reileen: (music - piano & smoke)
Setlist:

1. Bacchanalia
2. Triskaidekaphobia
3. Wasted
4. Cold
5. Almost
6. Sphinx
7. Cynthia's Lullaby No Longer Yours Truly
8. Eidolon
9. Gospel of the Shadow of Nobody

No, you're not imagining that strikethrough - I'd intended to play "Cynthia's Lullaby" but messed it up beyond compare within the first few measures because I'd suddenly forgotten how to play it, so I took a chance with "No Longer Yours Truly" (which I think I might just change to "Written Letter #2"...) and I think I did pretty well. I fudged the opening of "Almost" and some of the transitions of "Wasted" that I hadn't yet fully figured out, but all in all I think I did pretty well in performing, both vocally and instrumentally.

The thing that failed, though, was that I got barely any audience feedback at all. If it weren't for the fact that I invited some of my friends along (thank you, [livejournal.com profile] bluemaiden88, Melissa, and Pierre) I wouldn't have gotten any applause or acknowledgment that I was performing. This isn't the first time I've experienced audience apathy, but usually that's towards the end of the night, not the beginning. True, I did get two guys telling me afterwards that they thought I was good, and I had a high school girl with her friends take a picture of me as I was performing (?!), but...no applause. I used to think that I'd feel more comfortable if people weren't paying too much attention to me, but mostly I just feel invisible and like I'm not supposed to be performing.

Which, well, I wasn't supposed to be performing today, actually, according to the people at Borders - someone probably forgot to enter me into the records or something, because my name wasn't on the performance list despite me emailing back and forth with the performance manager at Borders and him saying he'd write me up for 10/16. But they let me stay anyway. Because of that and the other thing I just mentioned about about no audience feedback, though, I didn't feel bad for leaving after just that one set, even though that set was probably only half an hour long.

I've probably outgrown Borders, I think. Time to move on to greener pastures and start getting into venues where people actually go to listen to music. (That way, if there's no applause, I'll know for damn certain my music is crap.) The next destination on my list is Ashbary's Coffeehouse, which...is going to be a pain to be going to for a number of reasons, but I guess I just have to put up with it if I want to get anywhere decent with performing my music.

On the bright side, I did get enough tip money tonight to pay for a movie ticket - I might go see Zombieland tomorrow with two friends of mine from college.
reileen: (writing - pen and notebook)
I both know and don't know what I'm going to do for NaNoWriMo this year.

I know I'm not going to do the usual 50k novel draft like I've doing the past few years. Instead, I'm thinking of revisiting my old drafts, poring through them and seeing what I can revise or rewrite or expand on. This includes Glass Houses, Daemonsong, and Natural Fury and its AU short story The Struggle Within. Although the last two are technically fanfic, all I'd have to do is file off the serial numbers and do some other revising and I'd be good to go. Looking back on 'em, though, I find it interesting that the current plot of Natural Fury, divorced from its fandom origins, isn't normally the kind of story I'd want to pick up and read (that is, a coming-of-age story). I'm really thinking about abandoning Natural Fury and letting The Struggle Within (which needs a re-titling) be my chronicle of that particular 'verse. The Struggle Within, unfortunately, has a rather depressing ending for the main character, whereas in Natural Fury it was more of a bittersweet ending, but at this point I'm not confident enough about the idea or story of Natural Fury to give it the necessary attention. Maybe in a couple of years, but not now. I actually want to work with Kira and Luke - I keep thinking it might be nice to do a short story with those two, or a vignette, or something to explore their characters and world some more.

I don't know, however, how I'm going to quantify my progress for this sort of thing. Do I say, okay, every week I have to have spent at least such-and-such hours on original work (and original work only)? Can I pin down a wordcount? I'm leaning heavily towards a time-based goal, since I'm not entirely sure how I'm going to quantify something that may not be actual prose but, instead, notes or somesuch. But without a wordcount goal of some sort, I may end up just waffling around and spending all of my time on worldbuilding research.

***

Came up with a potential riff in G-minor. Very simple, no lyrics yet. I really enjoy the flatted minor keys, and G-minor is a particular favorite. I've already got two songs in G-minor, technically, but "Queen of Denial" is less of a performance piece and more of a milestone piece, and I haven't figured out a good enough arrangement for "Mirror" yet. Maybe I'll revisit them years in the future, when I'll (ostensibly) have made improvements in my composition skills, but for now I'll let them lie.
reileen: (music - piano & smoke)
Summer never lasts long enough for me. Summer never lasts short enough either.

