I really liked the main idea you had about your “Real”, and it resonated with my own perspective on this subject. I also believe that the journey towards perfection is the best “real” you can have at the moment, and you should strive to make the best of it. Your quote sums up your situation very well: “The way I get closer to The Real is by searching and finding. Searching and finding new roads to love. Searching and finding new approaches to love. Searching and finding new [all] people to love.” and at the same time, you can place anything else instead of “love” and the point would still hold true for anyone seeking life advice. Your past was not the easiest, and I respect the fact that you had accepted your past experiences as a means to become stronger and better rather than a mental burden on your confidence. There are no absolutes and you will always be judged by someone, so it is best if all of us just accept these things and just work towards being the best people we can be and make living for everyone a bit easier.
I appreciate the NF reference! (Had been listening to NF – “Let You Down” recently).
I had never lived in absolutes due to my personal life experiences. Being exposed to different lifestyles both in Ukraine, California, Washington DC and New York. And I do not think that anyone can claim that they live in perfect absolutes. We are all unique in some way and can never truly fit any one-dimensional, oversimplified and most certainly a hypothetical category of people. Although, there is an element of truth to living in an absolute reality which you create for yourself.
What I had learned over the years with my experiences is that being yourself in the ever-changing world around you on the contrary creates your own absolute “Real”. Accepting the fact that we all have different journeys is the best way to approach the idea of that no one truly fits a set category. Each person is their own category. Going back and forth between the United States and Ukraine for long periods of times showed me that I will never truly fit the standard identity of neither culture. However, that is was had become the best part of living in these different places. Having the perspective and experiences of a new-comer to each new city showed me that I should not worry much about having some perspectives on life which differ from some the surrounding people. Combining all cultures showed me the attributes and flaws of each and they all taught the best that they could offer.
Being confident in my own beliefs is certainly important, however, being open to learning and potentially discarding a belief or plan I had before by learning something new is an essential part of becoming a well-rounded person. No one knows everything as an individual, but the collective knowledge base of a society certainly can help one get closer to that. There is always something new one can learn each day which can constantly be changing the fluid concept of “The Real” for each one of us.
The original version of “Sound and Vision” by Bowie appealed to me due to its simplicity and how it delivered the music to the audience. I could easily follow the performance of the individual musicians in this performance which made the me as a spectator very comfortable and have a feeling of control over what I was experiencing. This performance also had a more humane and lively feel to it since the impact of the individual musicians was much more explicit. The emotions of each performer were clearly visible during this performance.
In the case of Beck’s version of the musical piece, the reconstruction involved a massive scale ensemble which included an orchestra, pianos, different percussionists, singers, guitarist, and much more. The performance was spectacular and very overwhelming if I tried to focus on the details of it. This version of “Sounds and Vision” had a less personal feel to it. The impact of individual musicians on the atmosphere created was significantly less than that of Bowie’s version. The ensemble was very mechanized feel to it since it was also dark in the auditorium and the transitioning of the sounds was very smooth.
It is hard to say which version I liked more, both had their own strengths. In terms of the classical jazz experience, I believe that Bowie’s version had the edge here due to its more personal and unique feeling of the moment that both the audience and the artist could experience. However, in terms of sheer magnificence and a powerful delivery of the full musical ensemble experience, Beck’s performance was unmatched.
“The only way people can really describe pain is to objectify it.”
Pain is essential for creativity since we are forced to take our imagination and interpretation of the pain we experience and assign it to something we can relate to or have physically experienced. Art is something that is always physically experienced, whether it is music or a marble sculpture. And as I said it at the start of the semester when we had to define the purpose and meaning of art – it is a way to deliver a message across though a visual or acoustic presentation. Thus, in order for artist to create something symbolically powerful and that we as spectators can feel too, the artist must take their painful emotions in this case, and make them into something tangible, essentially objectify the pain.
“When people forge tools or build things, they are often trying to alleviate discomfort. But they first must define the discomfort.”
In the context of art, and how I mentioned before that it can serve as a method to deliver a message: Discomfort can either be physical or emotional. People can feel oppressed, threatened, or just feel left out. By using art as a tool do express their emotions and perhaps even support those in a similar situation, who are so withered away from their struggles that they do not bother trying to seek help, artists can help alleviate the discomfort. One of the best examples of this can be songs that speak to people with certain issues in life. Any kind of change in motion of an object is only present if there is an external and unbalanced force acting on it – Newton’s first law. This can easily be elaborated onto pain and how it’s a source of inspiration for artists.
