yhlee: Alto clef and whole note (middle C). (alto clef)
[personal profile] yhlee
A couple friends let me know that talking about composing for orchestra is, in fact, something that might be of some minor interest and also I am taking a break from working on Dragon Pearl while the Dragon borrows my laptop (which is my writing machine), so.

DISCLAIMER: I am not a professional composer! I did not go to conservatory. I am an interested amateur. My background is seven years of more or less classical piano, including a few years at the Houston Music Institute (relevant because they taught some theory and basic composition), a few years of viola, and years of screwing around on basically every instrument I could get my hands on, including three summers of classical guitar, mandolin, soprano recorder, pennywhistle, ocarina, and diatonic and chromatic harmonica. (Harmonicas actually get pretty complicated, more complicated than I personally can deal with--different tunings, cross-harp, slant-harp, etc. I only know the basics. [1]) This kind of jack-of-all-trades-ism is not great if you want to be a performer, where you really ought to become expert in your chosen instrument(s), but it's not awful if you want to compose.

[1] To anyone who doubts that the harmonica is a "real" classical instrument, I present to you Villa-Lobos' Concerto for Harmonica and Orchestra with soloist Robert Bonfiglio [Youtube], which is the recording I used to have before the stupid fucking flood. That's a chromatic harmonica, BTW; you can tell because of the use of the chromatic slide in some of the ornaments. More information. I will FIGHT anyone who tells me the harmonica is not a REAL INSTRUMENT.

Further caveat, I am only discussing Western music. I don't know enough about non-Western traditions to tell you anything useful about them. I compose more or less neoclassically because that's what pleases my ear and I feel no need to be innovative in a technical/theoretical sense. (Schoenberg's twelve-tone system is brilliant from a technical/theoretical sense but I cannot usually stand listening to it except in the limited context of certain kinds of film/TV scoring. I wouldn't listen to it for fun.)

And for yucks, I have perfect pitch, which in almost all contexts is either useless or an active hindrance (I am a suck liar and let's just say that I avoid a cappella performances and first-year string players like the plague--there's such a thing as good a cappella, but unless you are Carnegie Hall good I don't want to risk it), but has limited applications in the realm of music, ahahaha. For most applications relative pitch is hell and away more useful. (I actually get interference between relative and perfect pitch, which sucks.)

Anyway, let's talk a little about the fundamentals of music from the standpoint of composing.

I keep telling people that composing for orchestra is not hard. Composing for orchestra well is hard. Because it's true! It's a lot of things, true, but you can break it down into components. I'll talk a little more about this below.

Music is about patterns--creating tension with different dimensions of pattern, then resolving it. In terms of pitch, you only have twelve of them repeating across various octaves to work with! But because you can combine the pitches in different ways, you can come up with different melodies. Speaking in terms of standard music notation, that's the "horizontal" dimension. And pitch is combined with patterns of rhythm--units of time. cut for length and tl;dr )

Okay, I am out of brain and I'm not sure any of this even makes sense to anyone who is not me. :] I am happy to answer questions (or, if you compose music yourself, talk shop!).

bookspoils!

Aug. 19th, 2017 06:04 pm
yhlee: Drop Ships from Race for the Galaxy (RTFG)
[personal profile] yhlee
Returned books to library. Got these from the booksale shelves for 5 cents apiece (they were 1 cent apiece but I told the librarian to keep the 8 cents of change):

- Star Trek tie-in novel Ishmael by Barbara Hambly--I read this a long time ago and like Hambly :)
- Star Trek tie-in novel Uhura's Song by Janet Kagan \o/ I read this a few years back and also thought it was lovely! I'm really thrilled to own my own copy, in decent shape for a library discard even, although it means the library didn't want it anymore. -_-

What are some of your favorite recent libraryspoils/loanspoils/bookspoils?