I've been in a very...limbo-y place in my mind lately. (And there aren't even any fucking tiki torches!) I like being alone with my thoughts, but the problem is that my heavy thinking eventually ends up paralyzing me. I need to find more balance in my life, as I learned from Dionysos a while back. I thought I could do it this summer, juggling art stuff (both leisurely and career-related) with some music and writing in-between, and maybe some gaming, reading, or language self-study, and even maintaining (le gasp) a normal-ish sleeping schedule instead of the schedule of a vamp. But all of a sudden it's August and I've been lazing about in my room, despite things that I've gotten done, I feel - as I always seem to do on vacations - like I wasted my break.

I haven't been able to motivate myself that well lately. I think to myself: "what's the point, I'm not good for anything useful anyway". I think to myself: "what the hell is wrong with me, that I can be so fearful when I have a support system to die for". I think to myself: "my dreams are too big for a meek little girl like me". All these questions and thoughts, just little pinpricks...but before I know it, they've pinpricked their way into heavy shackles tattooed on my heart, my mind, my soul.

Balance. I need to find balance. Maybe it rolled under my bed and started a family with the dust bunnies there.

***

Eidolon [.wav, on Sendspace]

Eidolon
by Reileen van Kaile

these are my puppet strings that bind you here
what is it in my eyes you fear?
I'm the faded photo you burned long ago
reborn from the ashes a million scissor lashes
resurrected by the heat of my hate

here we stand at the threshold to black
take my hand, go now to these lands
savor the salvation that came much too late

how far will my chains let me run?
how long can I believe in your grief?
how could you be so naive?
well, try to save this, just try to hide
from these feelings that you thought long died
you'll never escape these tangled threads that Fate has spun

these are the ghosts that have stayed the course
what need have they of remorse?
I see that still I clasp your tongue
mine to twist, so cease to resist
you'll never find your lady in the sky

I'm your demon angel, your seraphic plague
no disguise, you're wise to finally realize
I'll never return the self that you gave

how far will my chains let me run?
how long can I believe in your grief?
how could you be so naive?
well, try to save this, just try to hide
from these feelings that you thought long died
you'll never escape these tangled threads that Fate has spun

(can you hear me out there
the voice of your little toy?
can you feel my memory
bleeding you into the void?)

well, I've torn away your hellish night
ripped through all your silly lies
yet you deny what any fool can see
you no longer have any power over me

how far will your chains let you run?
how long will you wander your grief
searching for what's left of me?
well, I burned it all, but trust that I cried
for these feelings that have long since died
and now I stand, alone and proud...the battle won

The first draft of these lyrics were written about two years ago(?) after a surprise run-in with an unsavory someone from my past that I thought I'd left behind. I had to put this song through the wringer to get reasonably singable lines that still made some sort of weird sense. I especially had real trouble with the bridge, and I'm still not wholly satisfied with it, but it works. I also had the key in mind and the melody for the first three lines in my head for a while, but it wasn't until recently that I pulled together an arrangement that sounded...somewhat close to what I was imagining. As always, the vocals need work, especially for the chorus, but the piano arrangement is probably my best so far. I'm slowly getting closer to making the music I want to make.

However, since these are the kinds of songs I seem to enjoy writing, I have got to start finding more appropriate venues than the cafe at Borders, because these aren't..."safe" songs, in some ways. I'm definitely not claiming that my songs are edgy or offensive or anything like that, but they're darker than mainstream. At the same time, I don't feel that they're dark enough to be called "gothic" or what-have-you, so if I had to find, like, a gothic club to play these at, I fear I would be laughed out of the place. So I feel kind of...stuck. I have "safe" songs that I can play, but it's things like "Eidolon" and "Gospel of the Shadow of Nobody" that I want to perform. But I'm not sure, exactly, where they fit in terms of genre, in terms of a potential audience. I have no idea who the hell would want to listen to the crap I make besides my close friends that I inflict this stuff upon.

Tangentially related: I finally managed to get a reasonably decent recording of myself performing Tatakau Monotachi. I wouldn't ever feel confident enough about my ability to perform this at a (theoretical) concert, but it's good for catharsis. That's part of why I love playing music: it's intimately physical in a way that my art and writing aren't. Since I sit around on my ass most of the time with art and writing, at least with music I can exercise my arms and vocal cords for a while.

-Reileen
you've got my heart beating like an 808
reileen: (glee - Bomberman)
HOLY CRAP I GOT STRAIGHT A'S FOR WINTER QUARTER!

