aesmael: (friendly)
 Of course I ended up going to bed shortly after finishing that last journal entry without having posted it anywhere. A lag time of at least a day seems currently endemic. Did end up staying home. Even managed to get docted - got some advice (rest, lots of fluids, don't fill this antibiotic prescription unless certain conditions are met), and a note of incapacity to work for today and tomorrow.

Am feeling a bit better. Feeling like resting today and tomorrow will give me a good chance of not over-exerting myself on Wednesday, which is normally only a light day at work anyway. Feeling like I've been sick a lot this year, or much more than is usual for me. Worried this is a foreboding sign and hoping it not to be.

But for tonight I think I can do some simple things. Revise liner notes maybe, or back up files from this computer, or write some character speeches for Pathfinder, or make yet another attempt at finishing the frequently interrupted Scrivener tutorial.

Right now I'm watching this video of a talk on interactive fiction by Emily Short which is inspiring the desire to add yet another layer to my never-quite-started THC project. Television series, Pathfinder module, ... text adventure?  That one at least we shan't be starting tonight. Laptop is in big need of replacing and I've been telling myself not to try any IF stuff until after that's taken care. Not because interactive fiction is so demanding on the hardware (is it?) but to keep myself from taking on too much at once and then feeling like a failure when that inevitably collapses on me.

aesmael: (tricicat)
 Yesterday I bought a packet of index cards to write projects on. The idea is that when I have some free time, I look through those cards and pick out something appealing to work on, including leisure activities like reading a book. Often I have difficulty deciding what to do, or remembering what I can do, and I'm hoping this will help me to do more things I want to do.
Today's big winner is cleaning up my living space. I've cleared out a path on the floor and pulled out some clothes I don't wear and other items to dispose of (for example: boxes things were shipped or purchased in). Feels like an accomplishment but also depression or something like it is nipping at my shadows, so it is difficult not to feel also hollow.
Another project which has been catching my attention lately is the cataloguing of my music collection and transcribing the liner notes, so that when I travel I can still have that information with me. It also gives me a push to actually read those and maybe learn something from them. Currently I have a suite of edits pending on Musicbrainz for one of the albums early on - your hundred best Piano Tunes IV - and while I'm waiting for those edits to go through I've jumped ahead a few to where the liner notes project has been laying fallow. That's partway through transcibing the booklet for The Beatles Anthology 1, the first really substantial booklet from my collection. Only one other has had more than a page of information with it, and that's the aforementioned album of piano music. Now I'm reading through the Beatles booklet to try and understand the formatting decisions of past-me, and whether I endorse them.
I had hoped to have the Pathfinder game started by the 23rd, which corresponds to the in-game date on which the Rise of the Runelords campaign begins, but that is looking less likely. Some players have dropped out and I haven't been able to get character sheets from any of the others. Telling myself not to worry about that because if it does work and we can play, that will be worth more than any arbitrary deadline or calendar synchronicity. And I should work at getting more encounters and NPCs prepared in advance too. For now, looking like 2 or 3 players.
aesmael: (haircut)
If I'm not listening to music for some dedicated purpose (currently, reviewing my entire collection after a drive crash for sound quality, and to then catalogue it again) I tend to prefer album shuffling over individual tracks. I have not listened to music for its own sake in a long while.

Today the spinny wheel came up on Voyageur by Enigma. I used to listen to that album a lot for uplift but again, not for a long time. So of course now I want to share a few tracks.

For the period in which I was listening this afternoon, "Boum-Boum" got to enjoy being my favourite love song (although that is the radio edit and not the album version) .

However, the two songs that nearly always bring tears to my eyes are "Total Eclipse of the Moon" and "Following the Sun".

Enigma has always tended to resonate strongly with me, especially when I am low.
aesmael: (writing things down)
Listened to this at the end of my commute home yesterday, found it striking and beautiful. Just in case you were wondering where my taste in music (partly) lies:


2014-09-21 12:56
aesmael: (probably quantum)

I should post more here... I should have more to post anywhere. But mostly it would just be repetitious grumbling that I feel too tired and worn down to make proper posts any more.

