Wednesday, December 29, 2010

ramón del valle-inclán

"the artist can see the world from three different positions. he can look upwards, as if on his knees before it, and present an idealized, reverent picture of reality; he can confront it standing on the same level, which will lead to a realistic approach; or he can see the world from above - and from this distant vantage point it will appear ridiculous and absurd, for it will be seen as through the eyes of a dead man who looks back on life."

to be (funny) or not to be

i've never felt like a funny guy...what do i mean by that? in my personal life i think i'm funny, or at least i think i'm lighthearted, i try to be. and, as i've just read and ionesco points out, laughter is the one escape from the absurdity of man's condition. and yet, in my work on stage, i've also tended towards the serious, not having much use, or to be more honest, not feeling at home and/or edified by comedy. and yet, not i'm faced with a difficult problem for me...aureliano in palmira.

this is an early rossini opera seria. the libretto is definitely seria, and it has strong political parallels to today, dealing with cultural clashes of east and west and cultural imperalism, and all the things i love to deal with. but, rossini hadn't quite found the mature voice he later would in works like, this is classic 21 year old rossini, like barbiere, infact even lifting a lot of the that music. it is funny music, and i don't know if that is because contemporary sentiment has made it that way or rossini wrote it that way, but it verges towards a sort of om-pah-pah formalism that is funny. well, that takes me into the land of satire, or absurdity, maybe farce. and then i feel a bit lost - how do i move in that direction (where the music seems to want to go) and still retain my own voice, my own clarity that i value so much. i'm not is turning over and over in my brain and no distillation has made it out yet. help...

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

new names in a new year

i finally got around to changing the address for this blog today. it has been a slow divorce process from aot. i don't think anyone, least of all me, knows what is going to happen to that little company that couldn't. i'm not sad so much as exilerated at its unraveling. it was good run, with some good art, that allowed me to create, to learn, to grow. but now that it is gone, or soon to be gone, i realize that it had become a cruch for putting energies elsewhere than on me. so...onto the future.

it was difficult finding a new name. so many were already taken that it made me consider the sense in even having a blog, but since i don't think anyone reads this, it is most certainly more for me than for anyone else. Finally I landed on "intricate imperfect various things", which is a small extract from my favorite e.e. cummings sonnet:

if i have made, my lady, intricate
imperfect various things chiefly which wrong
your eyes (frailer than most deep dreams are frail)
songs less firm than your body's whitest song
upon my mind - if i have failed to snare
the glance too shy - if through my singing slips
the very skillful strangeness of your smile
the keen primeval silence of your hair

- let the world say "his most wise music stole
nothing from death" -
you only will create
(who are so perfectly alive) my shame
lady whose profound and fragile lips
the sweet small clumsy feet of april came

into the ragged meadow of my soul.

it also i think happens to be an ideal title for a blog that seems to have no consistent direction or theme, and is so terribly flawed at its core, and hopelessly so i'm afraid.

it is a season of newnesses. lately i've been reading on the theatre of the absurd, which because of its lyricism draws me. but, it has put a lot of things int disarray artistically. i'm totally confused about questions of style and meaning and importance and all those things mentors would say to not think about and just make the art, but it seems when push comes to shove i have to solve, at least to some extent, some of those questions. particularly with this "aureliano in palmira". it is a real problem for me...a work with serious libretto and goofy music and what? what? what? i don't know...yet.

i don't make resolutions for new years, but this year i might. i really want to be more honest, more me. how is it possible for that to be so difficult? it should be the easiest thing in the world right? and yet, i feel that i have such a hard time being me, to the point that i'm not sure i even really know who that person is. in fact, i feel that what defines me most is being afraid of being a word "afraid". maybe i can fix that this year. again, i don't know...yet.