Borders last night was probably my best night so far. I scored about $30 or so in tips, although a bunch of that came from my friends, my brother, and my dad. Still, even subtracting the money they put in, I earned $14 playing two short sets, which I think is my best haul so far. I even had some guy come up to me who said he would've put in more than $2 if he had more to give and when would I be performing again? My friends joked that I got more cash because I was showing more skin - I was wearing a boatneck-style top where one side routinely kept sliding down my shoulder, which subsequently amused me and then creeped me out. (It's not like my shoulders are particularly sexy...)

Also, I am never playing covers again. Well, okay, that's an exaggeration, I'm sure I'll play covers again once I get more talent, but seriously, why is it that I can never manage playing VT's "Gravity" in public? I totally forgot the song halfway through when I played it back in December, and I botched the final iteration of the chorus extremely badly. I managed to get through to the end because I remembered, vaguely, the base chords of the section, but it's really galling because I know this song I've played it a million times from memory during practice and nailed it most of the time. Le sigh. Just another reminder that I need to get more original pieces done.

Speaking of original pieces, against my better judgment, I also debuted "Wasted" during my second set, which is still only maybe 70% finished but technically performable. I got through it well enough, but it's not one of my more interesting songs. It is one of my more personal songs, and I am proud of the lyrics, but musically, especially for the vocal lines, I feel like something is lacking. Is it intrinsic in the composition, or do I - once again - simply lack the vocal ability to pull it off? I don't know. I have to work on this song more and see what I can do. I also played "This Song Sucks", which I've been trying to avoid for a while because that song seriously sucks, but I was getting lethargic audience reaction during my second set, so pulling the comedy card out was partly to (attempt to) amuse them and partly to amuse myself.

But enough of my music for now - I must work on my art. Somehow. Somewhere.

***

The First Law trilogy by Joe Abercrombie is one of the best high fantasy trilogies I've read. Admittedly, that's not saying much since I don't think I've read that many fantasy trilogies. I think the last one I read was Jacqueline Carey's Kushiel's Legacy trilogy a couple of years ago, which I liked. Both The First Law and Kushiel's Legacy are set in something like an alternate Earth world, with extra magick and supernatural shenanigans, but that's where the similarities end. The First Law, really, is more akin to George R.R. Martin's massively epic A Song of Ice and Fire series, in its dark, gritty tone; in its narrative structure of multiple interlocking viewpoints; and in its world-scale story. I've only read the first two books of ASoIaF (and I'm not entirely sure if I want to read the rest), but if I had to compare that series with Abercrombie's series, I think Abercrombie's series is, in some ways, easier to get through. There's still a massive cast of viewpoint characters, but it's limited and none of them die while the shit is still hitting the fan. (After it is a different story, but alas.) Also, this series is actually finished within three books, so at least you're not left hanging like you are with ASoIaF at the moment. If you enjoy GRRM's work for ASoIaF, you'll want to take a look at The First Law trilogy (the first book is The Blade Itself, followed by Before They are Hanged and The Last Argument of Kings). And if you're just looking for something different in fantasy and you're willing to wade through some pessimistic, gloomy material, then this might be for you as well.

One of the things I admire about this trilogy is how tightly plotted it is. Not so much in terms of the individual books - I frequently felt as though this story was broken up into books only because to put them together into one huge honkin' volume would just not be practical. It would make an awesome weapon though. But in terms of how plot points were laid out and then woven into the tapestry of the plot and tied up, The First Law feels very compact (...maybe that's not the word I'm looking for, since there is a lot of stuff going on in these books). The ending is open...and yet it also feels claustrophobically closed, as a result of the development of the characters in the book (another thing I admired about this series) and how Abercrombie has turned common fantasy tropes on their head and then drowned them in a barrel of sewer water.

I should warn that, although The First Law technically ends with the "good guys" winning, it's not a happy ending. I know that seems like a huge spoiler, but trust me: what will interest you the most is the journey, not the destination. If you trace the character development and story trajectories throughout the series independent of broader context and details, it would seem like a happy ending: one characters accomplishes zir overall goal, another one gets to return home, another one gets a promotion, and so forth. And yet, within the story, all of it only seems sad, futile, and meaningless. One of the themes repeated throughout The First Law (mostly, I think, from Bayaz, a wizard known in the world as The First of the Magi, who's a helluva piece of work in this series) is that history invariably repeats itself as a result of the folly and short-sightedness of mortals. The overall story arc of The First Law is cyclical: although many of the viewpoint characters have changed considerably through the series, they nevertheless end up returning, physically or otherwise, to where they came from. Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.