ETA: Oh, and while I'm at it, I'm sad I woke up from a dream involving an animated TV series of P.C. Hodgell's Chronicles of the Kencyrath. I'm several books behind in that series (at this point I might as well wait until it's all out before rereading the whole thing from the start) but would that not be awesomesauce?!
niqaeli: cat with arizona flag in the background (Default)
[personal profile] niqaeli posting in [community profile] disobey_gravity
So I keep meaning to get a rice bucket and otherwise do wrist/grip strengthening exercises but I keep running into a really oddball problem.

Which is that everyone who's interested in improving grip strength this way pretty much assumes -- not without reason, to be fair -- your wrist extensors are relatively weak compared to your flexors and focuses much more on strengthening them.

I just have literally the reverse problem. My wrist flexors are relatively weak compared to my extensors, and I'm really feeling it when I go climbing (or do aerial). (The tl;dr version of how the fuck you get to this really weird place, strength-wise, is: over ten years as a massage therapist.)

So! Does anyone have exercises for the flexors, specifically, that they're fond of? Variety especially would be good; I get bored of conditioning super quickly if I don't have different things to cycle through.

Cats Against Nazis

Aug. 19th, 2017 01:58 pm
rachelmanija: (Heroes: support WGA)
[personal profile] rachelmanija
The rally was fine, though quite small. I imagine there would have been a much bigger turnout if the Nazis hadn't cancelled. One of my neighbors was there!

I went with [personal profile] hederahelix. We are now heading for Clementine.

Here I am with my sign and feline fellows in resistance.



more life miscellany

Aug. 19th, 2017 03:46 pm
glass_icarus: (to hear)
[personal profile] glass_icarus
♣ I downloaded the Daily Yoga app yesterday in yet another bid to get into the habit of daily stretching, and I did actually do some yoga this morning. Also I noticed there's a whole section on yoga poses during menstruation! This seems particularly promising, as my previous attempts at home exercise have been derailed by aches and cramps before. We'll see how this goes!

♣ I started on this sweater a few days ago, which looks nice in theory but is very, very boring to execute. Super tempted to break up the hdc monotony with rows of other stitches, except for the part where I'm not sure it'll actually look good, so I probably won't. If I manage to finish it before winter here is over I will be amazed.

♣ And finally, a few notes on Atomic Blonde, before I forget everything I had to say about it! I had no strong opinions or expectations going in beyond LADY SPY HOORAY!, which it delivers, in a Jane Bond sort of way. The plot twists were a bit hard to follow, not sure if that was the execution or my being fluff-brained while watching. The violence occasionally made me flinch (I really dislike gore) but it was pretty satisfying to watch Charlize Theron take on all comers. vague spoilers ) Also why is the espionage business portrayed as so overwhelmingly male?? Surely this can't be accurate? (Not even gonna touch the lily-whiteness of it; some of the Bond movies did better there.)
teaotter: a dark haired woman in sunlight (Default)
[personal profile] teaotter posting in [community profile] thisfinecrew
I saw this today and it made me laugh (and cry, frankly, for the state of the country), so I thought others might be interested:

Robin Whetstone: A Bad Week to Be a Parent

Linkspam on a Saturday morning

Aug. 19th, 2017 09:00 am
cofax7: Marion Ravenwood in a hat (IJ - Marion hat)
[personal profile] cofax7
What a week, huh? So exhausting. I swear, this regime is going to ruin my liver.

Remember that guy at Google with the memo? (Seems like months ago, doesn't it?) Well, one of the MetaFilter gang decided to do a comprehensive discussion/analysis of his arguments, complete with citations. The Truth Has Got Its Boots On, which is a lovely Pratchett reference.

Here's a resource for people confused about the Trump/Russia scandal. Amidst all the racism and Nazis, there are still questions about Trump's history with Russia.

This New Yorker article also asks some questions about Wall Street Raider Carl Icahn and his relationship with the Trump regime. Conflicts of interest? Pish.

This article looks at environmental justice from the perspective of the community rather than the regulator or government. It's both devastating and hopeful.

This article from Pro Publica gives a solid historical overview of attempts to incorporate principles of environmental justice at the federal level, and how they have failed. I do love Pro Publica: they do solid investigative journalism.

