dimarts, de febrer 21, 2006

What Are The Keys To Your Heart?

The Keys to Your Heart
You are attracted to obedience and warmth.
In love, you feel the most alive when your partner is patient and never willing to give up on you.
You'd like to your lover to think you are stylish and alluring.
You would be forced to break up with someone who was insecure and in constant need of reassurance.
Your ideal relationship is lasting. You want a relationship that looks to the future... one you can grow with.
Your risk of cheating is zero. You care about society and morality. You would never break a commitment.
You think of marriage something you've always wanted... though you haven't really thought about it.
In this moment, you think of love as something you can get or discard anytime. You're feeling self centered.

dilluns, de febrer 20, 2006

Música que ha canviat la meva vida 5

La nit dels U2. La setmana passada, 16.02.2006 va ser un dia molt especial. Vaig haver de conduir dues hores i encara fer cua gairebé una altra, però vaig arribar a la meva cita al concert dels U2 a l’Estadi Azteca de Mèxic D.F. L’esdeveniment va ser veritablement memorable, amb més de dues hores de concert i emocions. És increïble sentir el soundtrack de la teva vida en directe. No calia tenir les entrades més cares, atès que es veia i se sentia tot l’espactacle molt bé des de qualsevol punt de l’estadi. Em va encantar l’actitud tan positiva dels membres de la banda, tot i que sóc dubtós del romanticisme tal i com U2 el manifesta. I pel que fa al disc que, d’alguna manera va canviar la meva vida, presento una producció de comencament dels anys 90, Achtung Baby, el qual encara sento i del qual encara conec quasi totes les lletres. He tingut molta sort, al concert de fa uns dies la banda va interpretar One, Zoo Station, The Fly, Until the End of the World i, mare meva, Mysterious Ways. No podia ser millor.