OK! So here's a thing. At the moment I have two major assignments due on 2014-10-07, so I'm trying to devote a week to each of them and have some time left over to do whatever polishing is needed.

Took a walk this morning, which I've been trying to do whenever I don't have work or some morning outing. I always feel better after, plus it gives me an excuse to catch up on podcasts. At the moment I'm listening to episodes of The Philosopher's Zone, Planetary Radio, and Escape Pod from 2005. Those also give me an excuse to make lists and put things in order which is often a soothing activity.

I've effectively abandoned the Sunday Story Ratings project on account of being so intermittent and behind on it that it was becoming a hopeless amount of work. Instead I'm trying to keep a sort of reading journal, meaning I just post whatever I think about what I'm reading on bloggier sites. Mostly a lot of short stories at the moment, so when I'm done with those I'd like to compile an index of my thoughts on each story and write something about what I thought of the book overall (mostly, when I finish remembering to cross-post to here the entries I originally made in July and August).

A while back I lost all the music I had on an external hard drive. I still had a back-up elsewhere, or the rest was readily and freely re-downloadable. Mostly what I had lost was the effort I put into cataloguing and organising the collection. I have recently been trying to listen to (to make sure it is of good quality and does not need re-ripping) and catalogue an album or folder of music each day. During assignment crunch times I just listen to a whole succession of them and worry about the cataloguing later.

Most recently I have been trying to learn how to database. This takes the form of putting together a database of stories I have read since I started reading books again in 2011; it also suits my organisational urges to let me track details like stories published in multiple locations or how many I have read by particular authors, and so forth.

Trying to learn how to play Go again, now that I believe I can handle losing better.

These are all things that I don't find lending themselves easily to little on-going posts. But mostly I'm just finding myself tired between work and school.

aesmael: (probably quantum)

Whenever I listen to it I almost always conclude I like metal better without the singing (my recurring joke is “The intro was great, they should make a whole song of that.”). Which, in fact, was a lot of what put me off even trying it for so long - the stereotype of a bunch of men shouting into a microphone so hoarsely as to be incomprehensible.

Maybe what I really want that often my experience of metal almost gives is ‘chamber music for rock band’. This might sound like I dislike metal as musical genre / set of genres but so far I have liked a fair chunk of what I have tried [1]. What I am realising at the moment is that a lot of the more melodic(?) strains of metal come across to me as more… musically dense(?) than a lot of the rock music I listen to. So I am possibly responding to it more as if I were listening to art music than to pop music, and then from that perspective lyrics, especially performed harshly, will interfere with what I am trying to get out of it [2].

So I feel like I understand a bit better what I think of metal now.

But sometimes vocals make a pleasing line too. As I write this am trying out the album Paradise Lost by Symphony X and enjoying it a great deal. Assuming nothing happens to change my mind, I should add their name to a list and eventually go buy their albums.

[1] So far what suits me best is the region where it crosses over into drone music. Sun O))) does exceedingly pleasant things to me.

[2] Possibly for similar reasons I am not in the habit of enjoying opera, possibly not.

aesmael: (haircut)
Put in my last assignment of the semester the night before last. Not best pleased with the job I did, but at least I got it done.

Now I have time to devote to other postponed life activities like enrolling in important school stuff before it is too late (hopefully it is not too late), seeking professional development opportunities and being prompt and organised for next semester's classes. Which are not showing up on the student portal yet, so I haven't yet failed on that one.

Also, making myself follow up on the offer of support services from the beginning of the semester, even though I have no idea what a disability accommodation that would actually help me might be.

Also also, entertainment stuff. Been aspiring to see more movies at the cinema and most of the recent ones I might see haven't stopped showing yet. Plus a series of concerts featuring Beethoven's piano concertos at the Opera House. I suspect these will exhaust my reserves for spending money on myself for a long while, but I've been looking forward to them for a year, so I suppose I had better try and go.