Politics can make strange bedfellows, as we know: hunters are on the front lines protecting the public lands.

This Lawfare article about private military groups hints at some legal tools that can be used against the Neo-Nazis.

The New York Review of Books has dropped the paywall on James M. McPherson's take-down of the myth of the Lost Cause.

Here's a blackly funny report of a call to a Georgia Congressman's office.

*

Alton Brown's fruitcake recipe. It looks tasty, but the volume is far too small. Why make only one fruitcake at a time?!

*

I am working on my NFE story, but argh, just realized that book club is this coming Wednesday, and I haven't read the book yet! Argh. Also it took me 4 tries to get started on the story, and then I had to do some background research and realized that I had [redacted] wrong, and also [redacted], and now I have to research [redacted]. I'm not sure if I'm going to get done in time...

*

In other news, Help!. Is anyone else using Chrome and having trouble logging into DW? I turned off HTTPS Everywhere, but that didn't make any difference. I simply cannot log in.

And now off to dog class where once again we will fail on the weave poles...
rydra_wong: Doonesbury: Mark announcing into a microphone, "That's guilty! Guilty, guilty, guilty!!" (during the Watergate scandal) (guilty)
[personal profile] rydra_wong posting in [community profile] thisfinecrew
ACLU Petition: Stop Trump from pardoning Joe Arpaio

Points out that a pardon would represent an official endorsement and back-pat for systematic violations of the rights of people of colour.
yhlee: rose in a hexagon (hxx emblem Andan)
[personal profile] yhlee
I've been zigzagging between S1 and S2 because the Dragon didn't want to watch S1 (too much interpersonal drama for her taste) so I was watching S2 with her up till her bedtime, and going back to finish S1 with Joe.

cut for spoilers? )

(ahahahaha my husband gets the joke in my moodicon tonight but I wonder how many other people will get it?)
newredshoes: sign: what's stopping you (<3 | what's stopping you?)
[personal profile] newredshoes
Social media and the news (plus a number of other stressors) are making me tachycardia city all day, every day. I am going to try and just... stay off all screens this weekend, if possible. Maybe email me, maybe text me, but like... the world is just not working right now.

vulgarweed: (OK by london_fan)
[personal profile] vulgarweed posting in [community profile] 221b_recs
Title: Curse of the Were-Tuna
Author: WhoGroovesOn
Pairing: Sherlock Holmes/John Watson
Length: 46,916
Rating: Explicit
Verse: Sherlock BBC
Author's summary: John couldn’t help but feel as though the large tuna beyond the glass was staring at him, which was weird because it’s not like fish had eyelids, they always seemed to be staring at things.


Reccer's comments: The author says this isn't crack, but I think it's a shining gem of the crackfic genre - a premise that seems ridiculous on the surface treated with absolute commitment, until it becomes vivid and real. Take the plunge into this splashy tale of piscine lycanthropy and you'll never see a fishtank quite the same way again.

When wounded army vet John Watson applies for a job as an aquarium security guard, he has no idea what’s about to happen after dark.

This underrated author has a spectacular sense of worldbuilding, and this fic is suspenseful, sexy, vivid, hilarious and surprisingly touching. The plot twists come fast and furious, and I especially love this very inventive version of Moriarty and Moran (who are both female in this story). Fishnappings! Sushi-related threats! Weird and eldritch magic!

Also, it’s set in the London Aquarium and was written long before any pivotal scenes occurred there on the show.

Excerpt: Mycroft was the one who became the killjoy for the tuna pair. A few days after the discovery of their morse code capabilities Mycroft appeared at the window of their tank. Dressed formally as usual, umbrella and all, he sat down facing the glass and proceeded to unfold the paper under his arm.

After floating by a few times trying to read the news, Sherlock darted to John, fin flicking a short message, S - T - O - P / C - O - D - E.

