Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Koechlin Coming

I am at the moment working on a long piece dedicated to this forgotten but fascinating master, Charles Koechlin. He is quickly becoming a favorite and I am soon going to be reading Robert Orlidge's book on the man and his music.
Following that, I will be attempting his book on orchestration, which I have only found in the original French. It will be interested to see how far I can get being a complete idiot at other languages.

Friday, January 27, 2006

An Olive Branch for David Brooks

I agree with virtually nothing conservative New York Times columnist David Brooks writes or says, but today I had a lesson in my ongoing study of OliveBranchology.
Some of his writing and opinion infuriates me, but nonetheless watching an short interview with the man on the New York Times website warmed my heart; He's a friendly, shy and slightly dorky man in the most touching way.
On the other hand, Paul Krugman, is just a complete dork. A sweetly dork, but a dork.
I'm no bully, but I have a instinctive desire to dump his books.

Today's lesson? I must learn not to judge people based on their views.

Thank You, and Goodnight.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

My Favorite Composers (an ongoing series moving through history chronologically like a mathematical bluebird flying through a grandfather clock)

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)

There is nothing I can really say about Mozart that hasn't been said before a billion times. Even that last sentence has been used a billion times in describing the man. "There is nothing more to say."
I would love to come to some wonderful insight into the man's music but it's nearly impossible. Not that his genius isn't inexaustible; nor did he not have some faults. For a time I even wanted to hate him. I searched alleys to find black market pamphlets denouncing the man. I even for a time suscribed to Prokofiev's "Mozart's music is just three chords over and over again!" thing, but that goes down the drain when you see what Mozart could do with three chords, and with what Prokofiev could barely do with every other one.
It is as good as almost everybody says it is. I can't refute hardly any of it. Even if I could make some small point of criticism it would be quite worthless. If you don't like it, it is not because it has any flaws, it's just because you want something else out of it that isn't there.

I will instead speak from personal experience instead, and say that listening to his music, playing it, reading about him, looking at portraits of him, reading his writings and letters, studying his scores makes me absolute school-girl giddy.
As a matter of fact, when the portrait above was discovered recently, it was probably one of the more exciting news stories I've ever encountered in my life.
When I saw the portrait I immediately noticed the resemblance to Tom Hulce (who portrayed him in Amadeus) was more pronounced then I would have thought. I was fascinated by the wide-eyes, slightly chubby face, muscular but obviously atrophied hands (lending some creedence to the story that he sometimes could not cut his own food his hands would be so sore from writing all day). He looks like a thoughtful, sunny but complex individual with a flurry of activity going on behind those eyes.
And there was a flurry of activity going on in his brain. It is silly to buy the "Mozart scribbling masterpieces off the top of his head" divine inspiration musical power thing. The man was a worker through and through. The hardest working man in Viennese show buisness. You can see it in his writings, in his scores. It's the most effortless sounding music, and perhaps most effortless art ever created, but it is disservice to the man to say it took no effort. His genius is the supreme effort and ability to create the illusion of the effortlessness of perfection while expressing the gamut of all there is to express in musical art.

His pieces are crafted so subtlely that all the power and joy the music has exists in between the notes, in between the rhythms, the rests, the chords. You could say "this piece is great because of this melody here" but again that be underestimating it. His greatest pieces are great on all levels, and they are perfect at the smallest levels, like the atoms and molecules of a flower.
In fact, I would say my favorite Mozart piece of all is not Don Giovanni, or the last symphonies but the opening 10 bars of the Recordare from his Requiem. Music simply cannot be intrinsically better than that in my opinion.

But even here I'm getting too techinical. I am probably lying if I say the construction of his scores are why he is one of my favorites.
I think the real reason Mozart is one of my favorite composers is not because he's considered "the best" (What does that mean?), or I listen to him everyday (I don't), or I like to whistle Eine Kleine Nachtmusik (I can't whistle).
The real reason is that if I listen, watch, or think of something like the Overture to Die Zauberflote, or the opening Kyrie of his Mass in C-minor I am a kid again. And again, not because I have some sentimental attachment to the music. He was the first classical composer I ever really liked as a young lad, but I know that has nothing to do with it.