Feeling tired again just thinking about trying to do stuff.

I wrote a lot (for me) in April, but had to stop again through May because school and deadlines. Would like to do more of that again. Would be satisfying. Think there may have been more I wanted to ramble, but don't remember it now.
aesmael: (tricicat)

I keep trying to write posts about stuff I have been up to and then losing momentum and stalling out with them half-complete. So this time I'm going to try and write a quick run-down of stuff significant enough for me to still remember it from this year.

(why do this? because for some reason I've got it stuck in my head that I've got write up to date with what I've been up to before I can post any other stuff I've got that I want to write and say)

Way back in February I got my eye caught by an ad in the paper about a concert at the opera house that I wanted to see. Ultimately ended up buying tickets to see three, two of them with my sister as guest. First concert we went to see was the Legend of Zelda Symphony. That was the first time I'd ever paid to see a concert and the first time I'd ever been in so fancy a venue. Was pretty nervous, although ultimately the crowd seemed pretty laid back. Some folk were even doing cosplay, which was cool. Afterward someone asked a Link cosplayer if ey could get a photo which I thought was neat.

The music was pretty good and fun, and I liked the interludes with explanations which I have since learned is not usual for these concerts. Biggest disappointment with my sister and I is that almost nohing from Majora's Mask was featured, which I think is the first Zelda game we played. Also feel like I've got to say I felt like it wasn't really a 'proper' symphony since there was no overarching structure, just four orchestral pieces and a small cloud of satellite pieces.

Second concert we went to was a performance by Dead Can Dance, which sadly was too loud for my comfort threshold so I can't say much about that. It's a shame. I think I like the music otherwise although I don't have so much experience with them personally.

The third concert I attended that week was called "Legends by the Sea", subtitled "Ashkenzy Conducts Sibelius". That was the one I saw advertised that got me attending any of them. The performance order for the concert was changed from what I had printed in the program. I believe as performed it went:

La Mer - Claude Debussy
Suite from Pelléas et Mélisande - Gabriel Fauré (including Mélisande's Song)
Lemminkäinen Suite - Jean Sibelius

Originally the Lemminkäinen Suite was to make up the portion of the concert prior to the interval. A lot of why I wanted to attend this concert was because it would be conducted by the Sydney Symphony Orchestra's principal conductor, Vladimir Ashkenazy (plus I wanted to explore the music of Sibelius more and think highly of Debussy).

When I was a child my grandmother gave me one of her CDs of piano music. Eventually I realised that a great many of the performances on this album I cherished were by Vladimir Ashkenazy. Years later I heard also that he had become a conductor, probably about when he took his position with the SSO. I still didn't look into attending concerts then because I assumed rightly it was not the sort of thing I could readily afford.

I suppose it was an extended moment of weakness when I saw this advertised? And I did not realise that there are frequent orchestral performances at the opera house, as in multiple times weekly. So it felt like a special occasiona and I took it, and found out about the Legend of Zelda Symphony which was assuredly a special occasion, and that there were tickets still available for the Dead Can Dance concert my sister had been urging me to see for several months.

Annoyingly I was pretty tired and had difficulty staying awake for the entire concert. This has been a bit of a frustrating trend for me. The Lemminkäinen Suite was the highlight for me, and I did think it felt more like a symphony than e.g. the Legend of Zelda Symphony had, despite being officially a suite. The piece I was least interested in was the suite from Pelléas et Mélisande. Fauré has never yet done much for me. It was still pretty fantastic to be there and see the music made. That has been a lot of the benefit for me, getting to see what actions correspond to what sounds, the actions of the conductor in conducting, getting to see the performers as people at work. A different angle of appreciation for music as a human endeavour.

Anyway, that adventure was fantastic, but it cost me a lot of my available funds. Took me several months to save back up to where I was, and then I spent that on further concert attendance, although I did on account of the cost not follow through on some others I had planned to see in March.

