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Topics - Crudblud

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Philosophy, Religion & Society / UK General Election, 4 July 2024
« on: May 22, 2024, 06:24:15 PM »
He could have waited out the year to see what, if anything, would happen that might make the Tories' inevitable defeat less absolute, but he decided the kamikaze option was the right one for whatever reason. Possibly he's looking forward to an early retirement in the US.

My biggest concern for some time now has been a Labour government without an effective opposition. If the polling is accurate then complacency will be the defining characteristic of Starmer's time in No 10.

Lastly I'm not sure if the date is supposed to be some sort of stunt because muh independence but it certainly seems a touch Boris.

Arts & Entertainment / A Generic Fantasy of My Own
« on: February 21, 2018, 01:36:39 AM »
As some of you will know, for a time I was involved with a fantasy RPG project as writer and composer. Due to issues with an investor I made the decision to leave the project, and my work came with me. I had created quite a lot of stuff, and I didn't want to let it go to waste, so after a while I started writing additional material around it. In January I began publishing this additional writing, along with relevant material from the game, as The World Unbuilt, a weekly series on my blog. Since I know Snupes and Saddam have read some of it, and since I just published a new entry today, I figured why not make a thread here finally.

If you check it out, I hope you enjoy it.

Suggestions & Concerns / Nesting Tags Inside Spoiler Tags
« on: August 22, 2017, 02:02:44 PM »
I keep meaning to post about this, every time I write a review of something recent it's kind of a problem, mainly because I am autistic about formatting. I don't know if the way SMF works (or doesn't, as the case may be) makes this a ridiculous hassle or what, but it would be nice if spoiler tags didn't have a "nobbc" effect on nested code.

For example: This works fine, just the way you'd expect it to but this is kinda gay problematic.

Is there any way this could be fixed? Thanks.

Arts & Entertainment / Talkin' Classical
« on: December 09, 2015, 01:21:30 AM »
Snupes suggested that I start a thread in which I write about classical music and do reviews and stuff, so here goes. I reckon I'll be mixing it up between reviews and general articles to keep things interesting, and I'll try to avoid being didactic about it, that is to say I'm not going to try and create an overall guide that is going to take you from beginner to expert in increments, because that simply isn't going to work. No, don't let this first post fool you, I may be writing a general introduction today, but next time I could be reviewing Stockhausen's Licht, so don't get too comfortable.

I have no idea how regularly I'll update this and I doubt many people care, but here's another project to add to the way-too-many I'm already working on!

Getting Started

Classical music has a pretty bad reputation among a lot of people, it's elitist music for snobs, or worse background music for studying and relaxation, either way something to be handled at a considerable distance and even then largely ignored. This needn't be true today, where actually getting it and listening to it is so easy that there's practically no reason not to, unless you're deaf, in which case I apologise. However, that doesn't mean it's going to be easy to explore, after all, you're talking about a tradition which spans the best part of 1000 years, from early Gregorian chant through to live electronics and beyond. New listeners generally either find themselves swamped by trying to listen chronologically to the entire western canon, or they pick up a 100 Greatest Classics compilation featuring tunes excerpted from larger works, decontexualised and thereby stripped of value. Hopefully, this post will help you, the curious newcomer, get a basic idea of how to start and where to go.

First off, it's probably best to acknowledge and accept that there isn't really a good place to start. Whether your first listen is Beethoven or Berio, you're only hearing one piece that represents a very small chunk of the overall history of classical music, not to mention that different people have different musical backgrounds, and what hooks one person can completely bewilder and scare off another. Unfortunately there isn't a formula for what you'll like based on what you already like, and there's little in the way of 1:1 between classical music and popular music. For this reason, it is best to try a little bit of this and a little bit of that, see what works for you and what doesn't.

Having said that, and I assure you there is more than a little personal bias in this suggestion, it's hard to go wrong with the transitional period from romanticism to modernism, the fin de siècle. It is an especially vibrant period, as Wagner's popularisation of chromaticism, resulting in the blooming of German late romanticism, had brought the next generation of composers to consider tonality and form in new ways, from Mahler's increasingly dissonant and structurally expansive symphonies, to Debussy's neo-modal tritone based works, and eventually Schoenberg's Second Viennese School and so-called "free atonality." You don't really need to worry about what any of those terms mean right now, but what I'm getting is that this period has enough going on to suggest a general direction for the newcomer to go in, whether looking back towards the contrapuntal rigour of baroque and the formal simplicity of early music, or forward towards the turbulent and expansive mid to late 20th century and beyond, or even both.