Having spent a good part of the Eighties as one of the most iconic bands in the world, U2 hardly needs to resort to a cheekily absurd title to draw attention to its first album in three years. Then again, subtlety has never been one of the group's virtues. In its early days and in its basic musical approach – a guitar, a few chords and the truth, to paraphrase one of Bono's more garish assertions – U2 fell in with other young bands that cropped up in the wake of punk. But U2 immediately distinguished itself with its huge sound and an unabashed idealism rooted in spiritual aspiration. At their best, these Irishmen have proven – just as Springsteen and the Who did – that the same penchant for epic musical and verbal gestures that leads many artists to self-parody can, in more inspired hands, fuel the unforgettable fire that defines great rock & roll.
At their worst ... well, the half-live double album Rattle and Hum (1988) – the product of U2's self-conscious infatuation with American roots music – wasn't a full-out disaster, but it was misguided and bombastic enough to warrant concern. With Achtung Baby, U2 is once again trying to broaden its musical palette, but this time its ambitions are realized. Working with producers who have lent discipline and nuance to the group's previous albums – Daniel Lanois oversees the entire album, with Brian Eno and Steve Lillywhite assisting on a number of songs – U2 sets out to experiment rather than pay homage. In doing so, the band is able to draw confidently and consistently on its own native strengths.
Most conspicuous among the new elements that U2 incorporates on Achtung are hip-hop-derived electronic beats. The band uses these dance-music staples on about half of the album's twelve tracks, often layering them into guitar heavy mixes the way that many young English bands like Happy Mondays and Jesus Jones have done in recent years. "Mysterious Ways" is a standout among these songs, sporting an ebullient hook and a guitar solo in which the Edge segues from one of his signature bursts of light into an insidious funk riff.
Elsewhere, as in the fit of distortion and feedback that opens "Who's Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses," Edge evokes the cacophony and electronic daring of noise bands like Sonic Youth. Indeed Edge's boldness on Achtung is key to the album's adventurous spirit. His plangent, minimalist guitar style – among the most distinctive and imitated in modern rock – has always made inspired use of devices like echo and reverb; his shimmering washes of color on "Until the End of the World" and soaring peals on "Even Better Than the Real Thing" and "Ultraviolet (Light My Way)" are instantly recognizable. But other tracks find the guitarist crafting harder textures and flashing a new arsenal of effects. On the first cut, "Zoo Station," he uses his guitar as a rhythm instrument, repeating a dark, buzzing phrase that drives the beat while his more lyrical playing on the chorus enhances the melody. Similarly, "The Fly" features grinding riffs that bounce off Adam Clayton's thick bass line and echo and embellish Larry Mullen Jr.'s drumming.
Bono's task, then, is to lend his sensuous tenor and melodramatic romanticism to expressions that match this sonic fervor. He announces on "Zoo Station" that he's "ready to let go/Of the steering wheel"; what follows are the most fearlessly introspective lyrics he's written. In the past, U2's frontman has turned out fiercely pointed social and political diatribes, but his more confessional and romantic songs, however felt, have been evasive. On Achtung, though, Bono deals more directly with his private feelings – not to mention his hormones. "The hunter will sin ... for your ivory skin," he sings on "Wild Horses," and boasts on "Even Better Than the Real Thing" that "I'm gonna make you sing/Give me half a chance/To ride on the waves that you bring."
Almost as surprising, and even more affecting, are Bono's reflections on being an artist. On "Acrobat," over an arrangement that recalls the apocalyptic frenzy of "Bullet the Blue Sky," he pleads for inspiration: "What are we going to do now it's all been said?" On "The Fly" self-doubt gives way to self-indictment: "Every artist is a cannibal," he sings in a whispered groan, "every poet is a thief." Squarely acknowledging his own potential for hypocrisy and inadequacy, and addressing basic human weaknesses rather than the failings of society at large, Bono sounds humbler and more vulnerable than in the past. "Desperation is a tender trap," he sings on "So Cruel." "It gets you every time."
That's not to say that U2 has forsaken its faith or that Bono has abandoned his quest to find what he's looking for. On the radiant ballad "One," the band invests an unexceptional message – "We're one/But we're not the same/We get to carry each other" – with such urgency that it sounds like a revelation. Few bands can marshal such sublime power, but it's just one of the many moments on Achtung Baby when we're reminded why, before these guys were the butt of cynical jokes, they were rock & roll heroes – as they still are. (RS 621)
(Posted: ene, 22 1997)


Reinventions rarely come as thorough and effective as Achtung Baby, an album that completely changed U2's sound and style. The crashing, unrecognizable distorted guitars that open "Zoo Station" are a clear signal that U2 have traded their Americana pretensions for postmodern, contemporary European music. Drawing equally from Bowie's electronic, avant-garde explorations of the late '70s and the neo-psychedelic sounds of the thriving rave and Madchester club scenes of early-'90s England, Achtung Baby sounds vibrant and endlessly inventive. Unlike their inspirations, U2 rarely experiment with song structures over the course of the album. Instead, they use the thick dance beats, swirling guitars, layers of effects, and found sounds to break traditional songs out of their constraints, revealing the tortured emotional core of their songs with the hyper-loaded arrangements. In such a dense musical setting, it isn't surprising that U2 have abandoned the political for the personal on Achtung Baby, since the music, even with its inviting rhythms, is more introspective than anthemic. Bono has never been as emotionally naked as he is on Achtung Baby, creating a feverish nightmare of broken hearts and desperate loneliness; unlike other U2 albums, it's filled with sexual imagery, much of it quite disturbing, and it ends on a disquieting note. Few bands as far into their career as U2 have recorded an album as adventurous or fulfilled their ambitions quite as successfully as they do on Achtung Baby, and the result is arguably their best album. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine, All Music Guide