The library where I work meanwhile hired some other casual employees during the autumn season. A couple of months later that has begun cutting into the hours I am given. Where I had been accustomed to working 30-40 hours/fortnight (minimum typically 30, busy times in the 40-50 range), I'm not getting 20-30 hours/fortnight, and several times under 20 hours before accounting for additions after the roster gets sent out. This has been coming sometimes close to my ability to pay my bills, and I'm pretty fortunate as bills go since I still have a home and food provided by my family for a nominal cost in board (plus I try and cook dinner a couple of times a week).

What I'm saying is I should be okay so long as my hours don't get any lower. I'm doing better on that than the other casuals, with the hours I am getting at the high end of what any casual gets.

Before that reduction in my hours had kicked in, I had enough money saved up again to afford some more tickets - this time without guest, as my sister declined my offer - and some pieces to be performed dear enough to my heart that they felt unmissable. I ended up seeing three again.

The first of that set was the organ symphony, featuring what appears to be the standard three pieces.
Symphony No. 29 in A - Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Concerto for seven wind instruments, timpani, percussion and strings - Frank Martin
Symphony No. 3 in C minor - Camille Saint-Saëns

I booked this one close enough to the performance date that they would not mail out the ticket to me - though the others I had booked at the same time as this did both arrive before the day - and I had to collect my ticket in person before the performace. This was difficult. After proving I had indeed purchased the ticket, I had to implore the ticketer not to follow up on eir offer to change the name and sex on my account to match the name on my identification or how I was read.

I was tired. I struggled to stay awake through the Mozart. I think I remember the concerto being interesting, but nothing about it in particular. The organ symphony was why I was there, however, and what the concert was named for. Getting to witness it performed in person was fantastic and I learned a lot that I hadn't known, like the presence of pianos in the symphony, and that the organ comes in much, much earlier than I had realised.

The other two were performed during the day, and since I still had trouble staying awake through the day I figure it must be something wrong about me. Maybe the exhaustion of travelling in to the city when I normally do not travel? Or perhaps I am just so tired generally that kept distracting myself with any task more demanding than that of listening or waiting I am like to fall asleep? Don't know, don't like it.

Of those two, the first concert seems to have been given the title 'Spellbound'. On a later day, one of my co-workers told me she had seen me at the opera house, being there herself to watch the same performance, but that I had vanished before she could say hello and had not seen me again. That is unfortunate, although I also feel a bit awkward about being seen outside a work context by people I work with.

The first piece performed was The Song of the Nightingale by Igor Stravinsky, and that is where I struggled to stay awake. Disappointed by this as it was I think wholly new to me, and I wish I had been awake to develop a better sense of the piece. The second piece was The Rite of Spring also by Igor Stravinsky, and the main reason I was there that day despite having to sit behind the orchestra in order to get a seat. One of my favourite pieces and though I think I prefer still to be in a more usual front-seating, was quite fascinating getting this up-close from one side perspective on the orchestra, seeing the musicians come onto stage with coffee on hand, being people, getting such a good view of the percussion section particularly.

I was surprised that the final performance for the concert, Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto in E minor, was the highlight for me. Really, quite surprising. Expected it to be something I would be indifferent to.

The last concert I won't go piece by piece through. It was the following day, presented as a 'tea and symphony' event. I did not realise until arriving that this meant actual complimentary tea being served prior. This concert was a solo organ recital. Another attended as an opportunity to see one of my favourite pieces performed live, the less than certainly Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D minor, BWV 565. That was spectacular. Truly amazing and well worth witnessing. The other highlight for me was Mozart's Fantasia in F minor for mechanical organ, K608.

Sadly for much of the rest of the concert I was struck by anxiety or something similar, trapped reliving bad times and forcing myself not to make a break for the exit. Stopped me from forming much impression of the remainder of the music.

Cutting and posting here - this is as far as I got several weeks ago (I don't remember how many exactly). Figure I am best off putting up what I had, as apparently there is no way I am finishing the entire post no matter how much or how many times I may have intended to.

