Sunday, March 26, 2006

Oral and Literate Traditions

I met with my honors section today after we listened to our college orchestra play compositions by African American composers. Do you think that soon we will have rock stars trying to write for the orchestra to seek legitimacy in the high art culture? Didn't McCartney try that and didn't he get knighted? It seems to me that the classical music shell is a bad fit for the more oral traditions of jazz and rock. I just remember a quote from John Lennon (I think) that when performing for a royal audience he said (approximately) If you like what you hear just rattle your jewelry.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Spring Break

Here I am on Spring Break and I have onliine students who bug me because I am not online at least twice a day to "teach". I guess Spring Break is really Time to Catch Up (TCU). Rather than going to FL there is a small percentage of students consummed by TCU. I admit, it is difficult for me not Check-in and Grade (CG).

So here I am CGing for the TCUers. What a vacation.


Sunday, March 05, 2006

Are Elevators Next?

Well, it happened tonight. A rap song, "It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp" from "Hustle & Flow" won the prize for best song at the Academy Awards. I remember the first time I heard a Beatle song in an elevator -- impossible! No, not impossible simple the place popular songs go to die. Hip Hop and Rap have been popular for quite a while but not enough to break into the staid format of the Academy Awards. And now not only a rap song but one that needed to be toned down to even be performed at the Oscars. I wonder how long it will be before we hear rap in the elevator? And what will take its place in the controversial slot of popular music?

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Research Conference

Dave and I took two students to the Research Conference today (hosted by the Honors Transfer Council). The conference was hosted by UCI and they were very generous with scholarships and food for the event. Our students Ghita and Jocqueline both presented on topics of the Tsumani and Petroleum reserves respectfully. What a great job they did. This is a great event where young scholars can practice presenting to the educated community. It was great for all who participated.


Friday, March 03, 2006

Academy Awards

As an artist I find it difficult to follow all the awards shows. Popularity is a strange engine in our culture. Where is the incentive to create a powerful expression? Is the goal to go and walk the red carpet and be voted the best . . . . . .? This year the "best films" are somewhat political but still in the running to say one is truly superior to the others.

Ask any songwriter or movie maker. The best song or movie ever is the last one they just finished writing.

Sorry no tuxedo or gown, no thank you speech, just the creative juices of the moment.