Wednesday, January 12, 2011

insert clever title here

i haven't blogged in several days. there is a general feeling of malaise over things right now. part of that is amsterdam's spurious relationship with sunlight. i do love it here, but with the sun not appearing until 9am and disappearing at 4pm, it makes it hard to do anything.

of course there is also the tragedy in times like that making art, and even more blogging about it, seems a bit trivial. i had a wonderful lunch with nicholas mansfield yesterday (artistic administrator of the nationale reisopera) and he said he felt we was good at his job because he realized that what he did (what we do) isn't that important in the big scheme of things. it was a strange thing to hear, one is so used to hearing artists expound on the ultimate importance of art, even if the causality to explain that importance is hidden in enigmatic ways. i'm not sure i agree with him, i do think making opera is deeply important, but i also struggle to understand how it stands up against politics, when politics has the power to so change the lives of people that will never see an opera.

anyway, didn't feel much like writing, and felt very angry about the mechanization of politics, of action, of journalism, of media. it all seems like such a performance now. a great curtain of irony has descended, nothing is true, words have no meaning, everything is now reading between the lines.

that thought connects with the work i've been doing lately on absurdism and poulenc's "la voix humaine". i never quite realized how much until this week. i have a suspicion, however true or not, that poulenc was directly influenced by camus in writing it. i thinke even cocteau did not entirely intend it as a melodramatic naturalistic work. i think there is an entirely different reading, an absurdist reading, to the piece. ultimately, and i haven't quite figured out how to put this into words, i think it is about man's seperation from the fantasy of life, how the viel of ojective "meaning" falls away, how painful and necessary that process is, how alone man then realizes he is, and ultimately about the decision to live or die. camus says that the central philosophical question of life is suicide, and i think "la voix humaine" is also about this question. at least for me.

mostly i've been reading and constructing that idea. i also have to go to milan next week and present a concept for rossini's "aureliano in palmira", which i have in my head, but need to figure out how to articulate effectively on paper and orally.

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