It just makes me a child again, and call me silly, but that makes me happy.

Happy 250th birthday tomorrow Wolfster. Hopefully we'll find your bones some day and give you a nice burial. Even Phillip Glass will have a gigantic masoleum dedicated to him I'm sure when he kicks the bucket 400 times in repetition.
You deserve better, buddy.
Tears of a Clownsilly Congratulates Hamas!

There is nothing worse than scathing cynicism and sarcasm in discussing tremendously complicated world affairs, so it is with a passion for the seriousness of truth that I would like to congratulate the Middle East on it's latest appropriation of what George W. Bush calls "the Power of Democracy"! It was a hard fought battle of an election (and a nail-biter if I may say so!), but Tears of a Clownsilly would like to extend a warm congratulations to his friends at HAMAS for a clear-cut victory in the Palestinian elections!

Now Tears of a Clownsilly of course has some reservations about some of Hamas'
activities and positions, namely the constant car bombing and "kill all the Jews" and "Destroy Israel" thing. But on the whole I have always been behind many of the group's ideas. For example, I am, and have always been a crusader (whoops!) for more bandanas. Perhaps it's the Irishman in me, but green has always been my favorite color , and the combination with white is striking and reminds me of my love of the Boston Celtics' uniforms. Hamas has always been VERY bandana friendly (see above), and I totally get behind that.

Another thing about Hamas that I love is the constant burning of flags, screaming
in Arabic and shooting off machine guns in the air. Now that's just fun! Every year at my block party after we've gotten fat on a couple of brats and Dr. Peppers to entertain the kids (and myself) I put on my green bandana, scream verses of the Koran and anti-Jewish slurs, burn a flag (American/Israeli etc. Actually not 'etcetera'. One of those two only.), and shoot off my AK which was given to me by the Israeli government in the 80s in the hope of me taking out Arafat. Sad irony really. But the kids love it and always ask for more even when I'm out of flags and bullets! We usually have to move on to Sparklers at that time...

So again-huge props to Hamas for taking a big one. Although it seems through the
wonders of democracy countries in the Middle East are electing leaders that hate us,
and countries in South and Central America are electing anti-American socialist after anti-American socialist, it is my belief in the end things will all work out.

They have to. Right?

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Thomas Ades: "Aww shucks!"

Check out Ades' pic in this collection of Honorary Graduates of the University of Essex looking like a cute eighth grader who's mom dressed up her "special little guy" real spiffy for yearbook day.
It's a welcome change from most photos of the brilliant young composer, who continually looks annoyed and moody; silently staring beind your eyes down into your soul, probing deep into the very core of your being before asking in a snotty British bass-voice, "What's all this then?".

Also while your there check out Feminist psychotherapist Professor Susie Orbach's picture. From the looks of her resume (author of Fat is a Feminist Issue) will probably not mind me at all calling her a total British MILF!
(If she happens to read this and does mind, please e-mail me at SeXyMaNN23920@earthlink.net. Tnx.)

Monday, January 23, 2006

Kobe Bryant Scores 81 Points

This proves two of my theories:

A) Kobe Bryant is a ball hog.
B) Kobe Bryant is a very good ball hog.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Epigrammatic Music Thought of the Day

I want to be Robert Craft's Robert Craft.

Friday, January 20, 2006

For Linda

Lips of his Daughter
I Kissed them and Ate them
this Or-ange that Fell
Into the Seas
Nafplio Harbor, the water that Consumed it
Spit it back Up
Up over the Trees

Linda is Sleeping
Her father is Sleeping
Hualinos eyes
She was crying
I wrapped her in the
Green Blanket
I wrapped her in it
the Green Blanket

We looked at the water
A tree was blocking the water
I put her on my shoulders so she could see the water
Her legs wrapped around me
I can see it
The water is so wet she said
I agreed that it was so wet

Taking the Train
to Peloponnesus
She Stared out the Window
Her Eyes Filled with Tears
I Took her Head and putit on my Shoulder
She Did that for Me
All of these Years

Wednesday, January 18, 2006


From Yahoo! Music news:

Ricky Martin Angered By Backlash From His Sexy 'Blender' Interview

01/17/2006 3:00 PM, Yahoo! Music
LAUNCH Radio Networks

Ricky Martin has struck back at critics who have attacked his ability to run his humanitarian foundation because of controversial statements the pop star made about his sex life in Blender magazine. In a letter in Spanish posted on Univision.com, Ricky said, "At the time I granted the interview never did it cross my mind that my comments would spark this absurd and sensationalist public discussion. I cannot avoid speculation about my career and life, but I cannot allow those for whom my foundation works to be affected because I am a public figure."

