Thursday, August 18, 2005

Modes And Then Some

I’ve had to recently refresh my knowledge on Lydian, Mixolydian, Dorian and Phrygian modal scales for a two-hour meeting on the aural test component in the curricula – quite the headache, when packing in 100-km a day travelling to rehearsals. Then, unwinding at the end of the day with a live Proms recording of Beethoven symphonies (which I am told, and guiltily believe, contributes much to my insomnia), I realise part of the magic of Beethoven is how enjoyable he makes scales part of orchestral music – your regular Ionian, diatonic scales: the do-re-mis we all know.

A pet peeve which seems to be resurfacing with mua is violinists who pass themselves off for violists simply because they can read the alto clef and stretch their fingers. Somehow it insults the nature of an instrument... the viola is for those who choose the instrument for its sound, for the character it seals for those who treat it with some special respect. Let’s have more players and sections where you can say, wow, these people love sound, tone, colour. No offence, but while squeaky violinists may be simply ignored, insincere so-called violists should really be taken out and shot.

You want meaningful conversation? Do what I do, talk to yourself. It's the only way. – Ma, Torch Song Trilogy.

Or perhaps not… I just got seven mistakenly sent emails from a large company I once applied to, but eventually turned down, having gotten an offer to my present position. Interestingly is one of them is titled, “hey do not do personnel thing in the office” and the actual mail reading, “behave yourself”. Hmmmmm…

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