No-Name Brand Bunch of Words

I feel the earth move, I feel the tumbling down tumbling down ...

Ever feel like there's little point in waking up and dragging yourself through another day?

Assuming you're an artist of some stripe, ever consider working and then wonder why you should given the general lack of response or concern that your work seems to engender?

As you look down to see how much verbiage I've decided to spew in this "article' ... or rant, or whatever you want to call it, just think-it could have been longer. How, you ask? I long ago decided to follow advice on not putting anything political or religious or otherwise socially topical up on the site (restricting mself to mere pointlessness or angry ranting about things that don't realy count for anything and just serve to make me look at best somewhat unhinged), and this has restricted both the scope and breadth of the torrent of syllables, the volume of vowels, that follow.

On, on we go, as I reveal where some of my musings have taken me.

I see today I've managed to get up to 5% on the Greenbelt Prize voting (further details on voting for the Greenbelt Prize winner here). Out of dead last at least, but nowhere near the top of things. Thanks to all who have voted or taken the time to listen to my (and my fellow competitors') work. If you haven't ... just vote for me without thinking.

And that furthers my reflections. I've obviously gotten some vote support for the piece, and even better sonme feedback. I'll paraphrase it anonymously:

1) a good friend likes the piece ... I need to drive for more specifics here on how it worked for this person.

2) an email response from a friend of a friend indicated an enjoyment of the journey from natural to urban sounds, and found the ending to be optomistic.

3) someone found it too "new-age" for their taste.

4) someone found it the most sensible of the entries posted for the prize.

5) a good comment on the quality of the recording from another friend.

~sigh~ I look these over, and consider writing, then wonder why I should bother. Sure, it's interesting and challenging work that I seem to have some aptitude for, but for such tepid response is it worth the effort?

Well, some of the response above indicates that I'm to an extent "hitting my targets" so to speak. But then I look around to see what interest level there is in my particular side of musical art (you know, over-serious supposedly profound western classical music) and what do I see?

Here's what I got during one of my pointless expiditions that resulted in me consuming irreplaceable resources and further fouling the world. I chanced to turn on CBC radio on Saturday, expecting some record reviews or something. Here's what I got instead, probably thanks to CBC Radio's recent drive to reflect the full diversity of Canadian culture more fully.

I got that ... I heard some CBC talking head discuss some Canadian rock band whose name isn't even listed anywhere I can see on the CBC site and I've already forgotten mainly due to the voices in my head taking over and blocking all else out, and tell me they were so brilliant using a full church organ in religious themed music.

Holy crap, I must be a genius. I once worked on a score for a film that no-one has heard of and didn't pay that was religious themed and I used the sound of an organ in it. Mainly because it was a lazy, cheap and widely comprehensible way of creating a religious feeling, at least to people in western cultures. At least I didn't also add a drummer to tell everyone where the beat was. I can't stand that ... ride pattern and hits on beat two and four ... it's all in 4 ... holy crap a dead parmecium could get the beat from most rock music, and anyone who can find a beat and the time should be insulted that it's felt it needed to be so obviously and stereotypically stated. I'm pretty sure by now the back beat has become such a lazy mannerism that it's lost its original purpose, to accent weak beats to create propulsion and excitement ... backbeats are so boring yet mindnumbingly irritating all at the same time ... right along with overproduced kick drum sounds. Ugh. I'll save further thoughts on "rock" music and other popular styles for later. And not later in this screed, but I mean other screed later if at all.


Like I want to tune in to the CBC (publicly funded, and paid for out of taxes in part levied on my earnings at my day job) and hear what is essentially a quasi-erudite ad for a Canadian pop band. Those guys already have far more commercial promotion than, for example, me ... some band that might have commercial appeal can pay ME if they want my help with their promotion ... Ugh ... choking on my own rage here. I'll have to stop now anyway ... the CBC is a political issue, and an issue of potential social import if you look at some of the issues in wider context, so I banish any further discussion from this site.

I continue my pointless expidition and switch to CFMX radio, which I have of course mentioned here before. Predictably, I tune in when they are in a series of ads, which are by far the loudest thing in the broadcast. Then the music starts ... and it's the usual banal bunch of stuff written by people at least 100 years dead. If you're lucky, you may get Ravel ... it will always be either the Pavane for the Dead Princess or one of his Spanish pieces though. In other words, old chestnuts over and over, the musical choice of the old people who listen, or undisturbing music that serves as good aural wallpaper for others. Music as banal decoration ... what's the point in that? You could likely write computer algorithms to churn that out, although then you'd lose that necessity for just playing the same things that people have heard a million times already and just want to hear again because it's safe and familiar. What's the point in that?

And TV ... TV, companion and bane of my existence. Channel surfing today brought me to the A&E channel Sunday Morning "Breakfast with the Arts" program, which I rarely catch not being a morning person and all. I remember, years back, there were good features on my type of music. What did I get in my 10 minutes of viewing today? All pop music ... simple lyrics with simple rhyme schemes meant toi be profound, banal melkodies and harmonies, and ... of course ... drummers telling me where the bgeat is. I suppose they're trying to crush thought with an easy, predictable repetitive rhythm ... you know, like work songs and march music do. All well and good in context I suppose ... assuming you like a context where people don't think. I get some music "news" on Muchmusic or MTV or something ... Britney Spears has reduced the asking price on her mansion by $2 million. That's NOT MUSIC NEWS. The stations with the most music on were ones running shows put on by evangelists in the US; full orchestras and a good trumpet soloist polaying bland arrangements of hymns seems such a waste of time, effort and resources (I'll stop there to avoid getting into religion).

I think I might be sadly surprised to find that historically people have always wanted safe and unchallenging from entertainment. Perhaps that's why people who passionately take up pastimes that involve some effort are often considered weird (with the exception, of course, of pasttimes like car fixering-uppering or knitting or other things that seem to be accepted parts of commercial culture, which are considered fine or "gender typical" behaviour). Entertainment is essentially exercise for the viscera or the sense of love for the banal, and likely always has been. There are fourtunately a few exceptions, and there's at least enough call for entertainments that challenge to ensure there's always a bit of that around, but it must be unsatisfying to produce on the whole. I find it that way, he typed hoping his work actually does challenge a bit.

As I consider once again taking up a writing project, I feel lassitude sink in, and again I wonder why bother? So I don't get started, and wonder further if I will ever find the need to write again, or if I should bother. But, fourtunately I'm too stup ... obstinat ... convinced I've got something to say I'm sure I'll manage to squeeze somehting out again.

I suppose things could be much worse. There's no global conflict and no sign of potential major problem with the world in general, is there?


Well, North America's not in any dan ... ohhhh. Yeah. Me forgot.

My problems pale a bit relative to those of others. So, I'll cease whining about the things I've mentioned above and other stuff that I haven't that I still think is making my life somewhat less than what I hoped it would be. But since they have gone all pallid in comparison to some other things I can think of, and since I've self-banned political or religious or socially important commentary from this site, I'm out of things to say.

BTW ... there's a prize for anyone who can tell me where the italicized quotes at the top of whatever-you-want-to-call-this-writing are from. HINT ... it's an opera. Don't get excited though ... the prize will suck.

You can write in about this is you want ... contact MRD.

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