Sunday, November 17, 2013

making connections

Just when I think the world of visual art is small, I take a good look at the classical music world: there are connections between composers all over the place. Also, the weeks are going by way too fast.

Monday: As it was Remembrance Day, NSCAD was closed (I didn't really celebrate--how could I when Harper pretends to support the troops while cutting services that vets need, especially mental health services?)--but I showed up, anyway. I spent probably several hours staring at my contextualizing statement, trying to come up with a better beginning and ending--and failing.

Tuesday: I met with Joan again and we talked some more.

I then headed over to the Academy Building to make a QuickTime version of my APC project. What I thought would take five minutes max ended up taking an hour or so because I found out that A. I'd done the video in 4:3 ratio (the ratio used by old CRT TVs) instead of 16:9 ratio (widescreen) and B. I'd done it in standard definition instead of HD. I knew something was up because the images looked low-resolution--but I knew that every single one was 300 DPI. I asked the technicians for help a couple of times. The first time I went back down to the basement and tried to solve the problem myself and when that didn't work I went back up and asked again. This time the technician came down with me and helped me sort out the issues. I then made the QuickTime file and headed back to Granville.

Wednesday: This week was the last week of doing readings. Several of us wanted to do work-in-progress crits, including me. Mine went extremely well. It was also the first time I saw my slideshow projected BIG and heard the music on good speakers (In the Hall of the Mountain King BOOMING above my head and a little to the right? Yes, please!). As a result, I could barely speak for a few seconds afterward.

Thursday: I spent most of the day glued to Twitter (though I don't have an account) following the hashtag "Elsipogtog", as there was another blockade/confrontation between the First Nation and SWP (which was protected by the RCMP--seriously! And police weren't wearing name tags, which also happened during the G20 protests and they got in trouble for doing that as wearing a name tag is a must.). Thankfully, there wasn't any violence this time around. Here's a really good article from the Toronto Star about the facts about First Nations peoples that are often completely ignored. These three paragraphs are especially important:
"In 1997, the landmark Supreme Court Decision in Delgamuukw finally clarified that even under Canadian law, Aboriginal title to most of the land within British Columbia’s provincial borders had never been extinguished. This ruling had immediate implications for other areas of the country where no treaties ceding land ownership were ever signed [Annapurna's note: this includes much of the Maritimes]. One day, Canadians woke up to a legal reality in which millions of acres of land were recognized as never having been acquired by the Crown, and that elephant has been occupying our national room ever since. 
"Unfortunately, this glaring issue did not seem to percolate into the wider Canadian consciousness, and many people remain unaware of it. In 1999, the Supreme Court passed down another judgement confirming that the Peace and Friendship Treaties of 1760-1761 did not cede land or resources. This cannot be emphasized strongly enough: the Mi'kmaq never gave up legal rights to their land or resources. Canada does not own the land that the people of Elsipogtog are defending. 
"This is not conspiracy theory, or indigenous interpretation. This is Canadian law, interpreted by the Supreme Court of Canada, applying Canadian constitutional principles. Yet somehow, this most important fact is left out of most reports on Elsipogtog as though it is barely relevant."
I have come up against the sorts of myths that this article debunks being presented as fact, and even just thinking about it makes me a bit mad at those who believe those lies.

Friday: I worked on my project, making the changes that I'd written down during my crit. Afterward, on my way to the Photo Dept., I stopped in at the NSCAD Visual Resource Centre and checked out Helvetica for the weekend.

As I've mentioned before, we've been reading Of Cigarettes, High Heels and Other Interesting Things as part of APC. However, we skipped the preface and chapters six and seven. I loved the book so much that I didn't feel right skipping any part of it so right from the beginning I planned to read the parts that were skipped on my own time by the end of the Winter '14 semester. I read the preface that day and plan to read a chapter a week, meaning that the last week of term will be the only week that I don't have to read anything. It felt weird to not have to take notes while reading.

Saturday: On my way to school on Thursday, I'd stopped to have a look at the Remembrance Day wreathes at the cenotaph in the Grand Parade. One of them had been laid on behalf of Norway, which made me wonder about the connection between that country and Halifax. I spent part of the afternoon researching the ties between Halifax/Canada and Norway. Turns out, Canada and Norway have had some form of connection for about a thousand years, and Norwegian military trained in Lunenberg, NS during World War II (Norway being part of the Allies). One of the ships involved in the Halifax Explosion was a Norwegian ship (the other was French). The Norwegian embassy's Canadian site has a good section on the history of the partnership between the two countries--though some of it sounds like it was written in the pre-Harper days (Canada interested in sustainability and being good to the environment? Only if Harper gets kicked out.). This makes me even more excited and proud to count two of Norway's best composers as favourites--and the grandson of one of those composers as one of my favourite violinists. That, and the fact that all three have a habit of knocking my socks off (not surprising for Trond: the ability to knock the audiences' socks off seems to be a requirement for BSO violinists).

Sunday: I finally got back in the Academy computer lab. However, I arrived a full hour early: on weekends the lab doesn't open until 1:00 PM. I went over to Granville, where I wasted time on Facebook until just before 1:30, and then went back to Academy. I spent a couple hours there, tweaking my project, figuring things out and asking myself questions. Afterward, I went back to Granville again, where I spent the rest of the day.

When I met with Adrian a couple weeks ago to fix the white balance of one of the series for my project, we discussed what sorts of things I could include in the contextualizing statement. I told him about my discovery of Tchaikovsky writing to Rimsky-Korsakov and praising the Capriccio Espangnol and some other connections that I knew about and it got me to thinking: what other composer connections are there? I'm talking everything: composers writing to each other, being from the same city, rivalries--you name it. This week, I decided to see if I still had MindNode on my computer and, if so, map out the connections. Below is a screen shot of what I've got so far.

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