The other theme that runs naked and screaming throughout The First Law trilogy is that life ain't fair, and boy howdy, is that ever bludgeoned home in the story. Although every viewpoint character has their moments of Fuck My Life, it's probably most prominent in the character stories of Superior Sand dan Glokta (a former distinguished upper-class gentleman and military man, now turned crippled torturer in the employ of a monarchy) and Ferro Maljinn (a woman who was sold into slavery as a young child, then later escaped). Both of them eventually get vindicated, but the schadenfreude is tempered with the knowledge of the events that brought about those chances for vindication. The victory is a hollow victory, like a large loaf of bread you buy at the marketplace that's actually mostly filled with cobwebs. This further contributes to the "claustrophobic" feeling with regards to the ending that I mentioned earlier, and the reader ends up pitying the characters. You know that they "won", and yet you can't really feel "happy" for them, knowing what you know. In fact, I don't think even the characters feel "happy" about their victory, just relieved that they're still alive. As Logen Ninefingers (the most feared man of the North) would say, you have to be realistic about these things.

I have some minor quibbles with this series, mainly concerning Abercrombie's writing style, which is noticeably clunky in parts of The Blade Itself but gets better in the next two books (but which I still found, oddly enough, kind of hard to get through - it's not even flowery or anything like that). The characters are also immensely flawed in many ways, which is certainly a refreshing change from bland stereotypes or blatant Mary Sues/Gary Stus, but the degree to the flaws manifest in the narratives may be off-putting to some people. Certainly there have been many times where I wanted to strangle Glokta and Maljinn, who are intensely single-minded in many ways, defined almost solely by their past tragedies. It's understandable but irritating at times. Logen Ninefingers and his friend the Dogman are probably the most likable characters in the book, in terms of being a comforting personality lens to read through. There's also some spoilery plot threads that I wish were tied up. )

But The First Law is, overall, well executed. I'm interested in picking up his next book, Best Served Cold, which is set in the same universe as The First Law but with a different kind of story, a different cast of characters (though I've heard that many of the other characters from the previous books will return in some measure), and a different setting (another country in the TFL universe).

Randomly - I'm also fond of the name "Tolomei" from the book. Wish I could use that as an alias for something.

***

Lauren brought over her DVD for Pan's Labyrinth, which I'd been meaning to watch for some time but never could park my ass down to watch it. I don't watch movies very often, and I rarely watch them when they first come out in theatres. What usually happens is that I'll see an interesting trailer or hear about something, make a mental Post-It of it, and then promptly forget about it. I seriously can't sit down and watch things for some reason - it makes me feel like I'm being idle. Because there's clearly nothing idle about obsessively refreshing my usual pages on the interwebs. /goes off on tangent

Anyway, Pan's Labyrinth is a dark fantasy story set against the background of rural Spain in 1944, under the dictator Francisco Franco. (Who has a real name that you could run a marathon across. This factoid has no relevance at all to the story, but I thought it was amusing.) Young Ofelia and her pregnant mother Carmen are heading to the countryside to move in with the heartless Captain Vidal, the father of Carmen's unborn child. Vidal is, at best, apathetic to Ofelia and Carmen, and at worst he's actively violent (physically and verbally) towards them. As Carmen's health unravels, relegating her to bed rest, and as Vidal continues his campaign to flush out guerilla fighters in the forest, Ofelia is left to her own devices to do what she wants, including investigating the mysterious labyrinth nearby.

I really wish I could write a longer review for this movie, but there's so many layers to peel through and I lost half my life getting distracted by the Fuck My Life website that I linked earlier and I have classes again tomorrow that I'll just say that it's an excellent movie, but heartbreaking. It starts out slightly whimsical but quickly descends into darker depths. Like Abercrombie's series, this is another narrative that takes common fantasy elements (in this case, the young protagonist with a less-than-desirable real life, the non-human mentor, the quest for mystical objects for the realization of some lofty goal) and then takes a potato knife and completely mutilates them. I'm seeing two different readings of the movie's overall message - it's either that great things come at great sacrifice, or that living in a fantasy world for too long will destroy your real world. I'm not entirely sure which message we're supposed to take away. I've heard it argued that the fantasy element of Pan's Labyrinth is superficial and trivial to what is a perfectly good story examining the casualties of the Franco regime, and while I'm not sure I entirely agree with this argument, I don't think it should be completely dismissed, either. The entire premise revolves around the existence of that fantasy world, and it's Ofelia's hope - and the audience's - for something happier. But things occur that call into question whether that fantasy world truly exists. There's some parallels between what happens in the real world and the fantasy world, but instead of cementing a solid connection between the two worlds, it suggests the possibility that Ofelia - who is an active bookworm - simply has an overactive imagination that she's using to escape from her disastrous home situation.

