10/10/12 Andrew Garafalo

In class this Wednesday, we discussed our mixed impressions and opinions on the opera “Turandot”. I found myself to be in agreement with most of my classmates, that I enjoyed the music, stage display, and vocal capacity, but the language barrier limited my experience. The discussion of Lui’s role in the play was interesting. I learned it is a common theme of operas for woman to die without having too much impact on other characters. I found the dicussion about the quick exit of the orchestra to be amusing and relatable to when I used to play the sax in band for a long time.

During the second half of class we were visited by Prof. Sirotta. I really admired him for his intense passion for music. He seemed to get very caught up in it, and this made him more interesting to listen to. His recollection about his first musical experience was fascinating. To be able to remember something so long ago takes a very good memory and perhaps some ideal environmental memory ques. I wish I could remember my first musical experience. My parents did play a lot of Beatles for me as a kid but I can’t be too sure.

The process of creating his piece over many years on the computer, and using musical technology to create a symphony orchestra is pretty cool. Professor Sirotta’s discussion and demonstration of variation in music was also interesting and very relatable for me. As a guitarist, something I often do is take a riff I hear, play it several times, then make personal changes. The original chords are still used of course, and for the most part, the original melody can still be played over. The pieces by Brahm that he played for us were very good, and excellent examples of melodic variations. I particularly enjoyed the one with the timpani. I found myself tapping my foot, becomming engrossed in the music.