Both Judge Sorderberg and Man on Wire describe different types of crime. Petit’s crime is considered as a form of self-expression and art, which essentially is from his own curiosity and not essentiality, which has the potential to unify people as was seen by people who all stopped to witness Petit walk the rope. Judge Sodernberg’s explanation of crime involves murder, vandalism and theft which is only seen as something horrible.
The judge, who also happens to be Claire’s husband, has very different reactions to the cases of Tillie and Jazzlyn, and Phillipe. This response also symbolizes the difference between the two types of crime as discussed from Part 1. The judge has a negative response towards Tillie an Jazzlyn’s case, and despises these typical crimes which constantly happen in the city, causing its safety and reputability to go down. The judge just saw them as yet another group of criminals, and even assumed that Corrigan is their pimp. On the other hand, with the case of the tight rope walker, Judge Soldengberg is nearly fascinated to hear the case out. The judge had to follow some formality I signing of a sentence for Petit, yet made is a bare minimum. Thus, showing how his so called “crime” brings contrast and unity to the city.
I found it clever by the author to just start off his book with the scene where Phillipe does his tightrope walk. An extraordinary event for any New Yorker to experience, yet not mentioned again for the most part of the book after the prologue, which left a question unanswered. It is as if the prologue was unnecessary at first, since the following chapters never included anything with him again, only slight indirect references. We, the readers had to wait almost until the end of the book to understand how this event strangely connects to the other characters and to the beginning of the book again. However, the event is still bridged with when Tillie and Jazzlyn get arrested and then sent to trial on the same day as the tight rope walker.
The bridge that I found unsettling in this novel is how things worked out between Lara and Ciaran. As time went on, the bridge connected and their relationship got stronger, the bitter feelings they had for one-another went away. Certainly, an uncommon way to meet a lover.
The bridge that was inspiring to me was the connection between Corrigan and the homeless in chapter 1. It was surprising to see Corrigan’s actions towards these people and how empathetic he was. He would live as a poor man amongst them to immerse himself in the culture, and truly understand where they need help the most.
The Classic: Levels by Avicii. (If anyone of you recalls it also)
I do consider myself a modest fan of electronic mix music, which is more or less popular in my generation. One of the pieces of music which had stayed in my music library as one of my favorites for many years and had never bored or annoyed me is a classic mix by Avicii Levels. It has a unique melody, which is the dominant part of the music since it barely has any lyrics to it. However, it is that melody, which brings the piece its upbringing tone and a very positive emotional effect.
One of the first times that I had heard it was once when it became a hit even back in 2009. I was in elementary school then and was very open to new things and find out what was popular while also appealing to me. All that in addition to adding some new things to my base knowledge of music trends. I liked to play video games and basketball outside with my many friends to this music which had made this connection to those good times for me.
Listening to this piece always brings me back to those times and hot summer days of basketball and video games. So the primary emotions which fill me while listening to it is nostalgia and upbringing. And what makes me love this piece even more every single time I replay it to myself and others today is that most of the people I know of my age also have good memories of this music and add to the good vibe which still persists around it today.
Without going into the history of the creation of the 9th Symphony by Beethoven, and without having a context – it is hard to judge what exact intentions are of the author in the delivery of the music. The perspectives of listeners would most likely have a large variation in their interpretation of the first movement. This particular symphony is one that I have heard a few times over the years, first one being all the way back in elementary school. And the image changes always as if it is always a different symphony each time. The symphony induces a surge of emotions and by no means separates me from reality while listening to it. It rather does the opposite – it makes me focus on the things going on around me with more attention.
Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake is a contrasting example to the 9th symphony. The name presents an image to be searched out for in the music. It is easy to imagine the views of nature along with this music, and oddly enough, it reminds me of images of old Soviet cartoons from times when my parents would watch them as children.
Tchaikovsky’s symphony is successful in presenting one image and a story for the majority of the time which can be used for operas and such, while Beethoven’s 9th Symphony succeeds in presenting beautiful music for one’s own interpretation.
Different places can create various perspectives on the size of the world around you. As in my case, I came from a small town in Ukraine, surrounded by miles of rural areas. Many of the buildings were not more than five stories and everything was within walking distance.
As I got older and taller, being that I am above average height today, the town seemed to get smaller and smaller; I could run and bike further and faster across it. Long strolls turned into short rides or walks along the few local streets.
However, after coming to New York, and seeing the millions of people (almost half of my country’s population) living in one city changed my perspective on the size of the places where you live. Dwarfed by the glorious skyscrapers and other architecture, admired as art, really showed me how big this world is, and how many places today are no longer built towards the thousands, but rather the millions. Is it better this way? Perhaps, sometimes I do like the anonymity among the millions of people around me in some cases and at the same time it can be a factor bringing individuals down. All in all, it is can be both a great thing as well as not.