Originally published at a denizen's entertainment. You can comment here or there.

Among Beatles albums I:

1) Consider Sgt. Pepper overrated

2) Talk up Revolver whenever I listen to it or think of it

3) In practice I seem to consider the two albums about equally good in practice

So, that's odd, especially they seem to be two of the three which get almost automatic consideration for the top spot in "greatest albums of all time" lists. I think I feel like Sgt. Pepper gets a lot more cultural reference than Revolver, is more a subject of default acclaim. So I get inclined to say it is not as great as people say, even though I find it pretty wonderful.

Standing behind that response, yes. Overrated, but seriously awesome.

Originally published at a denizen's entertainment. You can comment here or there.

Been listening a lot to this album composed by Elena Kats-Chernin to try and grasp its feel. Which I tend to do a lot for new albums, but this one is rather different to others I have bought so probably I am lacking in vocabulary for describing it. Would say is much janglier, rougher, jazzier and more experimental than I am used to in music.

All the pieces on this album were written or arranged for chamber orchestra and performed by the Sydney Alpha Ensemble.

Cadences, Deviations & Scarlatti: according to the liner notes, the first piece grew out of hearing Domenico Scarlatti's Sonata for Harpsichord in D minor, K. 141 and mentioning to a friend how she would have done it differently. I shall have to find a recording of the original, but I have trouble imagining the original sounded much like this transformation. I don't know how to describe it. Noisy? Jerky? Somehow seems to pull together despite seeming to me at first listen thoroughly discordant and noisy. Mad and almost out of control? There is a much more technical description in the liner notes, but I couldn't honestly say I understand it. Maybe should do some research when I feel freer.

Purple Prelude: When I heard this I decided it justified the album title even if none of the rest does. Seductively winding forever, pulling tension with it and not quite releasing. Fell in love with the piece at once, even though I would normally say I dislike violin so strong.

Concertino: this piece features Georges Lentz as the violin soloist, was written for the German group Ensemble Modern and inspired by Messiaen's Eclairs sur l'Au-delĂ . Unlike the little bit of Messiaen I have, this does not pain my ears. But it is very sharp and very tense. Tend to find myself tuning it out, so listening in order to write this is a bit like listening for the first time. Like the first track the style is so abrupt, tense and jangly-cluttered I am puzzled that someone could realise putting it all together would work.

Variations in a Serious Black Dress: this piece features Stephanie McCallum on the piano. Rippling and stumbling, and on the other hand am unused to hearing keys hit so hard sounding good. I suppose the context matters. This is one of my favourite pieces on the album but I don't feel very equipped to describe it. Does have in common with the rest of the album a lot of energy and a lot of pushing what I would normally say are bad ideas in music (or unappealing to me anyhow, which is nearly the same thing).

Clocks: Part I, Part II 'Blues', Part III 'Crash', Part IV written for 20 musicians (Ensemble Modern again) and tape, except the tape part was finished before any of the instrumental part was written.

The first part is sparse with very strong pull of rhythm. The only piece here that sounds more of clocks than Purple Prelude and more of mad steampunk than Cadences, Deviations & Scarlatti. Some amazing sounds in there.

The second part, I keep thinking fungus or rain slowing and petering out, clearing slowly after a storm.

The third, drums and frantic again. Music to be lost in, when not jarring.

The fourth, mournful piano in decay. Feels like darkness, much as the whole piece.

Russia Rag Nice, easy, slightly mournful piece to finish. Not quite winter. This was the first piece by Elena Kats-Chernin I encountered, in a chamber music compilation, and I liked it well enough to consider more opportunities to hear her music worth accepting. It's a bit wonderful.

And, see, this is why I don't do reviews. But it is fun to talk about stuff I like.

Edit: here is a piece by the same composer, nearly entirely unlike those featured on the album:

Originally published at a denizen's entertainment. You can comment here or there.

Being interviewed for, say, a retail job, would it help my chances to perform a version of 'Part of Your World' customised to their business?

