tossing Conducting

There was a section in The Typewriter score which I felt was best described as throwing a cat down a set of the stairs – the cat of course, naturally and defiantly landing squarely on its feet, turning back, and hissing, “Hah!”. And now that section has a little twist of humor with the players, owing no doubt to the poorness of my cat conducting imitations.

Conducting is special, it really is, even if it’s for educational purposes and not a regular performance-based effort (perhaps even especially so). Pointing and sign language was probably the first kind of human communication; a lot of gestures have a universal sort of meaning and understanding, unlike verbal languages with its small armory of onomatopoeia like Savage Garden’s Crash, Boom, Bang. And together with this basic common understanding is a complex system of sound sculpturing able to contain specific and a wide range of meanings, even cheap feline humor. Beyond that is the general meaning of “conductor” which actually includes the ability to makes flow from one end to another; and it is a good sentiment to not only make music, but more importantly, help people work to make music together.

Those of us in music have all met our share of prima donna conductors, who Exhaledly Boss their way around Nuclear Winters (personal jokes there, sorry), but the spirit behind the endeavor remains a magical one, perhaps even a more human effort than a musical one.


eg9 said...

*lol* Good fun! Just off the top of my head now:

conduct: (1) of carriage & behaviour; ie. to conduct onself well (2) to hold, to head, to lead; ie. to conduct a seminar (3) to enable or allow the flow of electrons, liquids, or other matter from one physical location to another

conducive: (1) the property of carrying (2) appropriate, suitable, pleasant; ie. conducive environment for studying

conduit: a channel / drain

con duct: (1) (demi-Italian) with channel / drain, see also con fuoco (2) false item; ie. it's just a con duct, doesn't serve any real irrigational purposes

con duit: (demi-Malay) tipu wang

I'm sure you all know the conductor jokes already so I won't post them here.

AF said...

It never ceases to amaze me that people seem to find the actual things I do in life more ridiculous than the jokes I contrive... I hope that's good for my life and not just bad for my jokes.

For the non-Malay speaking readers of this blog, "duit" and "wang" mean money, and "tipu" means to cheat (literally, to lie). My dad's comment on the Nike symbol really meaning, "just duit" comes to mind.