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Monday, 28 March 2011

Epicness of Awesome!

Went to see Tim Minchin live at the Sydney Opera House last night. For those not familiar, well worth a look. (Good one to start off with would be along the lines of 'Dark Side' or 'Prejudice'.) Until then, put simply, he's a comedic pianist. Yes, similar to what I do. Well, more the other way around, but anyway.
Those of you that are familiar with Tim Minchin may be wondering why I went to see him, given that I am a Christian, and much of his material is colourful, to say the least. His 'Pope Song' would be a shining example of this.
But Mr Minchin, despite his frequent use of language of the coarse variety, and many quite vocal atheist views, has a lot of great ideas. On top of that, he is a master with the piano, has insanely clever lyrics, and possesses a good voice to boot.
Add to this the entire Sydney Symphony, which he had behind him at the time, and you result in this post's title. Needless to say, I enjoyed last night immensely. =D I also, interestingly, had a chat to one of the camera operators (it was being broadcast live to ABC2), who had actually been there at the opening of the Opera House - and on top of of it, actually, with a video camera. Needless to say, he'd been in the business for a few years. Think that would be a pretty good job, though perhaps not one that's too practical for me at the moment. (Though my mum is pushing for me to get a job, but that's another story.)
So yeah, think that's pretty much all I wanted to write this week. Nothing terribly profound, just something cool that I did.

Monday, 21 March 2011


This week, I thought I'd talk - well, write - about something that I've really noticed for a while now.
In my life, I have a lot of people that I know, a lot of people that I talk to, get along with fairly well. But generally, there's a bit of a smaller number that I really get to know well, that I really like to see, that sort of thing. Over the past few years, however, I've noticed something - people don't always stick around. Sometimes, they have to go. For one reason for another. And - not through anything I had done, but each for their own reasons - for the past few years, I've had a fair number of good friends leave. We're still friends, but they just went somewhere else, or got busier, life caught up with them, that sort of thing.

And I sort of felt like I was in the middle of an iceberg, and little bits were coming off at the edges, taking other people away, and I never saw them again. Of course, I see a couple of them every now and again. It's a small world, so it's fairly inevitable that I'll bump into them at some point. But it can be very difficult, just wondering why everybody is leaving. But recently, I realised that it's not the full picture. Because, just as some fragments break off the iceberg, new fragments float in. They don't take their place, and they never can. Nothing ever can. But it's something, at least - it is a give and take, not just a take. Which is good.

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Inspiration. Creation. Expression.

Late again, ugh. Really hoping this doesn't become a habit.

I thought that today I'd like to explain a little quote of mine, which is the title of this blog. Those three words are what I think is so important and unique about music. Strangely enough, though, it actually works backwards - it's oriented this way because it works nicely as an acronym. ICE.

Music starts with expression. Arguably, you could probably say it starts with inspiration - but I think that's just the idea. The actual music starts with expression. A person, expressing their emotions, through composition. That's the first part. This bit is in most creative arts, so in this, it isn't really unique. That doesn't make it any less important though.
Though there are some, as a matter of interest, who try to take this part out of music. Personally, I think it's near impossible. And, even if there is no emotion (though I don't really think it's possible to be completely void of emotion) in the creation of the music, people will hear emotion in it. People always hear it.

Then you have creation. The creation of music, the embodiment of the composer's expression. Whether it's a good embodiment or not is very much up to the skills (or lack of) from the composer. Or, sometimes luck. Sometimes people just happen upon a good way to do it. Creation can be very difficult. It's one thing to have an idea, quite another to actually form that into something usable. More difficult if you don't want it to sound like someone else's piece of music, or other ones that you've written.

Then there is inspiration, what music does. When it is performed, music inspires others. Though, notice, it is not inherent in the meaning of inspiration that it is always necessarily "good" inspiration. Music has a lot of power, and that can be used in both bad and good ways, and has been. But music can inspire people to any goal. And, often enough, not exactly the one the composer was thinking of. Because everybody's different, so everybody will take something different from a piece of music. They may take something special from that second line of the third verse, while you were really focussing in on the chorus.

This, I think, is how music is unique. You can see these three in other things than music, true. Things like poetry, fiction, drama, many of these. But it is my opinion that none of these have the scale, reaches the same audience, that music does. Music unifies people, like other things can't. Music can go through barriers and break them down. Music is amazing.

Inspiration. Creation. Expression.

Monday, 7 March 2011

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. When life gives you...

There's a few things been happening around here recently, for those in Australia. As far as I know, that's everyone who's reading this, but you never know, it's good to be hopeful...stranger things have happened...XD
Anyway. Recently, Queensland has been taking a bit of a beating. It has had both a series of bad floods and a tornado recently. Not a very good combination.

Which got me thinking about this question: everybody knows what do when life gives you lemons, you make lemonade. It's a commonly used metaphor. But what if life gives you shit? ("Oh! He just said the S word! He can't say that, he's a Christian, they're not supposed to say that stuff!" OK, now you've got it out of your system. As an aside, I did address that idea in my post here.) I mean, what do you do when life just smacks you in the face, and gives you a rough time?

Well, different people handle it differently. Some just try and hit back, and shout and yell at God (or some other higher power) for putting them in this position. Others just can't (or presume/pretend that they can't) take it, and more or less sitting around feeling sorry for themselves. Some people run away as far as they can, until they think they've found somewhere that's better.

And then there are some people who, in the midst of it all, manage to push through it. They probably won't like it, or enjoy it, but they'll bear it, and come out the other side - certainly a fair bit worse for wear - but at least in one piece. That probably does sound a little Hollywood, or story book like, but it works. Sometimes it won't, yes. I'm yet to find anything that will work in every single given situation. I believe it's impossible, but you never know.

But yes, I think that's the answer. Just forge your way through as best as you can, more or less. I know that sounds like a tough call - especially considering some situations you can be in - but I'd say it's probably the better one, compared to the others I've thought of. If you can think of a better one, please, be my guest. I'm happy to discuss.

Oh, and I'm not quite sure how that would translate back into the metaphor I used. Probably better not to try and figure it out.

Tuesday, 1 March 2011


Firstly, again, very sorry about the late blog post. I realised it at about 20 past 12 this morning, 5 minutes after I'd gone to bed. Was not happy. Secondly, of course the post title isn't actually a word. :P Call it an extension of one, if you will. Probably a double extension, since I don't think hypocriticality isn't a word either.

But anyway.
Most people that you see in the world today - I would say the vast majority, with a very rare exception - are or have been hypocritical about something. Some people notice it, some don't. It's a difficult thing to avoid, really. Extremely difficult at times, if you manage to put yourself in a bad situation. And us Christians certainly aren't exempt from this. We certainly don't want to be hypocrites, but it's pretty darn hard to avoid. So I guess you could say that many of us were hypocritical about being hypocrites, then :p
I myself have struggled with this a fair bit, though many wouldn't know that. But like I said, it's difficult to avoid. But I think it's an important thing to do so, as best you can. I certainly don't want to be a hypocrite.

As an aside, I had my first day back at uni yesterday. It was great to see everybody again, great to start learning again, because that's what I love to do. I love to learn more about things. To understand things better, that's what I try to do. And it makes it a lot easier when you're doing a course that you love doing :) So it's good to be back. And about time too.