Som una nació

per Vicent Partal
DILLUNS, 20/02/2006 - 03:32h

18F: la revolució tranquil·la

La manifestació de dissabte a Barcelona marcarà un abans i un després. Aquella onada de gent encarnava la base social del sobiranisme i el cansament d'aquesta situació que esgota tant després de més de trenta anys: estem farts d'una Espanya que ni quan ensenya la millor cara és capaç de fer res per a entendre'ns. Dissabte van caure molts mites. El primer i més important aquell que afirmava que el debat sobre la identitat estava acabat i que el país oficial era més nacionalista que el real. Ben al contrari: els darrers vints anys una revolució tranquil·la ha anat creixent i dissabte es feu viva. Sabem que no val la pena perdre més temps convencent a qui no es vol convèncer i que ara el que hem de fer és reafirmar qui som, unir-nos i decidir. Sense esperar ja a que ens autoritzen a fer-ho o no. L'estatut, fins i tot el nou, és aigua passada i ja sap a poc.

Dissabte ningú no va respondre a la crispació espanyola amb més crispació ni va plantejar cap discurs per reacció i a la contra, negatiu. Aquest fet ha estat molt destacat perquè resultava molt evident i per a explicar-lo cal dir que respon precisament a la injecció de moral i confiança que la mateixa manifestació va representar per a molts de nosaltres. Aquesta actitud, simplement dir el que som i avisar del que volem fer, és la prova més clara de l'enorme confiança en el futur que es respirava a la Gran Via de Barcelona. Confiança en que el futur serà el que direm nosaltres i que depèn de nosaltres.

Aquest és un país que ha aguantat molt, ha callat molt i ha acceptat moltes coses de mala gana. Aquest és un país moderat i discret. Però els anys no van passant i prou. L'enorme quantitat de gent que es va aplegar dissabte reunia persones de tot orígen, edat i procedència ideològica. I passat polític. Amb un comú denominador: som una nació i tenim el dret de decidir. Més simple i més contundent alhora impossible. Es tracta d'un missatge net que queda a anys llum de l'Espanya de les autonomies i del futur mesell que Zapatero pensava que podia dibuixar des del laboratori de La Moncloa. Segurament l'estatut aprovat al Parlament de Catalunya i del qual ja no queda ni l'esquema era una de les darreres oportunitats que Espanya tenia, potser la darrera. Malgrat que no era cap bon text crec que a molts ens va convèncer pel fet que fos aprovat pel noranta per cent del parlament, per la manera en la qual va ser presentat, per la dignitat mostrada en un primer moment pels nostres polítics. Però el somni no ha durat gens. Els nostres polítics no han estat a l'alçada i en canvi els espanyols, començant per un Alfonso Guerra exterminador, no han parat des d'aleshores de retallar-lo a cada article -divendres encara retiraven del text l'obligatòrietat que els jutges sàpiguen català.

Els nostres polítics ho haurien d'haver fet millor. Ens ho devien. El PSC simplement ha desaparegut del mapa polític i s'ha limitat a acceptar tot el que li ordenava el PSOE sense mostrar el més mínim símptoma de dignitat. I CiU, per a mi de forma incomprensible, ha matat en una sola reunió tot el que havia estat capaç de crear durant mesos de feina al Parlament de Catalunya. El preu l'hauran de pagar ara. La crispació i el desconcert que exhibien ahir els seus representants indica a les clares com els ha colpit la manifestació.

Segurament i de forma especial perquè aquesta manifestació va ser organitzada sense el suport de pràcticament ningú. I això la fa encara més impressionant. Mònica Sabata me'n va parlar per primer vegada al CIEMEN dimarts 20 de desembre quan l'escenari polític no tenia res a veure amb el d'avui però quan molta gent ja temíem que ens anaven a esquilar. Finalment Esquerra Republicana s'hi ha sumat, amb Esquerra Unida i Alternativa i és una evidència que ha aportat un múscul organitzador impagable. Però, dit això, Esquerra sap que la manifestació ha anat molt més enllà del que ells sols haurien estat capaços de crear. Cal reconèixer que han entès que el protagonisme havia de ser de la societat civil i que ho han respectat. En aquest sentit les acusacions de manipulació o aprofitament que alguns han formulat a posteriori esdevenen simplement ridícules. Estic segur que avui hi ha molts polítics d'altres partits que haurien volgut venir a la manifestació (després de veure-la) i que intentaran desviar el seu sentit, per exemple convertint-la en una manifestació només contra el PP. Però per més que ho intenten saben que no és això el que va passar. I més val que ho tinguen en compte. I hi ha un detall que no cal oblidar: a la manifestació de dissabte no hi van anar molts dels independentistes tradicionals, que s'hi van pronunciar en contra per massa moderada.