Look at this stuff
Isn't it neat?
Wouldn't you think our range is complete?
Wouldn't you think we're the store
The store that has everything?
Look at this trove
Treasures untold
How many wonders can one cavern hold?
Looking around here you think
Sure, we've got everything
We've got washers and dryers a-plenty
We've got ovens and toasters galore
You want vacuum cleaners?
We've got twenty!
But who cares?
No big deal You want more

Only had the first verse in mind. Might do a longer version later. Maybe a library version.

Originally published at a denizen's entertainment. You can comment here or there.

It seems ABC Classic FM is broadcasting Wagner's ring cycle, with one instalment each Sunday evening. The station streams online so anyone who wants to listen is able to, if they can get the time and day right.

I have never heard Der Ring des Nibelungen before, only a couple of excerpts, so I will be listening with great curiosity. Admittedly my preferred format for opera is 'audio-visual, with subtitles' but I still want to hear this.

Originally published at a denizen's entertainment. You can comment here or there.

When I get a fancy into my head, generally it is very difficult not to follow through on unless so long or complicated that others may in time replace. For example: creating playlists for music by nationality of the artist or composer. And anyone who does not avail emself of escape gets to read thoughts prompted during the process. I do things like this because I am curious if anything interesting will emerge - will I on listening to these lists discern some sort of national character, or will I not? Will I agree or disagree with those ascribed by the experts on the matter? Will anything interesting turn up in the listening.

I suppose that is a reason library work appeals to me. I like devising organisational schemes and modes of presentation, and seeing if these bring interesting new perspectives on the material so arranged.

Lengthy post behind cut )

Originally published at a denizen's entertainment. You can comment here or there.

[due to slowness of writing, all todays are now yesterdays]

Today was filled with expectations contrary to my expectations. What I expected was a brief morning visit to the offices where my case manager, who handles me so Centrelink doesn't much have to, then to return home and participate in clearing out a dungeon in World of Warcraft, followed by an evening of composing an application for the latest library job I found going.

It was unusually tricky finding a parking space there, but at least I got to hear the end of Margarent Throsby's interview with Dr Peter Bowden, although it was a bit awkwarder than usual - I think he was not prepared to handle digressions from the topic of whistleblowing and ethics.

Contrary to the interactions I'd expected, talking briefly of what I'd been up to job-searchingly and what I planned to be up to, the only topic was that they'd found a possible job I could go interview for and preparing me to do this once I agreed I had some interest. That job was of an inbound call centre sort, handling account inquiries on behalf of a cable television company. I figured I would have to cancel the dungeoning to make that on time, but it turned out to be anyway already cancelled.

Spent a few hours having lunch and researching and getting changed, then set off to drive. That was a bit of a nervous drive, on the motorway, since the car I have use of is 21 years old and rattles a bit when it travels faster than 80 kph. I felt a bit like if I were standing at the top of a ladder and unsure of its steadiness. Rain grew heavier near my busier urban destination, peaking at one of the more stressful driving experiences I've had making the exit onto a quite busy main road.

I ended up mistakenly in a lane too far to the left, one marked 'must turn left', so spent several minutes poking around side streets until finding my way back to the road I needed, pushing 'about ten minutes early' into 'just on time'. Unfortunately the group had already gone in and the staff who met me didn't quite know what was going on, so it was a couple of minutes until I was directed to the right room. Not the last to arrive, either.

Interview was simple enough. Bit of impromptu self-introduction public speaking, a group task, then one on one interviews and we were done. Was annoyed that in the group with other candidates a lot of my communications were ignored until someone else expressed the same thing, although some were taken up with enthusiasm (we were supposed to diagram what customer service is and why it is important), but otherwise I felt I did pretty well. At least, that I did about as well as I was able, and if I don't get the position it won't be for any lack or fault on my part. Which is about all I'm after really.

