Sunday, September 16, 2007

Stokastika Music Essay for Dr. Constance Penley's Environmental Media Class

Music is a whole-brain process!

Page 1 above.

Page 2 above.

Page 3 above.

Page 4 above.

Page 5 above.

The whole music essay. Below.

So, for the course in Environmental Media with Dr. Constance Penley, we were supposed to write about any topic related to environmental media. I first told Constance how I wanted to write a "Campaign Proposal" for my Question Reality book, but over the summer I was philosophically unresolved with music, so in the end I worked with environmental media and music. I have more than enough pain, blood, and guts to discuss, all based on my personal experiences the past year... hopping from one music studio to another, losing money, getting sexually harrassed, learning how to use music software and electronic instruments and the djembe, learning how to perform in public, the first audience being in front of 15 producers and agents from Hollywood and New York, though despite my state of lack of sleep, they still liked what I did... Hmmm.... Whatever.

So, creating music has had an overly personal role in my life. Hence, I infinitely blah-blah-blah about it. The themes I focused on are (1) the neurological basis of music being a whole-brain process, (2) environmental messaging in pop music: a lack of it, and (3) my personal projects in music and environmental messaging. Being philosophically attacking, but not politically. How to compromise music style with the messaging. (There are several bands that have very tacky music with great environmental messages, but lots of Hollywood is great style with no content.) My class presentation was quite depressing. We went overtime on a Wednesday evening, and no one wanted to be there. 4/5 of the class was gone. I wasn't proud of what I had to show. I could only play the over-five minute song "One More Day," and that was it. Hardly got any feedback. Constance said that there was a LOT of compromising with the messaging and and the music style. It was techno classical gothic. A bit of Evanescence with it, perhaps. But Evanescence is way better. No point in comparing, unless if I am extremely self-deprecating, which I am.... When I heard "One More Day" over loud speakers in a large classroom, all the "rough edges" of my song came out full-blast to a point that it was close to unbearable for me. Two off pitches, certain areas a bit too loud and too thick with the chords.... Ugh. There was actually one girl in class who was a CCS music major, but she didn't even provide any feedback. She had to leave early. Too bad.... In class, I was too brain-dead to be emotional or nervous. I just bumbled in front of class, of a very dead audience of maybe five students, and then went home. An empty apartment. Didn't feel good. I bxtched to Bub about it, and he said not to worry about such things because sometimes he has really riled-up audiences and other times he has completely apathetic audiences. And you just have to deal with the whole spectrum of circumstances. I could have presented earlier, but the issue is: I didn't. I set myself up for doom. But right now it doesn't matter because people really liked the music score I spontaneously created for the movie: "World's Easiest Catch: Zen of Rock Crab." So, I don't have to hold any depressing baggage about this....

I just had a flashback about my loneliness in my apartment. I started off the Blue Horizons with a panic attack in my apartment. Not good. Best not to live by yourself. Otherwise you will kill yourself out of anxiety and stress. I am glad I will be living with Julia and Karl, and one other from Carnegie-Melon. They will prevent me from swallowing whole.

I felt depressed after writing this self-reflective analytical essay. Primarily because I didn't even have a total of three songs up on myspace to be proud of. Now, that's not the case, everything is fine. My two other songs that were up ("No Jesus, No Sacrifice" and "Whole, Unique") were absolutely pathetic, but were my early work, so I can't exactly slit my throat about it. The thing is, you never show society your bad stuff. Even if it reveals a personal evolution of rapid progress, that you yourself SHOULD feel very proud of. Unfortunately, this society is barbaric, and doesn't look at anything with rough edges. Well, at least in the music industry. They demand perfection. And in part, I don't blame them. Plus, I had difficulty finding interested parties in my music through craigslist (asking for help with playing guitar) because my two other songs sucked. But now, there is no problem. After Blue Horizons, and after meeting Matt (and Mike :-), combined with watching the movie Waking Life, I was all emotionally worked up and managed to create two new songs I am not ashamed of at all. One song is called "Humanity Anomalous" and the other song is called "Rabbithole." Well, at least I have three self-made "home-made" raw songs (produced with cheap equipment all together). I created "Humanity Anomalous" (and "Rabbithole" coming to think of it) with the aid of a full-sounding a grand piano in the basement of the new arts building at UC Riverside during a week of everyday being 110-degree weather. Tres miserable! The difference in sound between a grand piano and an electric piano is night from day. Black from white. More like Earth from Mars. One place is acoustically habitable. And the other place is acoustically unbearable, to a point of near-death.

I am also ashamed because I overwhelmed Constance Penley with a close-to 50-page document of 15-or so poems-songs I wrote dealing with human-environmental issues, in addition to providing the music demo in class. I did not place the poetry compilation on-line, though I did talk about some issues of it within the above essay. I will create a more thorough poetic compilation soon enough. I bet I annoyed Constance with my 15-page essay, and just the thought of my slamming her with several pieces of work that have been in the underground of my mind, never seen the light of day for the past year.... God. Vic, how inconsiderate. I'm sorry. I seem to overwhelm and piss off everyone, wherever I go.

I can talk nearly forever about music (as you can tell). But I will spare you and guide you towards my close to 15- page essay (the link is above), and I posted up the first five pages in jpegs, just to lure you in.... Not sure how successful I was in doing that. I think the structure of my essay will reflect how the "Surviving the Systems" book shall look. I will write a string of philosophy essays on issues in my personal life, but the way how I approach and analyze such issues are in a very systematically playful, philosophical, scientific, deep-down-the-rabbit-hole type of way: "Can an experience so personal lead to conclusions quite universal?"

Okay, Vic. Shut up, and close this out.

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