What We Feel and What We Mean
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Maryam Razaz’s video

Hi! I’m Maryam, and this is my video for Professor Ugoretz’s questions. I’m so sorry if I look uncomfortable. I become rather nervous talking about myself, especially in front of a camera. But, it’s okay because we’re all a bit goofy.

Anyway, I hope that you enjoy the video, and I’m excited to get to know all of you in class! Thank you!


1 Joseph Ugoretz { 09.05.11 at 3:15 pm }

You didn’t seem uncomfortable at all, Maryam! I think your discussion of the Broadway show brings up something we are sure to return to again and again. That emotion (I think we even hear it in your own voice) that you saw (and felt) in the Broadway show is a critical element in art and how we receive it.

2 sari { 09.07.11 at 4:04 am }

I love the way you express your experience seeing Les Miserables, not only because you so eloquently describe how powerful a moment it was, but because I shared a very similar experience myself. My parents took me to my first Broadway show – Les Miserables- when I was eleven years old. It was an especially moving experience because my mother had been playing the show’s soundtrack in the car for as far back as I could remember. It was the night I would finally be able to put an image to the music I had practically memorized.
My experience almost exactly mirrored yours- the scenery, the cast, the orchestra…..I remember going to the pit during intermission and seeing the musicians tuning their instruments, flipping their notes. I was close enough to the stage to touch it. The characters were so perfectly in character, so moving. I didn’t understand all of it but I was completely mesmerized. I was so giddy afterwards, I couldn’t sleep all night.
One of the things I love most about Les Miserables is the soundtrack- how different words are fit to the same music. It creates a connection in the viewer/listener’s mind between events, attributing additional meaning. It has always been especially significant to me that Claude-Michel Schönberg composed the same score for Fantine’s farewell to Cosette and Valjean’s welcome to heaven (sung by Fantine and Eponine). It signifies coming full circle; both Fantine and Valjean are connected on their deathbeds through the music. Just as Valjean comforted Fantine in her last moments, so too, she comes to comfort him in his weakest moment.
I’ve seen Broadway shows since then, but I have never been moved by any of the like I was by Les Miserables.

3 Victoria Tang { 09.08.11 at 3:06 am }

I, as well as you and Sari, watched Les Miserables. I, however, watched it through a tape recording, whereas you watched it live. But we were both around the same age when we watched it. I enjoyed listening to your description of Les Mis. As you were talking, I could sense the emotions playing back in your head. And it evoked my own memories. The music was dynamic and the songs were so touching. And although we watched it from different perspectives, our feelings were quite similar. I also did not quite grasp all the themes as I was young, but still I felt the emotions. However, at the time I watched it, I did not appreciate the musical as much as I do now. I felt the power of the musical later on, when I learned music and heard and sang Broadway songs over and over again. Then, my emotions for my memory of Les Mis grew similar to your emotions from the thunderous experience you had. I find it fascinating to listen to your experience because it is very similar to mine, yet very different.

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