Driving back I got to diagnose the problem with the motorway in that direction - too many lanes being created and then ended, congesting the drive by forcing repeated traffic integration. Also got another surprise on the radio travelling back when they played the 14th symphony by Sir William Herschel, more famous as the discoverer of Uranus and infrared radiation. Was fun to listen to, too, so now I want to try and collect the music of this famous astronomer. Am sure I must have known he was also a composer, since I read a lot of science history books and they'd be likely to mention such a detail, but I'd completely forgotten it.

Later in the evening my sister contacted me, requesting collection from the station. Despite coordinating activity I arrived some minutes early and spent a tense while watching a cat walk along the track, fearing a train would come along any moment and hoping the cat knew how to keep safe. But it vanished into the darkness long before anything happened, and that is all I know of that cat. A while later I saw behind me some queer green reflection which revealed a train coming from the other way. It stopped briefly, signed prominently as a prototype which no one should board, then departed in high unpleasant screeching. I saw a party of railway workers aboard, presumably testing the user experience, and then not long after my sister arrived to be collected.

The last and least pleasant upturning of expectation came watching again the series 2 finale of Ashes to Ashes and being informed that no, we still do not get to see series 3.

Okay, that's a day, done.

Originally published at a denizen's entertainment. You can comment here or there.

Just been listening to Love History by Sylvie Symbiosis and remembering how much I missed her music when lost my copies. Recommended to anyone who doesn't hate electronic music and microsampling. Or, presumably, others who wouldn't enjoy. But I am enjoying lots so I assume others will too.

Her music can be had so far from Although if there are other distribution channels that would be nice to know.

Originally published at a denizen's entertainment. You can comment here or there.

Listening to music again, of which I'd forgotten how vital it can be.

Aanyway, listening to 'The Ballad of John and Yoko' again reminded me of the time my 4th grade teacher had the whole class learn and sing that song. Mainly that one sticks in my memory of all the songs she had us sing because for that one she struck out the word Christ from the chorus.

I think she replaced 'Chris' with 'Lord', since you pretty much have to for the song to make sense. It is after all John Lennon talking to Jesus, saying Jesus must be able to empathise with Lennon's situation of exaltation and persecution.

"Christ, you know it ain't easy,
You know how hard it can be.
The way things are going
They're going to crucify me."

So you can take the Christ out, but the way I see it that lyric's going to be blasphemous whatever you call the god in it. Sometimes I wonder if that was a bit of a response to the 'more popular than Jesus' incident.

aesmael: (haircut)

Originally published at a denizen's entertainment. You can comment here or there.

Trying to catalogue my music collection has put me to thinking about ways music has changed over the years. The vast majority of popular music these days I am quite sure does not use the system of opus numbering found in Western classical music (and Wikipedia provides the term 'European art music', which for now I like so as not to have 'classical music' being ambiguous with the classical period, and intend to remember and use).

Popular music these days does not use opus numbers (and why would it, being of a different music tradition?), but I have received the impression a rigorous such numbering was always unusual, and anyway I have also found it increasingly difficult to locate such catalogued numberings for composers from the end of the romantic period on. I do however often derive pleasure from playing about with cataloguing and classifying systems, applying them in unintended ways, and wonder at what results we might get attempting to give popular music opus numbers. To play at ordering by similar schemes and see if anything of diverting interest shows.

Opus numbers, those seem a bit diverse in what they cover, since the signification seems to be 'chronological ordering of works released by %artist'. Covering single works, long or short, thematic collections or groups of pieces that happen to be released together. Seems fair for encompassing the variety of albums released these days as well. So what would we get then? Something like:

Enya's Op. 17, No. 5 "Only If..."


The CROSS of Changes, Op. 2: III. Return to Innocence by Enigma

The number is high for Enya because I attempted to count singles as separate releases, on the basis that those often feature additional versions of tracks and otherwise unavailable tracks as B-sides. For Enigma I did not bother, but probably should have reversed that since Enigma appears much more likely to release various remixes and cuts. Which means I took the easy approach there.