The backlash stems from an interview published last month, in which Ricky told Blender, "I love giving the 'golden shower.' I've done it before in the shower. It's like, so sexy, you know, the temperature of your body and the shower water is very different." Ricky went on to say, "I'm open to everything. There are moments for soft, gentle sex. And there are moments for a good spank in the butt."

The Ricky Martin Foundation is an advocate for children's rights and is actively involved in the fight against human trafficking. Ricky is also a Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF.

I too, am saddened by this media hypocricy. Where was the media outrage over important economist and humanitarian Jeffrey Sachs' admission to Maxim magazine of his love of "Crush Porn" and "large women"?:

When we asked Mr. Sachs about his erotic fantasies and bedroom peccadilloes he gave a hearty laugh and slapped his small, fragile leg.
"Oh me? Yeah...well...I CAN'T BELIEVE I'M TELLING YOU THIS!, but I'm a bit of 'a chubby chaser. I like my ladies big. I think the Roman poet Too $hort said it best:
'We hit the B-Town like Oakland flares
I knew it, bitches was everywhere
The first one had tits so fat
But that don't work, her ass was flat
The second bitch was flat too
I capped on her like a motherfuckin fool
I said be-atch, I know I'm cappin
Where's your ass, baby what happened
She turned around and capped on me
She said, fuck you nigga, where's your teeth
I damn near fell jumpin out the car
But I slapped that bitch, and slapped her hard
My homie said Short we gots to cut
But I was kickin that bitch and her big flat butt
I kicked her ass, got in the ride
Looked at the bitch and said bye bye.'

Later when I asked him what turned an American economist on he immediately got deathly
serious and stared at me point blank:
'Crush porn.'
'Are you serious?' I asked in disbelief.
'Yes. It is the ONLY thing that turns me on anymore.'

As he kept staring at me with a look of quiet hatred, I quickly changed the subject, as the
mood had taken a distressing turn. Mr. Sachs is a sick, dirty man. A sick, dirty man who has
bravely fought for debt cancellation to third world countries.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Franz Schreker: My Soul Brother From Another Mother

"Where is the salvation, what will happen? One must differentiate between combinations of noise and music. If the former is to be developed into an autonomous art and is acceptable to the majority, I have no objections. But the root of music, of musical art, lies deeper. It is a mixture of highly differentiated technique and a purely spiritual sensitivity nourished by visions. Whether light or serious in character, its values do not lie in the street...I require from music the extraordinary. Not amusement: this word seems to me paltry and inappropriate, especially for music...It seems to me that the somewhat forced and tortured superficiality in "new music" might be precisely the danger we have to overcome."

-Franz Schreker (from the 1928 essay 'Stilwende' quoted in Christopher Hailey's Franz Schreker: A Cultural Biography)

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Happy Birthdays

Three big Happy Birthdays today...

1. The august even in youth New Yorker critic Alex Ross .

2. Composer Morton Feldman (pictured above) who would have turned 80 today. In celebration, find a copy of one of his final works, Palais de Mari for piano. Listen to it, eat birthday cake and smoke a pack of cigarettes. It is one of the most otherworldly and troubling pieces of quiet musical hypnotism ever written.

3. And of course, one of the most exciting basketball players ever, Dominque Wilkins, who turns 46 today. Watch slamdunk number 19 here to see the man in his prime. Eat cake too while doing it.

My Life!


Sad European clown Patrick.

Wow. It's really been a self-love festival around here lately. First those face transformation pictures and now this! I promise you I will get back to crudely writing about music soon. But there is something more important I feel that needs to be addressed.
I've had many complaints of people telling me I'm too "elusive", too "guarded", too "private".