Randomly - we watched this movie in the original Spanish with English subtitles, but as I was reading the English subtitles I was hearing the Japanese equivalent in my head. It manifested as a string of Japanese syllables for some of the longer sentences, and for the basic stuff ("thank you", "welcome", "yes, sir", "where are you?") I "heard" the actual Japanese translation. I'm told this is a phenomenon called retroactive interference. My friends wonder how I didn't go insane. I wonder too.

***

Holy crap, I just found out that DePaul's CDM school is holding auditions for animation and game design majors with senior standing to audition 100 professional voice actors who've agreed to work for free for their capstone animation and game projects. That's amazing. It kind of makes me wish I'd stayed with animation. But then again, I have no talent with animation, so I'd just be intimidated and then depressed at the idea.

Hopefully in the next few entries I can talk about the ending of Michiko to Hatchin.

-Reileen
you might say that I'm the last man standing now
reileen: (anime - Neuro)
Haha, looking back on my previous entry at the icon and the moodpic, I'm reminded of how Gintama has amazing "WHAT THE EVERLOVING RATFUCKING SHIT" expressions. I really want to collect the English manga, but I have no money and no job yet. And I wish someone would license the anime so I could buy that too with money that I don't have.

Speaking of anime, I really gotta get caught up on Michiko to Hatchin. It's almost ending soon and I want to be able to write a review thingy of it.

And speaking of "ending soon", the Majin Tantei Nougami Neuro will be doing just that. It's currently on chapter 197 or something, and I'm not sure how many more chapters Matsui's got planned. It would be clean and neat if he ended it at 200, but given the events of 197, that would make things seem a little rushed. (Though it's not like no mangaka has ever done a rushed ending before.)

***

Finished reading Naomi. Brief thoughts: I wanted to smack Joji, I felt bad for Hamada, and Naomi was a hell of a piece of work. The entire story is much more palatable if you read it as an extended allegory of Japan's relationship to the West, instead of as two actual, living characters. I think overall, I prefer Lolita. Let me tell you - as creepy as it is (and it is creepy), Humbert Humbert did one thing right in going for them super young, because if you wait too long, then they apparently turn out like Naomi. Lord and Lady on a pair of skiis...

I'm going to tackle Goodbye Tsugumi by Banana Yoshimoto next. Er, well, maybe I should start reading some of the library books I have first. Decisions, decisions.

***

In honor of Mario Day on March 10 (because March 10 = Mar10 = Mario, hur hur), someone made SMB-themed cookies.

While we're on the topic on themed food, apparently a restaurant in D.C. is now offering Obama-shaped sushi. Er...phwee?

I present to you the best cosplay photo ever. ("THIS WAS NO ORDINARY CHICKEN CUCCO. THIS WAS EVIL MANIFEST.")

Miley Cyrus and Kanye West got snubbed by Radiohead. I love Miley's claim that she's going to "ruin" Radiohead. Yeah, I'd like to see her try! (For the lulz.)

OMG YES, I WANT THE TWILIGHT DVD JUST FOR THIS: Twilight movie commentary with the director Catherine Hardwicke and stars Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattison. BRB LOLING TOO HARD.

Gonna end this link-o-llection with a couple of SRS BSNS links...

This article takes a deep look at the status of the female sexual submissive in the BDSM community and in greater society, and how it connects to feminist issues regarding informed choice. (It also happens to be written by a woman who identifies as a feminist and as a female sexual submissive.) [livejournal.com profile] mia_noire, I don't believe you're into BDSM (and if you are, make sure you play safe and sane, aight? :D!), but I believe this article is relevant to your interests anyway with regards to the parts on female images of sexuality in society.

These two articles discuss the issue of being sexy as a Muslim woman.

The Japan Times Online has a rather grim article on the future of the anime industry. Here's a blog commentary on that article.

***

Gospel of the Shadow is up on YouTube now. I also have vids for "Almost" and "Sphinx" recorded, but, uh, I think I might want to re-record them.

-Reileen
I never wanna act my age, what's my age again?
reileen: (Default)
[Error: unknown template qotd]

I took the Myers-Briggs for a high school leadership conference something-or-other and I was classed as an INTJ. It describes me rather well for the most part, although I think my personality bleeds over into INTP territory as well.

