Ohrwurm

Ugh…(!!!)

I played this catchy and somewhat annoying song that helps with greetings and basic phrases in French in French I class yesterday.

They loved it so much, they begged for an encore…, so we played it again….

And I surprised them with it this morning again…

They loved t every time, and they put genuine effort into singing along as best they could.

It was adorable.

However, I spent the entire ride home singing the song in my head on repeat… and the past hour since being home, too…

I am so over this song….

If only my brain would pick up on the matter… πŸ˜›

Post-a-day 2019

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Road Trip Prep

A miniature shout-out to Amazon Music, the App – I just prepared a BA (aka totally nerdy and perfect) playlist for our miniature road trip tomorrow morning.

My mom and I will be able to listen to the glorious soundtracks to various Broadway productions that we love and others that we expect to love in the near future…. and it will cost me no data whatsoever – I downloaded them over wifi just now, for free, and I will play them off my phone in the car tomorrow while we drive.

Some are new, some are older-ish-new, and some are throwbacks to my childhood… whatever the case, I suspect and expect we will have a grand ole time singing along to most of them. πŸ™‚

Post-a-day 2019

Cultural Villainy

This afternoon/evening, I found myself discussing various voice and talking style stereotypes in American English and in Japanese (from Japan, of course*).

It all started with seeing the film “Aladdin” in the cinema this afternoon, and then, over ice cream afterward, we veered onto Disney music and its composers a lyricists (and how amazing some of the greats are[!!!]).

Then we branched into the Japanese versions of this music, as the friend with me is Japanese, and she grew up only hearing the Japanese language versions of the songs.

We discussed differences I had found in the music, and why I thought each one was so… now that she has been living in the US for about a year, she saw exactly what I meant and genuinely understood.

“Colors of the Wind” sounds somewhat stressed and so compounded and busy in Japanese, yet the English sounds so open and contemplative, filled with deep breaths and space through the notes and the words… there are just too many syllables in the Japanese, and too many consonants in between all the vowels…

An American likely would be appalled at hearing the Japanese version of Scar’s voice, because the voice doesn’t match the type of villain that he is… it is not entitled and brooding and, almost like serial killer style, the voice of someone who is biding his time until his plot can unfurl perfectly to his advantage – until, at last, he is granted his dues, as Scar says.

To American ears, the Japanese Scar in pathetic and angry and holds no weight behind his short-man angry yelling of a voice, desperately hoping someone will listen to him and do what he wants others to do.

And yet, to Japanese ears, the Japanese Scar is exactly right: He is the stereotypical ‘bad guy’ voice and has that same ‘bad guy’ and ‘villain’ manner of speaking… the English version would sound just ‘American’, and have nothing special tied to it for Japanese ears.

And my friend was able to see and hear just these things, and mainly because she has become accustomed to hearing so many different ways of speaking that people have here in English (unlike Japanese English in Japan, which is pretty much always the same).

And, somehow, I found the whole situation to be fascinating and utterly fulfilling… I had never really thought quite so much and quite so pointedly about the translations and the voices of actors until today, though it certainly was not my first or, even, tenth time considering it all.

It had me feel an almost silly passion for Disney and, in particular, “The Lion King”, and yet I couldn’t find a reason not to care so much about it all – I love languages and music and seeing things in new ways, and these Disney movies had huge impacts on my childhood and, therefore, my life as a whole… they are a part of me… and I care about and love myself.

So, I guess I get to love those Disney films, too, silly little perfect details and all. πŸ™‚

By the way, I went into “Aladdin” with an attitude of its being a different film and perspective of the same story as the animated version…, and I thoroughly enjoyed the film – it was wonderful(!).

And it was filmed in Jordan(!)… how cool is that?!

I don’t often go to cinemas these days (in the US, anyway), but I am glad I went today – it was a lovely experience. πŸ™‚

*Does Japanese have a culture of native speakers anywhere else in the world?

Post-a-day 2019

Happy Birthday

“Happy Birthday….

“Happy Birthday, baby, oh… I love you so!

“Siiix-tyyy candles….”

That’s what I sang to my mom as I played the ukulele tonight… it’s her sixtieth birthday today, and, just after I had sung her our usual birthday song (“On this day”), I suddenly had the beginning of “Sixteen Candles” in my head…

And it hit me: sixty sounds a lot like sixteen… I can do this!

