Browsing articles tagged with " Music"

Catching Up

Aug 7, 2009   //   by Alida   //   Creative Discontent, Weekly Round-up  //  No Comments

And I’m back. Wow. It’s been a crazy couple of weeks, and I’m definitely feeling it. This weekend is the first that we’re in Calgary with almost nothing going on since… oh, Father’s Day, give or take. I’m looking forward to it. Of course, when I say that we’ve got “nothing going on,” I mean that our schedule includes two Fringe shows tonight (both of us), a workshop tomorrow morning (me), an appointment at the bank tomorrow afternoon (both), coffee with a friend sometime this weekend (both), mixing the Passion Play recordings (Colin), and a date night tomorrow night (we still haven’t used a gift card that Colin’s parents gave us for Christmas in 2007, and it’s going to expire soon if we don’t use it!).

I have at least three entries rolling around in my brain, bumping up against each other and refining themselves as I continue trying to get them down on paper. Screen. Whatever. For now, though, I’m going to do a “Weekly” update. In other words, I’m going to try my hardest to remember what I’ve watched, listened to, read, experienced, and been working on in the past few weeks. It may not be the most complete list I’ve ever put together, but I’ll see how I do.



May 14, 2009   //   by Alida   //   Creative Discontent, Uncategorized  //  2 Comments

I don’t think there’s anyone out there who hasn’t seen this yet, but it’s making me smile tonight, so I feel like re-sharing.

In the spirit of Improv Everywhere, here’s “Doe, a Deer” in the Central Station in Antwerp. Yeah, I know you’ve all seen it, but I’m also willing to bet that it still makes you smile every time.



If there’s no room for you, where is there room for me?

Mar 20, 2009   //   by Alida   //   Creative Discontent, Faith, School, Theatre  //  1 Comment

It’s the responsibility of any artist to champion the creation of art that he or she disagrees with, doesn’t understand, or is offended by.

This is a theory that I’ve been mulling over for a while–about a year now, I guess–and I think that I can fairly confidently boil it down to that statement.

I subconsciously became aware of it when I was considering CalArts, but I actually put it into words last spring, when I was deciding whether I was going to take the job with the Calgary Fringe Festival for the summer. In that case, it wasn’t about whether I was artistically opposed to anything, but it was the fact that a lot of the work I’d have been associated with and working on would be work that I was morally, ideologically, religiously, and politically offended by.

Could I put my name on that kind of work professionally? Well, in a sense, I do it every day, simply by being at CalArts. A lot of what comes across my path is work that I don’t find very aesthetically pleasing, work that is in direct contradiction to my beliefs and the way I live my life, and even work that mocks the things I build my life around.



Dec 3, 2008   //   by Alida   //   Creative Discontent, Music, Reviews  //  1 Comment

This weekend, one of the things I got to do in Calgary was see Ambrose University College’s Messiah, which Colin, Mom, and Dad were all singing in (with the AUC Community Singers). It was good, overall, but disappointing in places. The first, biggest, thing was that it was held in the gym of the college that was hosting it. That wasn’t the director’s choice, but the school just built a brand-new campus, so of course the administration wanted the Christmas concert to show it off. Unfortunately, there’s not a large enough concert hall for the event, so they set up the gym.

The sound was quite good, and it didn’t have the terrible acoustics that most gyms have, but the aesthetic was terrible. The mood and formality of the event was really compromised by having it in the venue that they did. I get why the administration wanted it there; I’m also completely on the director’s side, who has said that he’s going to fight to make sure it never happens in that location again. It’s why I will not have my wedding reception in a community hall or something similar. No matter how much you try to dress it up, it still looks like a high-school dance, and that’s an aesthetic that isn’t appropriate for a concert like that.

The Saturday night concert was a sing-along, which I was really excited about, but it was far from meeting my expectations.


Your argument for Disney’s level of evil leaves something to be desired

Nov 18, 2008   //   by Alida   //   Creative Discontent, Culture, Music  //  2 Comments

I was browsing through some random websites earlier this week, and I came across a site was full of “evidence” of how evil Walt Disney was (and Disney as a corporation is). It had some of the more common stories, but the one I found most amusing is that “Walt Disney was evil because he chose music by dead composers for Fantasia so that he wouldn’t have to pay for the music.”

While it’s true that Disney (as a company) has an incredibly powerful legal team that understands the inner workings of copyright law better than just about anyone else anywhere, it makes me laugh that using public domain music is evidence of evil. How is it not an artist’s prerogative to choose to either have new work commissioned, support currently established composers, or reintroduce the public to classical works? Any of those three options, especially with the scope of Disney’s influence, had the potential for significant ramifications within the artists’ careers (if new work had been commissioned or contemporary work used) and the public consciousness and awareness of the music scene, even though the film was originally not as well-received as hoped.


Joy to the world!

Sep 20, 2008   //   by Alida   //   Creative Discontent, Music  //  No Comments

One of the things that I always loved about being two choir directors’ kid, one of the things that I love about being a choir director’s girlfriend, and one of the things that I’ll love about being a choir director’s wife is the fact that Christmas music appears in June. I adore Christmas, and the music, especially the choral music, is one of my favorite parts.



Dec 16, 2007   //   by Alida   //   Creative Discontent, Uncategorized  //  No Comments

I can remember being in kids’ choir when I was in elementary school, being the brat who would poke other kids when they weren’t doing things right.

(This morning, in church, the little kids sang a song, and there were a few of those kids, and it was just cute and fun to watch them.)

When I was in grade six, my friend Erin and I wrote a list of things in the choir that we thought needed to be changed. Stricter dress code, selected (talented) kids doing choreography, people who could sing on key doing the harmonies, more complicated choreography that looked more exciting than just hand actions.

Mom (who was the director) wasn’t too impressed with us, I don’t think, and there was definitely an aspect of snobbishness there, but looking back on that nearly 15 years later, I realize that was the beginning of the aspect of producing that we spend a lot of time on: developing a personal aesthetic. A big part of producing is knowing what you’re passionate about; what visuals and stories attract you; what makes you tick; what you want to invest your time, money, and professional reputation in; and so on. It’s developing the “Blink” effect (from Malcom Gladwell’s book “Blink”): being so secure in your expertise that you can make a split-second decision and trust your gut.


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