The urgent message made John want to see what Sherlock had read on the paper and managed to catch Mycroft before he folded it away. There on the offered page was a small article questioning “Are Sea Life’s Fish Intelligent?” Below was a little black and white picture of their tank and, sure enough, the black shapes of John and Sherlock within. The paper itself was one of those silly “Are aliens cavorting amongst my sheep?!” types, but still, the fact that someone had written in to say they’d seen the fish at the aquarium doing code and talking to each other in an intelligent manner was unsettling. And who knew who else would see it and start watching a little closer.


MODS: may I have tags for fem!moriarty and fem!sebastian moran, please?
yhlee: Sandman raven with eyeball (Sandman raven (credit: rilina))
[personal profile] yhlee
I did not finish this book not because I thought it was poorly argued or poorly written, but because, despite it being very interesting, I just cannot brain this right now. (I'm under deadline for a novel.)

Heath Fogg Davis is a trans man and associate professor in political science at Temple University, and his book, Beyond Trans: Does Gender Matter? suggests that there are many situations in which clinging to gender categories is not necessary and even counterproductive. The context appears to largely be USAn, although I only got a little way into the book so that might not be true of later chapters.

The book opens with the case of a public transit system in Philadelphia that used to issue passes in both male and female variants. It begins with the dilemma of a trans woman who bought a female pass, only to be bounced off the bus because the bus driver judged her not to be a "real" woman, so she bought a male pass, and was bounced off the bus for not being male. At that point, she's screwed--what does she do? But trans people weren't the only one hit by this--a lot of cis people who didn't match certain bus drivers' preconceptions of gender presentation/appearance were also sometimes denied passage.

Davis then goes on to examine the reason why bus passes even had this designation to begin with. Apparently the stated intent was to reduce fraud--basically, each person was supposed to buy their own pass, and they were trying to prevent husbands and wives from sharing a single pass. Except, of course, if you look at the problem and the "solution," it makes no sense--you could easily still have fraud with two people of the same "sex" (whatever that means, a topic Davis takes up later) sharing a pass. So basically the "solution" screwed a lot of people, was intrusive and humiliating, and didn't even solve the problem.

The chapters in this book are:

Introduction: Sex Stickers
1. The Sex Markers We Carry: Sex-Marked Identity Documents
2. Bathroom Bouncers: Sex-Segregated Restrooms [1]
3. Checking a Sex Box to Get into College: Single-Sex Admissions
4. Seeing Sex in the Body: Sex-Segregated Sports
Conclusion: Silence on the Bus
Appendix: The Gender Audit: A How-to Guide for Organizations

[1] I lived for two years in a dorm in undergrad that had co-ed restrooms. Nothing bad happened. My dad would have blown a gasket if he had found out, though. :p

I only got through the intro and the very beginning of chapter 1 and what I saw looked encouraging and thought-provoking, but please don't ask me what's in the rest of the book because I genuinely don't know. I'm going to return this and hope to check it out later when I have more brain so I can think about the issues properly; it's good knowing the book exists so I can return to it at some later point.
rydra_wong: The display board of a train reads "this train is fucked". (this train is fucked)
[personal profile] rydra_wong posting in [community profile] thisfinecrew
(X-posted from my journal. Thanks to [personal profile] executrix and [personal profile] wendelah1 for pointing me towards some of these.)

Thanks to folks at [community profile] thisfinecrew for links, and links that led to other links among the following:

Solidarity Cville: Donate -- suggestions and links for local groups to support

Indivisble: Stand in Solidarity with Charlottesville - Find an Event

The Nation: Here’s What You Can Do After Charlottesville

Indivisible: Are Your Members of Congress Doing Enough to Respond to the Charlottesville Terrorist Attack? -- though this is several days old and therefore lacks a script for HOLY FUCK THE PRESIDENT IS DEFENDING NEO-NAZIS (EVEN MORE) WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO?

SPLC releases new edition of Ten Ways to Fight Hate guide after Charlottesville attack

Politico: GOP chairmen resist hearings on white supremacy

They don't want it. Demand it.

