I've been meaning to blog various sundry things, but I think I'll just blitz by them with a nod for the sake of time.
First, here's a fun music cognition test from the Univ. of Newcastle upon Tyne (via Household Opera). It involves listening to pairs of tunes and deciding whether they are the same or different.
I don't read the NY Times regularly, so I'm always grateful when particular articles get pointed out...esp this one about L'homme armé masses (?!?!?!?!)...how's that for a bit of pop musicology?
YOU are a Renaissance composer. You have been asked to compose a setting of the Latin Mass, a text that begins "Kyrie eleison" ("Lord, have mercy") and ends "Dona nobis pacem" ("Grant us peace"). You scratch your lice-bitten scalp, tap your quill against the lectern. How to start?
A ditty has been running through your head: DUM-da DUM-da DA DA DA. Catchy. Rich in musical matter: ascending fourths, descending fifths. Tailor made for counterpoint. And maybe, just maybe, if you use it as the basis for your Mass, the Lord will have mercy and drive it out of your head, now and forever, amen.
Halfway through the Sanctus, you're going great guns. You've even used the tune in a canon (to the words "peace on earth"), which should earn you some admiring glances when you walk into the local musician's hangout, the Armed Man.
The Armed Man? That, of course, is the name of the tune: "L'Homme armé." And now, only now, you remember the words:
L'homme, l'homme, l'homme armé,
L'homme armé, l'homme armé doibt on doubter, doibt on doubter.
On a fait partout crier
Que chascun se viegne armer
D'un haubregon de fer.
The armed man,
The armed man must be feared.
Everywhere it is proclaimed
That everyone must arm himself
With a coat of mail.
Hardly the right sort of tune to be using for a Mass, is it? Well, maybe no one will notice.
You dip your nib, scratch harder, just above your left ear — got him!
COULD this really be how it happened?
Aaaah. What we've all been asking...
Later Eisenberg asks:
Who, exactly, is the Armed Man?
That, indeed, is the million dollar question.
It's not a bad article.
Ellis made what could be considered his first sign last weekend: more. He's not really using it to communicate "more." I think it's just an easy sign to make. He knows he's doing something important, and it makes him super excited, which is super exciting for us to watch. He really is getting into his signing time dvd's, too, waving his hands around trying to do what they're doing and looking at us for reinforcement/encouragement. He's so ADORABLE!!!
I wanted to say something about Mardi Gras yesterday, but I didn't. I didn't really know what to say. It was a hard day for me, because it was a focal point of all my emotions about New Orleans. I miss our life there; sure it was time for it to end, but still...I left a part of me there. Plus, grief over the hurricane, and emotion about Mardi Gras actually happening.
And then frustration about how the news handled it. Somebody suggeseted I watch Mardi Gras coverage on TV, thinking it might make me feel better. Even though, I thought that that was a pretty lame idea, I was suckered into watching CNN for a tiny bit. Bad idea. First, they kept making all these racially divided polls--e.g. "should we have Mardi Gras?" "how should we celebrate Mardi Gras?". It just seemed so...cheap. Plus, I don't see how making those kinds of polls is going to help the hurt and frustration surrounding race in that city. If anything it only reinforces it! Argh. Then, CNN's coverage of Mardi Gras was pretty much limited to the tourists on Bourbon Street. Bless them for their monetary contribution to the city, but that is not what Mardi Gras is all about. There's something about how the city rallies together for the celebration--it's better than Christmas. It is a time of happiness and joy. I don't think I can explain it, and CNN totally missed the boat.
Yesterday's being Mardi Gras made me remember what I loved about the city and made me mourn how we lived when we lived there, which is part of the process of moving.