September 28, 2016

Melody and Memory #MUS654

Is there something about context that gives those notes meaning?

Laura poses a question this week. I am linking this with a question of my own.

How does context link with memory?

Yesterday I was thrown back in time, with a seemingly obscure choice of J S Bach's solo cello piece at my son's end of term school musical.

It reminded me of the exact place where I used to play these pieces. I'm glad Laura also turned to Bach and mentions it in her post here "Making It Melodic" In particular how many performers can make this piece their own, through interpretation and situation of performance.

When I heard that melody in the musical, I closed my eyes, blocked out an auditorium full of parents, children and teachers chattering, a video screen displaying a rolling tape of children's colourful drawings and repeated my personal mantra that I created nearly 20 years ago during a personal development course.

I can't see any obvious link between these events but what came out of that memory trip was a warm feeling and a re-affirmation that love needs to be a focus in my life again. The theme of those children's drawings where joy, friendship, family and love. I wonder if this will now be intertwined in the memory/context mix.

Robertson et al (2015) talks about semantic associations and how this is part of the complexity of how memories are formed or even disassociated. They conclude that 'These semantic associations with context are complex, can develop over a lifetime and are complicated by additional associations brought by language use.'. The language of music adds to context and yet can transcend context.

September 27, 2016

Getting Stamped - Part II

Stamp collecting was a hobby when I was young. I have lugged around those stamp albums for the last 30 plus years. Each time I open the box, I can't bring myself to ditch them. I can't imagine my son seeing any value in them. It's time to get creative!

Step 1: Pick the album that has the least sentimental value and pick out a few interesting ones. My son and I have some project-fun time and remove all the stamps from the albums and he has great fun in tearing and ripping up the empty album.

Step 2: Soak the stamps in water and checkout a Youtube video for some hints on what to do next.

Step 3: Make the paper and let it dry

Step 4: Collect some poetry and some materials from the upcycle pile and create some postcards.

Step 5: Post them out!

My mother still takes great care on what stamp is chosen for the recipient. When I receive a letter from her I check the stamp carefully. Letters from family have immediate hand writing recognition. Postcards from #CLMOOC peers have Avatar and Twitter handle associations. As I handle these thin slices of paper, I think of people's avatars and Twitter handles. Will this association with these icons pass as well? How will we connect or associate with each other in the future?

Wendy Eiteljorg and her marvellous creations in this post, I'll be using stamps!
Karen Fasimpur Postcard Project

September 6, 2016


What makes a 
musical instrument?


It's vibrations.

Beside tones.
That interact with the room
and people in the room.

It's all perspective ~
Frame of mind.

Dancing fruit
is hardly acceptable.

Context, context.

When do we resist

Poem from Twitter conversation 
@laura_ritchie, @sensor63, @bmurley, @ronald_2008, @NomadWarMachine

Here is a blackout poem from the start of David Byrne's book about How Music Works.