However you decide to start, know that while classical music is very broad and dense, with hundreds of hours of great music that you can spend a lifetime exploring in full, it needn't be chosen over other kinds of music in an oft succumbed-to false dichotomy. It also needn't be a chore, which is easy enough to avoid by not setting the whole thing up for yourself as a Herculean trial for you to endure. Listening projects can be fun once you've gotten a handle on the tradition and know at least in brief your likes and dislikes, but as a beginner the minute you start thinking to yourself "I'm gonna get the Schubert Edition and listen to all 60 discs!" is the minute you set yourself up for a miserable experience — Schubert is a great composer and all, but seriously: don't. There's also very little need for a beginner to worry about hearing multiple performances of a given piece — chances are, you aren't going to notice the difference at this stage, and on top of that you'll likely sour yourself on comparing performances, which, once your ear is more experienced, is going to be very rewarding for you.

Lastly, I'd like to talk about taste. In classical music we have the western canon, this is basically the agreed upon list of "best" or "most important" works, mostly determined by critics, musicologists, and music historians. It sounds impressive, and indeed there are many hours of great music to enjoy within its confines, but it isn't the be all and end all of great music, nor is it something you should feel intimidated by. Just because a bunch of dudes you've never heard of think all this stuff is hot shit, doesn't mean you have to agree — don't let them dictate your taste to you. By all means use it as a guide, but don't ever let it tell you what it's okay to like or dislike, trust your own ears first and foremost — there's no shame in liking, for example, Satie more than Beethoven.

So that about wraps it up. I could go on for thousands of words about all sorts of stuff that doesn't really matter to you at this point, but just like I don't think it's a good idea to build a foreboding mountain of music for yourself to climb, I have no interest in filling your head with so many ideas that you are just as clueless about classical music as you were when you started reading. I hope this post gets you interested in exploring this great musical tradition, and I hope you find these selections an enticing introduction to it.

Arts & Entertainment / RIP Terry Pratchett (1948-2015)
« on: March 13, 2015, 06:35:21 AM »
One of Britain's most beloved writers of fantasy fiction has passed away at the age of 66 following a long and public battle with Alzheimer's disease. I was not his biggest fan, but I have always appreciated his wit and sense of humour, and most of all his dedication to his craft.

Arts & Entertainment / The Zappa Reviews
« on: January 18, 2015, 03:10:52 PM »
This project is a chronological review of the music works of Frank Zappa. It is limited exclusively to albums (as listed here) that were released during the artist's lifetime, with two special exceptions. The first exception is Läther, completed in 1977 but not officially released until 1996; the second is Civilization Phaze III, which was essentially complete at the time of Zappa's death in December of 1993, but was not released until December of 1994. The reviews herein will comprise the final stage of research/preparation for a non-biographical book I am working on, and will hopefully be included in the final product if someone is crazy enough to publish it.

The essays will probably be fairly dense in reference to a wide range of things, and aim at constructing, through in-depth looks at lyrical content, album structure, instrumentation, and other elements, a logical array of “lenses” through which to view the body of work of a man who, for me, is one of the most important composers of the 20th century. They are also habitually written in manuscript format with double spaces after full-stops (periods) and colons, sorry about that.

This essay series is also published here. Updates weekly!

Arts & Entertainment / Cazazza Dan
« on: December 12, 2013, 07:23:42 PM »
I make music and stuff and in this thread I'm going to post about it and you can make fun of me or whatever it is you want to do. On the old FES I used to make a new thread for every release, but this time around I've decided to just do a general thread and bump it with fresh content when it's ready to go.

Back Catalogue (anything I had posted on FES previously; will be updated with each new release)

Sailin' Tuns! (2012)
Hello (2012)
Salami XIII (2013)
Night Music (2013)
Frozen Bob's Estranged Wife (2013)
Emergent (2013)
Urgynes (2014)

Arts & Entertainment / Just Watched
« on: December 02, 2013, 07:12:47 PM »
You know the deal: post about a film or series you have seen recently.

12 Angry Men (Sidney Lumet)

This film is widely regarded as an American classic anyway, so there's really nothing for me to say that hasn't already been said. It has a great script, tight direction and excellent performances, and is surely one of the best directorial debut features of all-time.

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