I think this is nifty. It would amuse me greatly if I could do this with all the popular music in my collection and have an easy way of switching between music identity schemes.

aesmael: (haircut)
I think I have gone a bit off Musicbrainz for cataloguing my own music. The process is slow (about two weeks for an edit to be approved) and I often forget to go back and inspect, or become frustrated with limitations of the system (how does one handle a synth orchestra without online presence that released an album containing medleys of excerpts from pieces by different classical composers in a single track?).

So I am turning to tag editing locally, and probably when I am satisfied in some cases will offer the information back to Musicbrainz later. Meanwhile I will not have to worry about whether information I edit will meet the approval of others and will be able to update it at my leisure.
aesmael: (haircut)
Lately for book-acquisition I have been using the nifty site Booko which attempts to solve Australia's book price problem by comparing online retailers from around the world (including shipping and currency conversion) to determine the cheapest source for any given book. It has not been perfect so far, as I have not found anywhere willing to sell me Volume Five of Excel Saga which is quite disappointing.

But, quite nifty-seeming over all, so I am wondering if anyone knows of a similar site or tool for purchasing music. Failing that, if people know a variety of music stores which could be checked out in search of music, that would also be helpful. The names of music-selling places I know currently are: HMV, Sanity, iTunes (foreign currency), and Amazon (also foreign currency).

At this moment I have not searched on my own for such, and am about to - with intent to report back on findings later. I quite like learning and sharing as a social activity though, so want to also approach the wisdom of others.

Edit: Seems Amazon does not do music downloads to Australia; I assume hardcopies can still be ordered from the .com, or .ca stores though. So far it looks like most of the online music vendors I've heard of, except Apple, do not sell in Australia. Sometimes I continue to be surprised how behind Europe and North America Australia is in this whole online thing - it is one thing I do look forward to about being in the US, not being geographically locked out of most of the cool stuff I hear about.

Others I've heard of mostly because they are integrated with music players I use include 7digital, Jamendo and Magnatune, which seem worth a look for availability but apart from 7digital seem unlikely to have other than indie artists (which I'd be interested in, but there are also more famous signed artists I'd want to purchase albums of also, making that maybe not a complete solution). But I shall investigate directly.

Mostly am using Wikipedia's comparison page as a reference, as apart from the Invisible Hand extension I have yet to find a tool which may be helpful in the way Booko is.
aesmael: (transformation)
I have said this before, although not here yet:
I think when we experience a desire to share music [or something else which may be the subject of a similar desire] with others this is often a proxy for a less commonly known or appreciated desire. I think what we often truly wish to share is the experience of the moment, the emotions that are being inspired in us. "I want to share this ecstasy, this joy, this wonder, this passion, this moment of empathy or grief or oneness [...] and the only way I know to even approach doing so is by sharing with you what is the immediate inspiration of my feelings."

Autism is often partly characterised as an extreme self-absorption, and my impression is this is considered some explanation for 'why autistic people are annoying to be around'. Of course I could not speak for everyone but that does not seem true to me. At least in that being so self-absorbed as to be uncaring of others or their feelings would suggest a low likelihood of sharing topical enthusiasm. The irritation to others would come from being unable to distinguish interest from disinterest in those being enthused to (something I have tried to learn). Also at least for me there are times when interest and enthusiasm overflow and I feel compelled to express it somehow - If I try not to I find myself moving to do it some minutes later anyway, without volition in my mental record. Since, thanks to the first thing I tend to feel guilty and end up apologising lots if I try sharing with people in person, even if I try to make sure they actually are interested and even if they actually are interested, this often results in prolific blogging and tweeting. Which I've missed over the past year or two but that's one of the costs of being liked, apparently maybe.

Which is possibly a bit off-track. This is more like two posts squashed together into one, the first expressing an opinion about what drives sharing of emotional inducers and the second saying roughly "The world is fantastic and wonderful and I love it and often write lots because I want to participate in this wonder and joy with other people and share / gain understanding back and forth". That's been said before, will be again. Sometimes get caught up in the urge to.



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