I actually still have the booklet from that leadership conference that summarizes the different personality types, so here's what it says about INTJs and INTPs.

INTJs
Have original minds and great drive for implementing their ideas and achieving their goals. Quickly see patterns in external events and develop long-range explanatory perspectives. When committed, organize a job and carry it through. Skeptical and independent, have high standards of competence and performance - for themselves and others.

INTPs
Seek to develop logical explanations for everything that interests them. Theoretical and abstract, interested more in ideas than in social interaction. Quiet, contained, flexible, and adaptable. Have unusual ability to focus in depth to solve problems in their area of interest. Skeptical, sometimes critical, always analytical.


***

I realize I've been slacking on the link-o-llections lately, but I hope this latest edition makes up for it!

Kit Whitfield has two interesting blog posts up about fictional villains: one on how she personally conceives of a villain/antagonist and one on various categories of fictional villainy. Writers on the flist, hop on over!

[livejournal.com profile] vyctori sent me this one a while back - the 10 Most Insane Child-Warping Moments of '80s cartoons.

XKCD exposes the truth of Amazon's Kindle 2!

The blog of a Las Vegas escort girl who actually does not hate her lifestyle! Obviously NSFW.

[livejournal.com profile] wadewilson presents "an instructional discourse on how best to avoid being petty, divisive and annoying to other people when enjoying an online role-playing game of any sort. For I have grown tired and weary of seeing people I like behave like unpleasant high-schoolers, and I am also weary of trying to stop foolish misconceptions from growing into utterly inane enmities".

Got some time to kill? Have some free sci-fi short stories.

This has to be one of the most amazing things from nature I've ever seen lately - a fish with a transparent head with eyes that rotate around inside the head. Holy shit, that is so cooooool!

[livejournal.com profile] eyecatching_art brings us the Stooge Lanterns. I would totally watch this show!

Finally, you don't Twitter about ongoing secret negotiations while they're in progress. You just don't.

***

Talking about music I've been listening to lately: Memoira (gothic symphonic rock), Karl Sanders (ambient rock with heavy Egyptian influences), Versailles (visual kei) )

***

Talking about music I've been working on: Like the Dew on the Leaves, Gospel of the Shadow of Nobody, Regretfully Yours/No Longer Yours Truly (Written Letter #2) )

***

HON301 paper due date got moved to next Tuesday! Rawk.

-Reileen
no creation without destruction, no destruction without creation
reileen: (music - proofread score)
Being that it was a cold, wintry Saturday night two months after the holiday season, there weren't that many people in the cafe. In addition, I was just told when I arrived that Borders had cut its operation hours - they now close at 10pm instead of 11pm, which meant that I had to spontaneously cut down my planned three sets to one-and-a-half-sets. As such, I didn't make too much in tips - $7.25 this time around. Still, that's some good money for lunch.

In terms of how I felt during the performance, it was better than my December appearance - I was a lot more relaxed, perhaps primarily due to having hung around with Lauren and Melissa earlier today, and having them - along with [livejournal.com profile] mia_noire - come see me perform. And I didn't have to strain my voice to have it carry to the mike because I had a shiny new boom mic stand that my dad bought for me two weeks ago. I still fumbled a lot of notes in my songs, but my hands weren't as frozen by the window draft as I expected them to be. This is probably because Melissa lent me her own black fingerless gloves, which were a lot thicker than mine. The problem with those gloves, though, was that they were fitted at the wider end, so that even when I scrunched them down close to my wrists, they were still fairly snug on me. This probably explains why, in the middle of playing "Almost", my left hand started spontaneously going numb and tingly. That was definitely a minor panic moment.

Setlist #1

1. Bacchanalia
2. Triskaidekaphobia
3. Whatever You Want (Vienna Teng cover)
4. Cold
5. Cynthia's Lullaby
6. Sphinx (played using a layered electronic piano tone)
7. Between the Lines
8. Almost

Setlist #2

1. Bacchanalia
2. Triskaidekaphobia
3. Cold
4. Sphinx (again, played with a layered tone)
5. Cynthia's Lullaby
6. Daughter Mine

...okay, so maybe this isn't "one-and-a-half" sets so much as "one-and-three-fourths" sets, I think. Haha.

Also, in the middle of talking about the backstory from "Almost", I heard some lady near me go: "Aww, she's so cute!"