So, I did a quick chord check, and then called her back.

As soon as I hit the third line, she was laughing… ‘sixty candles make a lovely light’… they do, indeed. πŸ˜›

And then, she apparently had her phone sitting open in front of her, with me on speakerphone, because she had just been sending my brother a message while I figured out one last detail before singing to her, and so, as I sang, the Animoji I had sent via her phone to my brother this morning was playing (silently) on repeat… as my mom said afterward, it was like one of those translated Kung-fu films, where the lips are nowhere near lining up with the dubbed speech, but, in our case, it was a tiny digital monkey serenading my mom with my voice. πŸ˜›

When she told me that, we both cracked up at the stupidity of it (including the fact that she kept watching the monkey babbling the whole time in the first place!). πŸ˜€

I love my mom… thank you for my mom, God… really great work there. πŸ™‚

Post-a-day 2019

Music Therapy

For some reason, I always seem to forget how important and how valuable playing music is to my life.

I get into these ruts of not feeling like putting forth the effort to play music on any of my instruments, because it’s usually just before bed that I have the real time to spend doing it, and I’m so tired that I want to get as much sleep as possible before I wake early the next day.

And then the one or two nights like that get me in the habit of not playing (and singing), and I go weeks or months without doing any music of my own.

And then, every time I get back into it, I rediscover how massive a difference it makes for me and my sanity, my mental calm.

It is like meditation, while also being an active mental workout, figuring out the notes and all, and casually committing things to memory from it all… and also an emotional catharsis… so it’s cathartic meditative exercise for the mind and body.

And I somehow always forget that, and I let myself not play and sing… dope… cut it out. πŸ˜›

I think my whole concern is that I love it so much, I always end up playing for so long – like an hour or so – every time I play, and that’s a lot less time to sleep, especially when the alarm is sounding in only six or seven hours.

You know what I mean?

So, I want to work on that… maybe I can manage some playing during the daytime some days… or maybe find a few select songs that satisfy fully, so I can spend just five or ten minutes before bed, yet be fully satisfied…

We’ll see… that’s my goal for this month, musically – to figure that out.

Post-a-day 2019

At the close of a rough day…

What are you doing right now?

Can I play ukulele to you?

I’m feeling a bit lonesome and useless, and that would be a quality purpose

I considered guitar, but the strings really need to be replaced :/

Those were the messages I sent.

And then she called me…, and I played ukulele and sang to her, and we talked a bit afterward about some things, and it was great.

My mission was accomplished, and I felt so much more at ease than beforehand… service given, art made, purpose felt, love shared.

Friends are wonderful, even when they are all the way across the country.

πŸ™‚

P.S. I spoke briefly with a friend in D.C. earlier, and then this one in Oregon tonight… I really do span the country with my closest friends… it’s almost as though one must live farther away in order to deepen our friendship more. πŸ˜›

Post-a-day 2019

Opera…

… so dramatic…(!)

But I totally love it, and largely for its actually absurd level of drama – the characters in shows are just plain nuts… and, if you don’t think they are, just pay a bit closer attention to their words, and they’ll wind up nuts soon enough.

Seriously, though…. almost all the characters… in almost every show… πŸ˜›

It’s kind of great. πŸ˜€

Whenever my mom and I attend a Mozart opera, at some point in the performance – and it sometimes happens more than once, if the music makes it really too hard to resist the secret explosion – my mother leans over to me and whispers through slightly pursed lips, “Too many notes…”

She doesn’t mean it, of course – she is merely commenting on how clearly she can hear the amazing number of notes that happen in a matter of seconds in Mozart’s compositions.

And, of course, she does so by quoting Signore Salieri from the spectacular film “Amadeus”.

(If you haven’t seen it, watch it… if you have, feel invited to watch it again soon.) πŸ˜‰

It always gives me a bit of crack up, while simultaneously bringing a sense of awe into the space: Mozart’s compositions truly are magical.

And the ‘too many notes’ thing really is magical, too, because, upon first listening, I never notice the hundreds of notes…, but, when I think of Salieri’s comment, I suddenly hear them all, flying about, going this way and that, like butterflies of all different colors, going in all directions, but somehow all painting a beautiful picture in front of you with their combined colors en masse… it’s like a Seurat with notes…

And I love it.

Post-a-day 2019