Capítol a banda mereixen els mitjans. Reconec que diumenge varen saber valorar l'abast de la manifestació. Però els dies abans la varen despreciar. Quan dimecres una representació dels qui ens havien encomanat que anàrem en primera fila vàrem presentar la manifestació a la Plaça Catalunya, per exemple, TV3 no es va dignar ni a enviar una càmera. Per exemple. I el to de despreci de les informacions d'El Periódico, per posar un altre exemple, ha arribat a extrems insultants. Però de sobte, amb tots en contra, la revolució tranquil·la del sobiranisme ha esclatat i ha ensorrat els mites. Barcelona no ha de deixar de ser catalana per a ser cosmopolita, per exemple. Els partits no són més agosarats que la gent, per exemple. El país no confia en Zapatero, per exemple. O això de la nació només és un debat nominalista, per exemple.

Dit tot això hem de saber que al davant tenim molts interrogants i que canalitzar tot això que va passar dissabte no va a ser senzill. Hi ha problemes estructurals molt seriosos. No sabem qui pot capitalitzar políticament l'entusiasme generat dissabte, ni com. En alguns moments fins i tot flotava en l'ambient una impugnació generalitzada de la classe política que crec que no ens podem permetre. Els mitjans de comunicació, a l'engròs, estan dominats per gent molt refractària al que es va veure dissabte, quan no crònicament en contra. L'atzucat polític en el qual està immers l'estatut crea una confusió enorme i deixa poc espai a les rectificacions que avui farien amb molt de gust alguns partits polítics si pogueren. I no es poden fer manifestacions així cada dissabte.

Respondre a aquestes preguntes i a tantes altres és feina de tots. En aquest sentit la meua única certesa és que cadascú hem de saber quin paper podem jugar i jugar-lo. No en el nom de la política de curt abast sinó en el de la idea. L'any vinent farà tres-cents anys de l'ocupació del Regne de València, inici de la nostra situació actual. Dissabte va ser evident que no han estat suficients per a domesticar-nos i que més aviat sembla que ja són massa per a retenir-nos. Que l'entusiasme de dissabte cresca, que la revolució tranquil·la triomfe, és responsabilitat de tots. Sense por. Ara que ja sabem que som molts més dels que ells volen i diuen.

diumenge, de febrer 19, 2006

Música que ha canviat la meva vida 4

Música que ha canviat la meva vida: Daft Punk: Homework. Era 1997, tenia vint anyets, una època d'il.lusions alhora que decepcions, encara no sabia res de res. D'ençà uns anys m'agradava ballar, i ballar molt fins al trenc d'alba. Segur que era al mateix temps una manifestació del meu gust per la música i el ritme i una sublimació de la meva sexualitat. Un dels millors discos de música electrònica va aparèixer aleshores. Els francesos de Daft Punk van publicar una col.lecció de cançons que encara avui em fan llevar-me, ballar & do my thing. Recordo els bons moments dels raves dels anys 90, quan el moviment electrònic no es trobava gaire desenvolupat i erem tots una colla de romàntics que crèiem que canviaríem tot el panorama musical a Mèxic. No sé ben bé què ha passat des d'aleshores, però els records amb Homework són encara molt vius. Peces com ara Da Funk & Rollin' & Scratchin' em porten a llocs i sensacions on mai m'han portat cap altres coses.


Daft Punk
Daft Punk assumed their reign over the French electronic scene shortly after the appearance of their second single "Da Funk" in 1995, making mere subjects of such high-profile names as Motorbass, Air and Dimitri from Paris. Transforming a heritage of early Acid House, Detroit Techno, Indie Rock and hip-hop into a flawless progressive electronica sound that made loyal followers of both staunch rock crowds and Techno fiends alike, the collaboration of Guy-Manuel de Homem Christo and Thomas Bangalter triggered a deluge of critical praise. Heavy funk-fortified House beats lumber confidently at a mid-tempo hip-hop pace, weighed down with metallic murmurs, shrill electronic squeals, and catchy vocodered vocal hooks. With a style that shifts without warning from the hard end of dance music to the easier side of the spectrum and takes care to steer clear of clich鳠and overwrought themes, Daft Punk is the model for crossover electronic music.


Playing God
Daft Punk: Homework
our albums in (if you count Alive 1997), Daft Punk now possess what is probably one of the most contentious discographies for such a widely lauded and still working act. It’s taken them four years each to craft their new albums, and each time fans are delighted and horrified in seemingly equal measures. I have my own issues with Discovery and Human After All, but it’s their debut that I maybe have the most difficulty with. On all of their later albums Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter seem to have remembered that brevity is a virtue, but on Homework they followed many of their electronic music peers in assuming that because a CD could hold over seventy minutes of material, it should. That’s not to say that most of the songs on Homework are bad, as even the palest efforts are competently executed and easy to listen to. But there’s a core of unimpeachably classic work on Homework, hidden among the merely good, and when you’ve got such a classic debut hidden in the outlines of the epic slouch of their debut, it’s hard not to get frustrated. The virtue of many of the best songs here are a kind of obsessively propulsive minimalism, and while it carries Daft Punk to great heights, on the more lackluster songs it winds up just tarnishing the whole effort. This, then, is the focused, killer statement of intent that Homework should have been and, around these parts, always has been thanks to the “skip” button.

1. “Da Funk” (5:29) There’s no harm in leading with a stone-cold classic, one of the greatest singles of the nineties and a track that sets out the parameters of what the duo are doing here. Like most of the songs that are kept for this version of Homework there’s something almost brutal about the inexorable progression of the four or five sounds Bangalter and Homem-Christo weave together seamlessly to make one big beat that stomps all into submission.

2. “Fresh” (4:04) In many ways a preview to the sunnier and more guitar-oriented sounds of parts of Discovery, this one doesn’t feel like the beach just because of the lapping waves heard in the background. Still pulsing a steady four-four, it’s a bit of a respite between “Da Funk” and what comes next, making a keyboard sound like a cut-up vocal sample or vice vera while an incredibly elongated guitar note is held in reserve.

3. “Around The World” (7:09) Another one of the greatest singles of the nineties, there is no way you’d want to have a Homework without “Around The World.” For the first time on this album Daft Punk get a little long-form on our asses and it’s glorious, with the best vocodered sample ever and a surprisingly lush tune given the relative lack of ingredients. Lots of similar efforts get boring at some point before seven minutes, but “Around The World” stays golden.

4. “Rollin’ & Scratchin’” (7:27) After the relative tunefulness of “Fresh” and “Around The World,” it’s time for a good belt of the stiff stuff. “Rollin’ & Scratchin’” is absolutely titanic, pounding its way into your forebrain not once, not twice, but thrice. Every time you think it’s going to die on you it just rears itself back up and proceeds to lay waste to all around it again with little more than a shriek, some hi hats, and a kick drum thump. This one showcases the kind of miniature, almost pointillist, marshalling of sound that makes all the tracks here more than the sum of their parts (whereas “Phoenix”, say, or “High Fidelity” really aren’t).

5. “Teachers” (2:53) The only short track from the original Homework I’ve kept, and for two reasons; the list of influences seems a lot more relevant than the silly vocals on “Oh Yeah” or the ads or even “Daftendireckt”, and it’s also a lot more listenable than those songs, with a digital almost-diva singing the letter “E” in the background as the boys shout out Dave Clarke, Brian Wilson and Dr. Dre.

6. “Indo Silver Club” (4:34) Of the slightly lesser tracks on the original Homework “Burnin’” almost equals “Indo Silver Club” in the trippy elasticity of its sound, but I deliberately don’t want to include a bunch of almost-great tracks in this version of the album—I want the best. And “Indo Silver Club” is, once again crafting something head-spinning out of the barest of ingredients.

7. “Rock’n Roll” (7:33)This is a sentimental favorite of mine, but that notwithstanding it’s still a clear highlight of any version of this album, slowly building another wobbly, distorted synthesizer sound into a monster, until by the last two minutes you are either dancing or huddled in a corner, whimpering. There should probably be some sort of law against playing this on anything less powerful than massive club speakers, but even coming out of my little boom box it sounds like nothing else.

8. “Alive” (5:15)Despite my love for “Rock’n Roll,” though, there’s only one way this can end, and Bangalter and Homem-Christo knew that too (although they tacked on “Funk Ad” afterwards), in maybe the finest single track the duo has ever put on one of their albums as Daft Punk. There’s little to say about “Alive” if you haven’t heard it, except to say it reminds me of a techno car wash, and it’s as driving and cleansing and uplifting as such a ridiculous image entails. If they had released the album in this form the beginnings and ends of some tracks would no doubt have been altered to fit better together, but wouldn’t you love to hear a version of “Alive” that segues cleanly from the ending drum stomp of “Rock’n Roll” into the slightly dubbier beats of the beginning of “Alive”? If it meant hearing this album, I bet you would.

Els Jocs Olímpics a Torí - 1a setmana

  • Acabada la primera setmana dels jocs de Torí puc fer els següents comentaris:
  • La gran decepció ha estat l'equip nòrdic de Noruega. Ha estat un veritable desastre, específicament els esquiadors de fons, els quals no van poder guanyar ni tan sols un or. El pitjor ha estat que a la prova d'estafetes el noruecs no van arribar ni a la 3a posició. L'equip de patinatge de velocitat ha estat també un fiasco. Altres competidors de l'esmentat país del nord no han estat tan malament, els de biatlon han guanyat força medalles, els saltadors de rampa també, fins i tot el venerable Kjetil André Aamodt i la seva 8a medalla olímpica. Com a màxim, crec que els noruecs guanyaran 22 o 23 medalles i no quedaran primers com fa dos anys amb les revissions dels dopats.
  • Els alemanys han tingut problemes amb llurs esquiadors, tot i això sembla que els teutons quedaran primers al quadre de medalles, no pas amb les 40 medalles de les prediccions americanes, però si potser arribant a les 34/35.
  • Els americans han estat molt bé, i estic segur que podran apropiar-se del segon escó de la llista d'honor dels jocs. L'equip de les barres i les estrelles van guanyant segons jo una quantitat molt semblant a la de Salt Lake City, per tant, pel que fa a les projeccions finals, crec que sí que arribaran a les 30 medalles.
  • La gran sorpresa dels jocs per mí són els resultats de la resta dels equips olímpics, Àustria, França, Itàlia, Suècia o Finlàndia van millor del que les prediccions indicaven. I ha hagut països, com ara Eslovàquia, que acaben de guanyar la seva primera medalla olímpica.
  • En la foto, la commovadora expressió d'en Stéphane Lambiel, de Suïssa, en guanyar la plata en patinatge de figura, la pressió ha estat molt alta per a ell, com a campió del món, i tot i que no va patinar tan bé que hagués calgut, va acabar amb una medalla.

What Artist Should Paint Your Portrait?

Who Should Paint You: M.C. Escher
Open and raw, you would let your true self show for your portrait.And even if your painting turned out a bit dark, it would be honest.

dissabte, de febrer 18, 2006

Ik ben droevig

No només la Madonna diu cosetes en neerlandès. També jo! epa! Doncs així com em va passar amb el català, un bon dia vaig llevar-me amb el pensament "haig d'aprendre a parlar neerlandès". I ja sabem que quan alguna se'm fica al cap, no hi ha cap manera de convéncer-me del contrari. Fa tres setmanes que vaig començar amb la meva primera classe. I home, sí que sembla més aviat difícil aprendre aquesta cosa. El meu professor es diu Frank, origari de Bèlgica. Suposo que acabaré parlant més o menys com ell. Ajuda conéixer l'alemany com l'anglès a l'hora de llegir el neerlandès, però tot i això és un llengua ben diferent i plena de sorpreses. Ja anirem veient si progreso o si acabo malament.

Bitterness, Pride, Caution, Confidence

Haven't you ever felt that your big break is about to come, yet you know it's just an illusion? That's so me right now. I'm clueless, I'm disappointed, I'm mad and wanting to strangle someone, but, at the same time I know this was going to happen. I so knew the road would be trickier than expected. I know I'm not going to get what I think I rightfully deserve. I've been working for something for the past five years and I'm not going to get it, perhaps ever. It's funny, the Winter Olympics are on and every time they are around, I try to develop a Brechtian attitude about them, which is a huge contradiction in itself. Bertold Brecht developed a theory about the contemplation of art, he suggested that we should look at it, at least theatre, in a kinda scientific way, that is, not getting involved with it emotionally, but rather analitically, pointing out the flaws in society that arise out of the injustices of the market economy. Well, I love the Olympics, first, because I think the whole issue of winning medals is fun to watch, that is the irrational part of my taste, then, I guess I love to torture myself watching those who are exactly the opposite of me: they have great bodies, they've sacrified a lot to get where they are, or simply, some Olympians where born under a very lucky star. Everytime the Olympics come out, I tell myself that I won't get too involved with them as such. Yet, I always end up getting too caught up in the thing and sometimes I feel miserably, both for the athletes I had been cheering for, and for myself. Right now I'm trying real real hard to analitically look at what is going on in my life, in a Brechtian way, so to speak. I feel like I'm boiling inside. I feel a victim of the greatest injustice. I feel a great deal of emotion. I'm going to suffer for now, and then I will regroup. As much as I feel incredibly outraged, assaulted, misunderstood and understimated, I am cautious and too proud to just take defeat. I'll lick my wounds, again, and regroup, gather my forces and carry on with my goals.

divendres, de febrer 10, 2006

What Kind of Soul Are You?

You Are a Hunter Soul
You are driven and ambitious - totally self motiviated to succeedActively working to acheive what you want, you are skillful in many areas.You are a natural predator with strong instincts ... and more than a little demanding.You are creative, energetic, and an extremely powerful force.
An outdoors person, you like animals and relate to them better than people.You tend to have an explosive personality, but also a good sense of humor.People sometimes see you as arrogant or a know it all.You tend to be a bit of a loner, though you hate to be alone.
Souls you are most compatible with: Seeker Soul and Peacemaker Soul

dijous, de febrer 09, 2006

How Machiavellian Are You?

You Are Somewhat Machiavellian
You're not going to mow over everyone to get ahead...But you're also powerful enough to make things happen for yourself.You understand how the world works, even when it's an ugly place.You just don't get ugly yourself - unless you have to!

Música que ha cambiado mi vida 3

Cecilia Bartoli es una de las razones por las cuales he aprendido a cantar. De alguna manera, de cierto modo debía ser posible aprender a transmitir emociones y/o exaltaciones como la Bartoli. The Vivaldi Album me llevó a interesarme, en primer lugar por la música no contemporánea, y en segundo lugar por descubrir mi propia voz. Recuerdo muy poco de la movida musical de los primeros años de la presente década, y es que me enganché de manera rápida al bel canto y a lo barroco. Nada más escuchaba a Bartoli y demás música dieciochesca, fantaseando sobre aquel pasado y aprendiendo a escuchar sobre mundos de los cuales nunca antes había percibido. La Bartoli es una diva muy italiana, es decir, simpática, enigmática, virtuosa y muy exagerada. Me encanta que presuma sus cualidades vocales, me encanta que arme circo, maroma y teatro en sus shows, me encantan sus efectismos divescos, es una diosa. Posteriormente ha editado The Gluck Album, cuyo repertorio también me lleva a lugares insospechados, pero la cosa comenzó con Vivaldi.


Various arias

Cecilia Bartoli (mezzo-soprano)

Il Giardino Armonico
Arnold Schoenberg Choir

Decca- 469 569-2/4(CD)
No Reference Recording

Even diehard opera lovers may be unaware that Vivaldi, in addition to composing hundreds upon hundreds of concertos, also penned 50-plus operas. Sadly, most are lost, but some are easy to find and arias from others have surfaced due to some passionate operatic exploration. This CD presents many works never before recorded, and that alone would make it worthy. The fact that so much of it is actually fascinating and is performed so well here is a special bonus. Cecilia Bartoli's vocal charms are well-known--her ability to communicate instantly, her rapid-fire, almost unbelievably accurate coloratura, her many degrees of soft singing--and they're all in evidence here. The arias' subjects are typical Baroque fare--if a character is excited about his/her amorous feelings, we get the metaphor of a storm-tossed ship at sea; we get pastoral scenes mirroring inner peace; there's plenty of depair and rage. All of it gives the singer ample room to peddle her wares, and there's some amazing peddling going on here. "Zeffiretti, che sussurrate", accompanied by two harpsichords, two violins, and the usual strings, is gently and exquisitely murmurred; "Anche'il mar par che sommerga", originally composed to highlight castrato Giovanni Manzoli's phenomenal breath control and wild way with fiorature does the same for our singer here. And musical sleuths will be happy to find small bits of The Four Seasons used here: "Spring" is heard at the start of the opera Dorilla in Tempe (sung by the chorus) and "Winter" shows up in "Gelido in ogni vena". Throughout, Bartoli amazes, although her constant aspirating during rapid coloratura passages begins to grate after a while, her trills are occasionally not quite pure (they're more like two adjacent notes having a fight), and some of her whispering makes you want to send her to her room. But I'm looking for trouble--this CD is delicious, and the help Bartoli gets from Il Giardino Armonico is priceless, as is the assistance from Decca's engineers. Love Bartoli? Love the Baroque? You'll love this!
--Robert Levine
Amazon.co.uk Review
Mezzo Cecilia Bartoli could easily rest on her laurels as one of today's most charismatic, character singers for her lively portrayals of Mozart and Rossini heroines. But it's been particularly exciting to observe her growth as an artist in exploring the exuberant world of baroque opera, with its range of pyrotechnic demands--both vocal and emotional. Bartoli's show-stopping virtuosity in a Vivaldi aria from her Live in Italy recital gave a tantalising sample of her finesse in that style. For The Vivaldi Album, Bartoli conducted extensive research into the composer's manuscripts (a documentary tracing her quest is planned for subsequent screening). Although he's best known for his concertos--in typically baroque fashion, two of the arias in fact recycle material from The Four Seasons--Vivaldi was a ferociously prolific composer of operas for the cutting-edge theatres of his time and the arias gathered here demonstrate the word-painting magic of his music, from the sylvan setting of duetting flageolets in "Di due rai languire costante" to the storm-tossed passions of "Anch'il mar par che sommerga", where Bartoli spins out ripples of rapid-fire coloratura with a gravity-defying accuracy that will leave your head spinning. In addition to many such examples of vocal acrobatics, Bartoli brings exquisite nuance and limpid tone to the delicate echo effects of "Zeffiretti, che sussurrate" and there's no better test for the remarkable flexibility of her range--full and dusky at the bottom and thrilling at the top--than the huge intervallic leaps of "Dopo un'orrida procella". With her naturally large voice, Bartoli can at times tend to histrionic excess (in the recitative to the short aria from "L'Orlando finto pazzo"), but the expressive colour of her phrasing is wonderfully matched throughout by Il Giardino Armonico's lively panache. All power to Bartoli in her goal of reviving this neglected aspect of Vivaldi's output. --Thomas May