[tumblr.com profile] plaidadder: Three Democratic members of the House have introduced a censure resolution.

You can read the text here.

Censure is a formal reprimand. It is not legally binding, but it is rare, and Sends a Message. MoveOn.org originally organized around a campaign to get Congress to censure Clinton instead of impeaching him.

This may be an attempt to accomplish something less difficult than impeachment; or it may be a trial run to see how many Republicans are ready to jump from the Trump Train.


ETA: Politico: Pelosi endorses censure of Trump over Charlottesville response -- apparently at least 79 Democrats have signed.

Not directly Charlottesville-related, but interesting and could be worth asking your reps to support:

H.R.1987 - Oversight Commission on Presidential Capacity Act

To steal Wikipedia's explanation: "This bill would replace the Cabinet as the body that, together with the Vice President, determines whether Section 4 should be invoked. Under the bill, an eleven-member commission would conduct an examination of the President when directed to do so by a concurrent resolution of the Congress."

(Which, basically, shifts the power to forcibly 25th-Amendment the President back towards Congress to a greater degree, as opposed to depending entirely on the Cabinet which that President apppointed.)

Literally as I was about to post

Aug. 18th, 2017 06:12 pm
rydra_wong: Doonesbury: Mark announcing into a microphone, "That's guilty! Guilty, guilty, guilty!!" (during the Watergate scandal) (guilty)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
to ask whether any kindly person was running www.hasstevebannonbeenfiredyet.com:

The Independent: Steve Bannon: Trump 'decides to remove chief strategist' from White House role
CBS live updates (warning: autoplays stuff)

"A person close to Bannon" said it was TOTALLY HIS IDEA Y'ALL, IT'S ALL PART OF HIS MASTER PLAN DON'T YOU SEE.

ETA: Recommended: http://plaidadder.tumblr.com/post/164338863264/goodbye-steve-bannon-you-were-fired-too-late
http://plaidadder.tumblr.com/post/164340936634/how-is-this-playing-in-breitbartville-not-well
rydra_wong: the illuminated Sarajevo haggadah (sarajevo haggadah)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
Thanks to folks at [community profile] thisfinecrew for links, and links that led to other links among the following:

Solidarity Cville: Donate -- suggestions and links for local groups to support

Indivisble: Stand in Solidarity with Charlottesville - Find an Event

The Nation: Here’s What You Can Do After Charlottesville

Indivisible: Are Your Members of Congress Doing Enough to Respond to the Charlottesville Terrorist Attack? -- though this is several days old and therefore lacks a script for HOLY FUCK THE PRESIDENT IS DEFENDING NEO-NAZIS (EVEN MORE) WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO?

SPLC releases new edition of Ten Ways to Fight Hate guide after Charlottesville attack

Politico: GOP chairmen resist hearings on white supremacy

They don't want it. Demand it.

[tumblr.com profile] plaidadder: Three Democratic members of the House have introduced a censure resolution.

You can read the text here.

Censure is a formal reprimand. It is not legally binding, but it is rare, and Sends a Message. MoveOn.org originally organized around a campaign to get Congress to censure Clinton instead of impeaching him.

This may be an attempt to accomplish something less difficult than impeachment; or it may be a trial run to see how many Republicans are ready to jump from the Trump Train.


ETA: Politico: Pelosi endorses censure of Trump over Charlottesville response -- apparently at least 79 Democrats have signed.

Not directly Charlottesville-related, but interesting and could be worth asking your reps to support:

H.R.1987 - Oversight Commission on Presidential Capacity Act

To steal Wikipedia's explanation: "This bill would replace the Cabinet as the body that, together with the Vice President, determines whether Section 4 should be invoked. Under the bill, an eleven-member commission would conduct an examination of the President when directed to do so by a concurrent resolution of the Congress."

(Which, basically, shifts the power to forcibly 25th-Amendment the President back towards Congress to a greater degree, as opposed to depending entirely on the Cabinet which that President apppointed.)

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