by pieces of moments

Why is David Bowie so freakin’ awesome?

Makes me wanna walk around like this all day:


Bowie inspired eyeshadow. (Yes, that is a safety pin in my ear. Thought I would give it a try after seeing Marc Jacobs sport the look in a documentary. Didn’t dig it on me as much as on MJ. Go figure.)

That’s right, Ziggy.

Not only is this video so sweet old school, but this song is basically my theme song right now:

People just don’t get dressed up for the stage enough anymore. Maybe that’s part of my total fascination with Cameron Carpenter.

And don’t tell me you are too cool for school to admit that this kinda rocks…I mean…how many sounds can one person generate?!!??! The dude is four limbs and ten digits of orchestral madness. I also love how he turns around at the end like “uh, huh…I just smashed that one outta the ballpark”.

I love the alteration of his name. Reminds me of this bit of cleverness from one of my profs over at NEC. You know, I always did kind of secretly wish my middle name started with a ‘g’ only because then my initials would be “KGB” and how awesome would that be on my luggage? The only problem is good names don’t start with the letter “g” (don’t get all ruffled if your name happens to start with a “g”, it’s not personal, it’s business). Anyway, I would monogram everything in sight if those were my initials.

I don’t know if I have mentioned this before, but I kinda hate Mozart. Honestly, I’m not exactly sure why. It is one of those distastes you develop, don’t question, harbor, and then eventually relish and wear like a badge of honor. A lot of Mozart puts me to sleep, quite frankly. Maybe that’s why? Anyway, the reason I bring this up is I took a Facebook quiz that was “what piano concerto are you :)” (yes…with the odd smiley face…I thought it was weird too, but whatevs) and my result? MOZART PIANO CONCERTO NO. 23* What?! AGHGHGHGHGHG!!! Seriously, yo…what is up with that? I don’t even get to be an obscure (fine, more obscure) Mozart?? I mean, I know I can be capricious, but seriously. Okay, yes, I know, you’re like “girl…it’s only a Facebook quiz” but still…weird. I was so expecting to be Shostakovich Piano Concerto No. 2**. Now there’s a piano concerto. I would even take Prokofiev Piano Concerto No. 3. Chopin Piano Concerto No. 2 would make sense, too…I love me some F minor, and the waltz-y action of the third movement is totally up my alley. I’m kinda glad I didn’t get the Schoenberg, not because I don’t dig it, but to be compared to it as a personality would be creepy. Wonder if anyone gets to be the Ligeti. I wish I could be, but let’s be honest, I’m not. If anyone does she/he must be pretty rockin’ though.

Let’s switch decades centuries.

Inexplicably I have been watching hours of YouTube videos of Radiohead today. It occurred to me somewhere in the middle of the festivities that watching various performances of the same song was totally like playing the same…well…Mozart I guess (ugh)…or any other “classical” piece. I suppose it goes without saying, and maybe it’s a kind of captain obvious thing to write, but nonetheless that’s what struck me afresh today. I have a notion that the popular culture thinks “why would you want to play music of dead people…like multiple, everyone playing the same freakin’ thing over, and over, and over”, meanwhile bands can play their “hits” over, and over, and over and no one blinks an eye. It’s the same principal people. Duh. The only difference is a couple hundred years. Or maybe it’s the fact that every note is written down? Is that why Gregorian Chant had its hot second? Neumatic notation = lead sheet? Maybe that’s what it is – every note is written down. Well, that’s not necessarily true for “classical” music in the 20th century…certainly not for the 21st.

It is the 21st century.

Don’t you adore that melodic shift at about 2:31 (on this timer at least)? Gets me every time.

Back to what I was saying pre-clip. Point being that it is disarmingly stunning when you stop to realize how many different ways one piece can be performed. That concept always captures me because it’s just such a large idea. It’s akin to how every millisecond is different from another because even on tiny level things are always changing: the air shifts, your blood pumps, dust rises and falls, some sound wave hits you, etc. I may play a piece of music totally different today than yesterday simply due to my mood, or something I experienced in that 24 hours. I certainly play pieces that I have known for years very differently as time passes. Interpretations should never be static. If you hear someone play a piece exactly the same way twice you might think about asking for a ticket refund. Don’t be outrageous, I’m not talking about massive changes, but here are always small adjustments…or at least there should be. What about “Glenn Gould’s take on Bach’s Goldberg Variations?”, you argue knowingly, “there is massive change for you”. Well, yes, there is an example of a massive change in perspective on a piece over the span of 26 years (1955 first recording crisp tempo, 1981 second recording expansive and pensive tempo). Personally I’m like, look, as long as you have a grasp of the way it would have been performed back in the day on a harpsichord I don’t care what you choose to do – within some sensible realm, naturally. Gotta know your (music) history, kids.

Here’s Gould (one of my favorites forevah-evah) on video performing the 80’s version. Makes you wanna cry, doesn’t it?

So that was my Saturday. Sittin’ in Petsi Pies workin’ on resumes/cover letters with coffee and the best mozzarella/tomato/basil panino (yes, “panino” is the singular) ever, a little music, some art…and freakin’ Mozart No. 23.


*I haven’t seen this video of Horowitz for years-since I was 10 years old, at least. I love YouTube.

**note if you click the link that it’s actually Shosti playing (!)