***

Earlier in the day, I headed out to see Coraline with Lauren and Melissa. I personally found it a well-done film - the story has a definite classic fairytale feel that's enhanced by the visceral materiality (...a redundant phrase?) of the brilliant stop-motion animation. (How the hell did they manage to animate Coraline's hair blowing in the wind?!) It's a film that is geared towards a younger audience, but it doesn't condescend to them, so anyone of any age can enjoy it.

***

Am ridonkulously tired. Have not yet re-setup my keyboard and stand after coming back home because I am too tired. It is probably for the best that I leave things un-setup, though, because I'm going to have a bunch of schoolwork to do tomorrow and I don't need the (faux) ivories to distract me.

THINGS THAT THE REILEEN MUST NEEDS DO TOMORROW/TODAY

ART200
*Art historical family tree write-up
*Catching up on journal entries for the readings
*Reading an essay

JPN105
*Study for the grammar quiz on Monday somehow

HON300
*Start BSing possible shit to BS about in the 6-9 page paper due this Thursday

OTHER STUFF
*FAFSA
*Shower
*Reorganize the music on my iPod
*Clean up this damn room!

-Reileen
makin' love in the afternoon with Cecilia
reileen: (reading - books)
I'm currently reading Empress by Karen Miller, and am a little under halfway through the 700+ page book. The story revolves around a village girl named Hekat, who is initially sold into slavery but soon proves to be a lot more special than that. While I like the world-building (non-Euro-flavored fantasy world FTW - I think this particular world, Mijak, has very faint echoes of Egypt in it?), I'm far less sold on Hekat herself, who is easily one of the most unsympathetic main characters I've ever run across in fiction. Yes, she was a slave and she had a hard life, so I understand why she's so bitter, hateful, and aloof, but there's almost no humanity in her - she has very few moments of doubt and weakness. Maybe it's a result of being godtouched in her world: Hekat's life revolves around serving the nameless god of her world. We do see that there is a palpable divine influence in Mijak, and so Hekat serving as "a slave to the god", as she herself put it, isn't so farfetched.

At the same time, because of this, Hekat's character rings shallow to me. She's only a vessel for the god; she has no wants or real needs outside of serving the god. Because of the one-dimensionality of her personality, we as readers have to turn to the overall external plot for a reason to read on, which is actually why I'm continuing to read the book. This book doesn't feel like it's about Hekat herself at all; it feels like it's about how Hekat ended up as this slave to the god. Essentially, it reads like a fanficcer trying to explain how a canonical Big Baddie became that way. Not in terms of quality or anything like that, but in terms of Hekat's character development, or lack thereof. And judging from the summaries to the other two books in the Godspeaker trilogy, which indicates that there's a change in the main character POV from Hekat to someone else, I half-wonder if Empress wouldn't have done better as a prequel apart from those other two books.

***

As a result to getting to campus late, I'm skipping ART105 at the moment, which I think either pushes me one absence closer to having the instructor drop my final class grade by one letter, or has already done so. (So even if I get an A in terms of classwork, my absences will drop that grade to a B.) It's already more than halfway through the quarter and I still end up being wildly inconsistent with what time I end up getting to LPC on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Oh, well - I think I'll actually be able to score an A in ART200, and I'm almost certain I can get an A- for JPN105 and a B(-?) for HON301, so it shouldn't affect my GPA to the point where I'd lose my scholarship (cutoff is a 3.3; my GPA as it stands from last quarter is 3.486). At any rate, I should be able to make up for it with spring quarter. Here's hoping, anyway.

I finally got to meet with an A&D advisor this past Tuesday. It turns out that, yes, I will be able to feasibly graduate with a BA in art & design by spring 2010, so now I can write a request to my scholarship director to extend my scholarship and refer her to my A&D advisor for proof that I only need one more year at DePaul!

My schedule for next quarter looks like this -

MONDAY
JPN106 Intermediate Japanese III 10:50am - 11:50am
HAA115 Principles of Asian Art 2:20pm - 3:20pm

TUESDAY
ART227 Digital Imaging 8:30am - 11:15am
ART264 Typography I 5:45pm - 8:30pm

WEDNESDAY
JPN106 Intermediate Japanese III 10:50am - 11:50am
HAA115 Principles of Asian Art 2:20pm - 3:20pm

THURSDAY
ART227 Digital Imaging 8:30am - 11:15am
ART264 Typography I 5:45pm - 8:30pm

FRIDAY
JPN106 Intermediate Japanese III 10:50am - 11:50am
HAA115 Principles of Asian Art 2:20pm - 3:20pm

Pah, so much for never taking another 8:30am class after finishing with ANT120. But my advisor really stressed the importance of this course, since it's a foundation course in design theory, so I figured that I just gotta put up with it if I want to graduate. I'm also not exactly thrilled with having another huge gap of time between classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays, but I think I can figure out how to deal with that. (Hanging out with [livejournal.com profile] lysis_to_kill?) I decided against taking my Honors Senior Seminar next quarter and thus finishing up my liberal arts requirements, because I still have to work on stuff for Artist Alley and I really do not need the stress of an Honors class on top of everything.

