November 11th, 2005

Chorus (Henry V)

No Funk

I have what many would consider to be a dim view of humanity. I don't, I feel it's just a matter of being realistic. Within each person there is the capacity for great extremes, but because of society most people's baser instincts are held in check. I do not look at those who commit great atrocities and see them as "inhuman." An atrocity by its very nature is a human act. As was illustrated by Stanley Kubrick in the "Dawn of Man" sequence of 2001, it may well be our capacity for violence that defines us as a species. It is not a matter of morality, but simply an acceptance of the fact that poeple are what they are.

And yet, this angry and vicious bunch of primates that we are is also capable of creating things of great beauty. Who hasn't gotten lost in the intricacies of a painting? Or soared on the notes of a piece of music? Or gotten enraptured and moved by a book or movie? Or just taken comfort in the familiar sights and sounds of our 'civilization?' We can be quite cruel to one another, yes, but it is our capacity for creativity that makes us an endlessly fascinating creature. We have refined the concept of communication to a point where it no longer needs to be literal.


Claude Monet


I don't mean to imply that the purpose of Mankind is art, especially as I don't really believe in that type of purpose. But it is a characteristic about humans that, while it does not redeem us for the ravaging of the natural world nor of each other, is perhaps the best illustration of us as a collection of individuals as opposed to a destructive horde.

This originally started as an explanation of why I never stay in my periodic funks (such as the one I had earlier this week) very long. The simple fact is that there is just too much to engage me in this world to allow shit to drag me down for very long. When I'm depressed, I close myself off a little from the world. I stop listening to music, reading and whatnot. Eventually I always end up picking up a book, watching a movie, or most commonly, listening to something. Human creativity is a source of great inspiration to me.

And yet...

It was not any one thing that really pulled me out of my funk. It was a combination of several, one of which was of course that I had just made a mix that needed to be worked on (that was Fear!). There were some othere elements as well, but what really did it for me was Manhattan. I was driving to work yesterday and I came to the point right after the exit for the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway when you clear the hill and laid before you is the majesty of the city. Manhattan represents humanity to me, the good and the bad, but looking at the beauty of that skyline I somehow felt once again plugged into the vast sea of imagination.



...and because I haven't done one in a very long time, here is another silly meme:

This Is My Life, Rated
Life:
6.7
Mind:
6.7
Body:
5.7
Spirit:
7.5
Friends/Family:
5.4
Love:
0
Finance:
7.2
Take the Rate My Life Quiz
Transylvanians (Rocky Horror)

Terror in the Tub

I had originally wanted to redo my Fear! mix that I had made several years ago in time for Hallowe'en this year. Circumstances prevented me from being able to do that, so I decided to leave the project for next year. However, I recently had an idea for a different approach to the material; instead of a single disc I would make three, and each one would be a different type of horror score.

This is the first disc of this series that I have compiled, and this one concentrates on the electronic type of score that has become it's own genre. I tried to combine very recognizable material with some that is more obscure, but I also wanted to make sure to include some music that was scary in its own right.

Normally I proceed with a "side one/side two" format for mixes, but in this case I made it in three general parts. The first is an essay of genuinely spooky music. I then have a suite of rock/pop oriented pieces because they do represent a certain side of the genre, and I felt that it was important to break up the really dark music for listening purposes. The final section of the album is more scary music, but now with momentum as the danger is confronted, leading to a satisfying finale.



THE SHAPE STALKS
FEAR: Cycle One


67:07

1.
JOHN CARPENTER: Halloween - Loomis and Shape's Car (3:26)
John Carpenter, Dan Wyman, keyboards

2.
TREVOR JONES: Angel Heart - Harry? Johnny? (7:47)
Daniel Lawson, Trevor Jones, keyboards; Courtney Pine, saxophone, Mickey Rourke, voice

3.
HANS ZIMMER: Paperhouse - Overture (6:17)
Hans Zimmer, keyboards; Nigel Holland, sound effects

4.
WENDY CARLOS & RACHEL ELKIND: The Shining - Main Theme (2:48)
Mark Ayres, keyboards; Hector Berlioz, 'Dies Irae' arrangement

5.
GRAEME REVELL: Dead Calm - Breaking Free (6:20)
SPK; Nicholas Ferner-Waite, soprano; Jolanta Nagajeck, contralto

6.
CHARLES BERNSTEIN: A Nightmare on Elm Street - The Man in the Hat (3:42)
Charles Bernstein, keyboards

7.
JAN HAMMER: Tales from the Crypt - Three's A Crowd (3:41)
Jan Hammer, keyboards

8.
BRAD FIEDEL: Fright Night - Come To Me (3:51)
Brad Fiedel, Ross Levinson, keyboards

9.
JOHN CARPENTER & ALAN HOWARTH: They Live - End Title (3:15)
Daniel Caine, keyboards

10.
TANGERINE DREAM: Firestarter - Flash Final (4:43)
Christopher Franke, Johannes Schmoelling, Edgar Froese, keyboards

11.
HANS ZIMMER: Paperhouse - Me and My Daughter, We Get On Like A House On Fire (7:54)
Hans Zimmer, keyboards; Nigel Holland, sound effects

12.
PHILIP GLASS: Candyman - Helen's Theme (1:55)
Choir Conducted by Michael Reissman

13.
JOHN CARPENTER: Halloween - The Shape Stalks (1:32)
John Carpenter, Dan Wyman, keyboards

14.
MICHEL RUBINI & DENNY JAEGER: The Hunger - The Final Death (1:59)
Michel Rubini, Denny Jaeger, keyboards

15.
GRAEME REVELL: Dead Calm - Reunited (2:53)
SPK; Graeme Revell, vocalizations

16.
JOHN MURPHY: 28 Days Later - In the House (3:28)
John Murphy, keyboards

17.
THOMAS NEWMAN: The Lost Boys - Frogs on the Case (1:26)
Thomas Newman, keyboards


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Conan the King (Conan the Barbarian)

Post from the road...

Okay, what's up with the Rhode Islanders and the Massholes tailgating? It's, like, acceptable bahavior up here. Ridiculous!!!

I am nearing the abode of suitboyskin, but he won't get off work across town for another fifteen minutes or so.
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