"Tell us something about you!" they all yell, the crowds. The crowds who wait outside my door in the middle of the freezing Minnesota winter to talk to me every day when I leave 'Patrick Manor'. Or rather, they TRY to talk to me, as I'm usually very busy.

They flock to me like lepers to Saint Damien, and demand to know more about me. It's always the same.

"Where do you come from?" one says.

"From wherever you want me to be", I coyly reply, putting a toothpick in my mouth, leaning against the wall.

"Is there any...GIRL....in your life??", another one friskily hastens to ask to a smattering of nervous laughter and excitement. All eyes are on me.

"That's for me to know...and you to find out." I reply, even more coyly than before, smoothing my wild mane of black hair which the wind has been gently toying with. I take the toothpick out, and wink at the crowd. Silence.

"How do we find out?" one man asks, near the back.

I am caught offguard. He has played the game well, and throws me off.

"...Uh....hm....yeah. I guess you could ask me? Or...that wouldn't be very mysterious though...THAT'S A RUDE QUESTION. It's inappropriate...It's like asking a woman her weight" I nervously add, pointing to a woman on my left for an example, who unfortunately happens to be quite overweight.

The same man speaks up:

I look down sadly. I'm caught in a run down between first and second.

"No. I mean....There are girls that I know that...............No." One particularly observational boy points out to me that I have toilet paper on the back of my shoe. I run away.

To combat this hysteria-since you all demand to know what life is like for this blogmaster Flex, I shall let you know...THROUGH PICTURES! TAKEN WITH A CAMERA! THAT I STOLE FROM MY FRIEND AFTER BEGGING HIM FOR HOURS IF I COULD BORROW IT!

Here's a glimpse into one night in my wonderful world:

Tonight it has been decided that I will hang out with my superfriend and master MC, Chaz. In this picture, he smiles in the knowledge that soon I will be entering his house and eating all his EL Fudge Double Stuff cookies.
Although I have no picture of my arrival or time at Chaz's, I submit this one of John of Gaunt, as I believe it captures my solemn grandiloquence, used so effectively for my entrances into parties, get-togethers and fandangos.

While Chaz's serf ties up my horse, we sit on his gigantic couch to take part in an ancient ritual for all 20 year old men:

...play 'Mortal Kombat 2' on Chaz's big flat screen entertainment system. While neither of us are anything like fans of videogames, and my motor skills when gaming are still below most species of primate (some of whom can even Sign), 'Mortal Kombat 2' is a hilarious and enjoyable game. Each punch and scream (of which there are many) powerful resound around the Northeast Minneapolis metropolitan area causing many to call the police. When the police do arrive, they only instruct us to turn it down, and are noticeably saddened that two 20 year old men are playing a 14 year old video game while eating cookies and drinking lemonade.

After our lust for awkwardly animated blood and death has been quenched, and inspired by the homicidal mayhem we have unleashed, we draw up plans to shoot up our respective schools in a state of demonic ecstasy. We then watch "South Park", which like the violent videogames we have just played, instructs us to do and say horrible things which we then do doubly, as the media has become our only true mentor in the wake of Godless liberal assault on traditional family values.

But alack, it has gotten late, and an episode of "Celebrity Fit Club" depresses us into a Bruce Vilanch-sized coma. I must depart and go to my humble abode.

My beloved inbred cat (his father was also his brother) Freddy awaits me.
He has had an equally active night, spent walking around aimlessly and sleeping.
What this picture doesn't show, is that Freddy is actually well over 130 pounds. What happens is that when my parents wake up to go to work they feed him. He then goes upstairs to sleep with me. When I wake up, I go downstairs and notice no food in his bowl thinking my parents have forgot. I feed him. This process happens 34 times again the entire day as people come and go from my house. By nightfall, Freddy has consumed over three times his weight in Whiskas brand cat food. You also have to factor in that my brother gives him a bowl of milk when he gets home, his rationale being that in the Looney Toons cartoon, Sylvester always loved drinking it. What he forgets, is that milk is actually bad for cats and although they enjoy the taste, is destructive to their already delicate digestive systems.