***

Working setlist for 2/21:

1. Bacchanalia (instrumental)
2. Triskaidekaphobia
3. Gravity (Vienna Teng cover)
4. Cold
5. Cynthia's Lullaby
6. Sphinx
7. Between the Lines
8. Almost

I'm not entirely sure of the total running time for this setlist, but I imagine that it's similar or even less than the setlist I drafted out in this entry. I might try to time it when I get home today instead of studying for a kanji quiz tomorrow. I actually had Vienna Teng's "Augustine" as the final song for a little bit, until I realized that 1) I needed to find a way to capture the bass part without killing my wrist and 2) I had to get a better set of pipes to sing the damn chorus. Then I switched to VT's "Harbor", but then realized that I might not have the stamina at the end to sing that particular song (again, especially for the chorus). So finally I decided that I'd just take the happiest-sounding original song I had and stick it at the end ("Almost" was initially #3). The Gods know the audience would probably need it after the emotastic, six-minute ballad that is "Between the Lines."

Dear Gods, I hope it's not freezing on the 21st. That would be horrible for playing "Gravity", "Sphinx", and "Almost." I think I might have to bring, like, a hot water bottle or something.

-Reileen
well, I know it's wrong, why do I do it?
reileen: (music - proofread score)
One Day [rough]

One Day

I know you feel the storm that brews beyond that sky
I know you fear that help will pass you by
But this path you walk is your own
So even if you fall, stand up and move on
Because I know

One day, one day
You'll reach your El Dorado
Where all is as it seems
One day, one day
You'll find the Shangri-La
Of your fevered dreams
One day...

I know you fight to keep control
I know it feels like the trail has gone cold
But just take the detours and see
That you're going where you need to be
Believe me when I say

One day, one day
You'll reach your El Dorado
Where all is as it seems
One day, one day
You'll find the Shangri-La
Of your fevered dreams
One day...

One day, one day
You'll reach your El Dorado
Where all is as it seems
One day, one day
You'll find the Shangri-La
Of your fevered dreams
One day...

One of the things I try to keep in mind as I compose the piano for my songs is that I want it to be as distinctive and interesting as the lyrics and vocal line, and not "just" an accompaniment to those things. Ideally, if you played just the piano part of my songs, it should sound like an almost complete instrumental piece in and of itself. Part of it is just that it sounds better to me - it's one of the many things I love about Vienna Teng's music, even when she's already advanced enough in her music career to be able to allow for other instrumentation when composing her songs. (Just wait 'til y'all hear the piano for "Antebellum"! Lovely, lovely song.) Part of it is also feeling self-conscious about the vast difference in ability between my piano performance skills and my vocal skills, hoping to make up for my lack of vocal skills at the moment with some interesting piano work. Unfortunately, then you have to take into account that my actual composing skills are even worse than my vocal skills, so now here I am, a bit of a trainwreck of musical (in)ability...

At any rate, this is, I suppose, one of those "writer's block" songs, which would explain why the lyrics are simpler and shorter than usual. I was just tired of playing my usual songs, and I was stuck on my unfinished songs, so I threw this one together the other night when I probably should have been doing homework. I'm not entirely sure what to do with it now; as usual, once I get the vocal melody and the chords down, I'm at a loss for what to do for the piano accompaniment that isn't just the same shit over and over again.

***

Also, the Gods help me - I ordered Inland Territory straight from the German Amazon website. The album can't arrive fast enough. o_o!

Also also, there's finally a clip of the song Vienna wrote for a singer-songwriter "reality show" called Sagebrush Valentine, in which a group of musicians were given a title and had to write a song based on that title in an hour. You can see Vienna's version of "Nothing Left For Us to Find" here on Vimeo.

-Reileen
I am left silent here, trying so hard to understand

Profile

reileen: (Default)
Reileen van Kaile

April 2010

S M T W T F S
     123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
252627282930 

Syndicate

RSS Atom

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags