Update: Schoenberg, Let the Right One In, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Pandora, Pareidolia and More…

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It’s been a while since I’ve posted here. I have more extensive posts in the works, but I figured I should at least do a little update for now. Where have I been? This summer has been very full. I just finished up three classes (American Hist, Psych and Logic) which were a bit time consuming because they really cram in the material (four months worth of each class in a 6 – 8 week term). Now I can delve back into what I was working on before summer school:

New Music Updates

First of all, I’m nearing completion of the new album. This is something I’ve been working on here and there over the last few months (and I got a couple of songs done during summer school!). I’m planning to release it in January, possibly with a single during the winter holiday season.

Also, I’ve resumed work on a string quartet I started a couple of months ago, and plan to soon resume composition lessons with Patricia Morehead (I have some exercises and the string quartet to finish before the next lesson). My plan is to finally get my degree (masters, possibly doctorate) in music composition. Partly because there are some ideas I think it’ll help me pursue, such as this opera-like movie thing I’ve been sketching ideas for… more on that later.

Another thing still in the works is music for the latest movie by Adam Payne’s latest movie, which has picked back up. Hope to have that done soon as well.

Arnold Schoenberg’s Theory of Harmony and Other Texts, a.k.a. Learning Is Fun!

I also need to finish studying Arnold Schoenberg’s Theory of Harmony, aarnold-schoenberg wonderfully longwinded book that is more of a philosophical inquiry into the nature and development (or nurture, perhaps) of western tertiary harmony within the context of an increasingly modernist musical climate than it is a treatise on how to compose. In other words, I wouldn’t recommend it for newcomers to harmonic theory (Walter Piston’s book would be better for that, especially for the autodidact).

After Theory of Harmony, I have a few other great books to finish up, which I may or may not mention here again at some point: Story by Robert McKee, The Hero with a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell, The Art Question by Nigel Warburton, and 20th Century Harmony by Vincent Persichetti.

Let the Right One In

Also this summer I saw the movie and read the novel Let the Right One In (or, originally: Låt den rätte komma in). Fantastic!! I especially loved the movie, the screenplay for which was written by the same guy who wrote the book, John Ajvide let-the-right-one-inLindqvist. The movie was directed by Tomas Alfredson. The cinematography (by Hoyte Van Hoytema… cool name… like if I were Dante Van Dantema) is gorgeous, and the sound design (by “Sound Department”, heh heh) is some of the best I’ve ever heard in a movie, ever.

It’s an oversimplification to call it a vampire story… I’ll just add that the vampire in question was turned at the age of about 12 (awesomely portrayed by Lina Leandersson), and that there are archetypal themes explored for which the setting of the film provides a backdrop and context. Most of these themes deal with relationships between children, and children and adults, but with a twist, considering that one of the children is about 200 years old. Also, I liked what the Onion AV Club said: “…the film makes it impossible to judge whether we’re watching tender scenes of puppy love or unholy union.”

Also, note that the DVD I watched has the controversial (reportedly cheaper to produce) “dumbed-down” subtitles. Here’s the statement on that from Magnet Releasing (Magnolia Pictures DVD distribution arm:)

“We’ve been made aware that there are several fans that don’t like the version of the subtitles on the DVD/BR. We had an alternate translation that we went with. Obviously a lot of fans thought we should have stuck with the original theatrical version. We are listening to the fans feedback, and going forward we will be manufacturing the discs with the subtitles from the theatrical version.”

I’ll be waiting for the new DVD’s to come out before purchasing, which will indicate: “SUBTITLES: ENGLISH (Theatrical), SPANISH.”

Oh, and one more thought, regarding the novel vs. the movie: I saw the movie first. I enjoyed the book quite a lot and can recommend it, but recommend seeing the movie first because it leaves a lot of questions unanswered. I enjoyed contemplating those questions as a viewer. If I’d read the book, I’d have known too much. Also, the book still has plenty of surprises after seeing the movie, but not vice versa. When reading the book, I was still able to keep my personal version of the story in my head as a sort of alternate telling which I could now re-watch the movie in order to experience.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angelbuffy_and_willow

Speaking of the Onion AV Club (and, I guess, vampires), Noel Murray has been blogging in bursts about Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and – now that he’s up to Season 4 – has added a bit of Angel into the mix. It’s an insightful, candid, entertaining, and interactive (thanks to the comments section) series of writings that any Buffy fan should enjoy.

Pandora: The Music Genome Project

Next up in Dan News: Pandora. They have included Reattachment in their library, aka “The Music Genome Project”. They opted not to include my first two albums, however. While I feel that this is an error and a loss to them, it does at least show that they are being picky and applying a strict filtering process (at least with un-ubiquitously hyped acts) in an age where anybody with a computer can get their music up at iTunes and and the like. Speaking of which, I’ve noticed a spike in sales lately. Could this be related to Pandora? I don’t know, but thank you to whomever out there is buying, and thank you slowly improving economy!

Anywayz, cliquez sur this link to head on over to Pandora and make a Dan Wallace Station: www.pandora.com/music/artist/dan+wallace

Vesna Jovanovic: Pareidolia

vesna-jovanovic_timekeeperFinally, but far from leastily, my partner Vesna Jovanovic recently had another great exhibition opening reception. This one was held last Friday at the International Museum of Surgical Sciences and was a blast, with loads of interesting people in attendance. The work on display is a series of drawings entitled Pareidolia, which you can learn more about at Vesna’s website: www.vesnaonline.com/news.html . The show runs from 7/31/09 to 10/16/09.

That’s the update, more to come…

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Dan Jacob Wallace

3 Comments

  1. I actually just rented and watched Let The Right One per our discussion about it. I found it to be both cinematically fantastic and deeply disturbing.

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