THE DEAF MUSIC PROJECT
By his mid-40's, Ludwig van Beethoven was completely deaf, yet he still composed and conducted music. Now, I'm not master composer, nor for that matter much of an amateur composer, but I've decided to write a piece of music without hearing it. I will complete the piece before ever hearing it. It will be a simple piece, granted, but a complete one nonetheless. I will be composing it in FL Studio 7 (I don't have 8). I welcome anyone to do the same, although what you use to compose with is up to you, so long as you can't hear it. Please do share what you come up with. Do not listen to it, edit it, and then release it. Release it first. Then you can go back and edit it.
So I'm having my lunch today, eating some kind of microwaved Indian food, and I get to thinking "This food tastes pretty good. I wonder what kind of spices they use for it." So, naturally I look at the ingredients list. It's got spinach, tomato, tomato, water, spices, salt... Wait, did that just list the spices as "spices"?
Yes, the spices are listed as "spices". Well that's good to know. I'm glad they put spices in the food. It might've been pretty bland otherwise. What are they?!
You know, what one person considers a spice, someone else might consider a lethal poison. What qualifications does something have to meet for it be merely listed as "spices"? Would rat feces be a spice? I am eating factory-produced food, here.
There's a few other ingredients that are often left ambiguous. "Natural flavors" and "Artificial flavors" are probably the top two. Now, "artificial flavor" kinda makes sense. They might actually have a product called "artificial flavor", stored in a jar labeled "artificial flavor, add to anything". But "natural flavor"? The name implies that it's natural, but anything left so ambiguous certainly can't be natural. I mean, to me, natural flavor would be something like "tomato" or "grape", or maybe an extract of either. I think anything going beyond extract status would then be considered artificial. So what are these natural flavors? It can't be the natural flavors of the other ingredients, because that would be a bit on the redundant side. They may as well call it "mystery flavor", becuase that's about as helpful in figuring out what it is.
For the longest time in human history, certain things have had a certain way about them. For instance, the white wedding dress is supposed to only be worn by a virgin woman. However, these days, few women who wear one actually are virgins. Why would they wear them, then? Because somewhere along the line we forgot that that's the way it's supposed to be. Then, when we learn about things like that, we don't really care and just do what we want anyway. She's not a virgin, she knows about the convention, but she's wearing the white wedding dress anyway, because that's what she wants to do. I say things are better this way.
I think the only reason these conventions were put into place is because the people of olden times didn't have anything better to do than come up with and follow strange conventions. For instance, when a woman stands up to leave a table, it's considered polite for all the men to stand up at the table until she walks away, at which point they can all sit back down. Few people know of this, and even fewer practice it. I think in these modern times, if a girl got up to go to the bathroom and all the men stood up with her, she might get a little freaked out, especially if she doesn't know about the convention. She might even feel bad for having gotten up to go to the bathroom, and next time she'll just hold it instead of subject herself to the grand announcement that she's going to the bathroom. Can you imagine seeing this in common practice in restaurants? That would be so surreal. Every minute or two, all the guys at some random table just stand up for a bit. It actually creates a rather amusing image, like something out of a Terry Gilliam film.
Many conventions people just accept because they're raised with them would actually appear very strange to someone who wasn't raised with them and may not be aware of them. I won't get into the subject of religion here, but if you travel to foreign countries where they don't speak a Latin-based language, you may observe many strange customs that are unquestionably normal to the people practicing them. However, even in countries that are still living like they would've 200 years ago, conventions are being lost due to outside influence.
Honestly, I think these impractical conventions (I say this not to criticize conventions, but rather to limit my statement to just the impractical ones) are better off lost. Unless they're fun, of course, because fun is something we should have more of. Standing up at the table when a girl needs to pee isn't fun. However, when these things are seen to outsiders as strange and possibly scary, it certainly doesn't help to quell the xenophobia that exists even today. I think xenophobia is on the out, and has been for a while, although not nearly as much prior to the Internet boom. In spite of all the hate, drama, and anonynimity that's prevelant on the Internet, I think it's bringing us closer together as a world. I think it's also partly responsible for the loss of many conventions, as we all now have better ways to keep ourselves occupied than learning if the color of our clothes means anything about our sexuality.
I recently went and saw U2 3D at the Natural History Museum IMAX Theater. I wasn't going to mention it because they weren't going to run it more than another week, but I guess it's sustained popularity and showings have been extended at least to the first week in May. Therefore, I can recommend that you go. I've been twice, once this past weekend, and once the weekend before that. It was worth seeing twice.
So, it's a U2 concert on an IMAX screen, and it's in 3D. Now, going to a theater to see a U2 concert isn't something I'd normally do. I'm not the biggest U2 fan, honestly. Sure, I like their music. I have some of their albums. But they're not in my top 10. However, seeing it on an IMAX screen, that's got some appeal, just because it's so big. Then, it's in 3D? Oh, I have to see it. Now, if it was a band like Death Cab For Cutie or Linkin Park, the 3D and IMAX combination just wouldn't be enough to get me to the theater, but U2 is pretty good band, and they do know how to put on a good show.
One thing I must say about U2 is that they're better live than in the studio, especially when they've got a kick-ass South American audience. South American audiences are probably the best audiences in the world, because they're so excited and energetic, and they do stuff like sing along to instrumentals en masse. This kind of thing gets the band all excited, so, these guys who already do a good job live, do an even better job because of their audience. Then I get to reap the rewards in a theater where I can just sit there in a semi-comfortable chair and relax. That's a pretty good deal to me.
Even if you're not much of a U2 fan, it's still worth going to see. They didn't make excessive use of the 3D, but I consider that to be a good thing. I think it would have detracted from the experience. Still, there are some shots where you really feel the 3D effect, especially the shots overlooking the audience. Also, there's extra stuff during the end credits, so make sure to stick around when those start rolling. The first show I went to, nobody even got up out of their chairs when the credits started rolling.
There's a theater locator on their site (linked above), so you can find the one closest to you. If you can, make sure it's an IMAX theater, because the experience would be dulled in any other kind of theater. I saw Beowulf 3D in a regular theater, and the screen cut-off really detracted from the 3D effect. I don't think U2 3D would be as bad, but it's still good to see it in IMAX theater.