But we love him and we hope he enjoys his gluttonous, sinful life almost as much as we enjoy having him around.

But there is work to be done. I head upstairs to my room.

Here you see my desk for writing and studying music, doing homework, listening to music, working on the computer, and generally avoiding human contact. Bob Dylan, Art Blakey, Alban Berg and Igor Stravinsky look on in shame as I profoundly misunderstand their work. David Brent on the other hand (over the lamp), gives me props all day.

My work tonight consists of splashing around in the aquatic soundscape of the orchestration for Franz Schreker's Der Ferne Klang, seen here in a beautiful facsimile copy of his autograph score I obtained. The pencil is for effect. One looks at this and imagines me deep in concentration, pencil in hand circling the wonderful harp and celesta figures and the harmonic idiosyncrasies that give Schreker's work it's strange glow. Nope. I just placed it there so you'd think that bullshit. Dummies.

A signed envelope of Alban Berg I purchased, addressed to the President of an opera house in Munich. It dates from the early 30s when he was hard at work on the greatest opera of the century, Lulu. On the back is a personalized stamp the 40 something composer added himself, complete with his telephone number:
Alban Berg, Wien XIII/1
Trauttmansdorfigasse 27
(Austria) Tel. R 34-8-31
It gives me chills sometimes. Although my room is pretty chilly.

Here I am, in slight disbelief that I consumed the entire piece of food.

This is frightening. But I keep it on my desk anyway next to the stuffed duck a dear friend got me. He's a 'sexy teacher' doll, with torn jeans and an eraser in hand that we found in my sister's closet years after she moved out.

It has mysterious...powers......

Anywho. I plan to use this camera in the next few days and I hope to post some more pictures here. This is an incentive to keep living. An incentive not to die.

Monday, January 09, 2006



Me as a baby

(Aww. Only a TOUCH of Alcohol Fetal Syndrome.)

Me as Old Man

("Get off my lawn.")

Me as a Black man

(Oh boy.)

Me as a Caucasian
(See Original Picture and put me in Golf Shoes reading Wall Street Journal).

Me as Middle Easterner

(This is racist. They've modeled me into a chunkier version of 9/11 hijacker Mohand al-Shehri )

Me as a East Asian

Me as Woman

(As a woman I would be frumpy secretary from Apple Valley who loves John Grisham novels and Heath Ledger.)

As painted by Amedeo Modigliani

(Greasy wop made my nose too long. What an amateur!)

As painted by Sandro Botticelli

As painted by El Greco


And yes, you are welcome for the nightmare fuel. Sweet dreams, suckkaz!

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Piece of the Moment!

Not a piece at all, but a little laughlyhumor from the beloved pianist/comedian Victor Borge. Here he makes fun of Bach and Wagner, breaking two deadly rules for all Teutonic pagan Aryan forest worshipers.
Enjoy it here...

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Winter Once and Again

Every year my lips fall apart. The succulent army, falling into the snow.
Did you hear the one about the sun? It's gone to the arcade apparently.
I lent the sun fourteen quarters so he could play VirtuaFighter.
He walked into the arcade in the mall right next to Sam Goody where white slaveowner's children buy 50 Cent CDs for 20 Thousand Cents of their parent's hardly earned purse.
He walked into the Arcade and burnt everything within miles, killing over 400 people.

So what's all this about the season I hear? Break your neck while sledding, falling on the ice.
Celebrate the season! Celebrate the season! Season your turkey with bread crumbs! There are pigeons in this place that would wing down to sit on top of the turkey and eat those delicious bread crumbs, one of those natural accidents like when a peacock trips over a venus flytrap onto a sleeping bear.

Winter is fun because you can skate on the ice. Sing a song, sled on the snowhill, slide down the hill. Heat up the car. Jesus Christ it's cold.

Did you hear the one about the son? Jesus Christ is the son of God. He likes winter most of all. His robe made the Jews snowblind.
I crucified Jesus Christ so I could use his quarters to play Mortal Kombat.

I walked in to the arcade and into the sun and my lips came back and I was pretty damn happy about that and took a nap.