News for the week of 19 May 2019

Mon 20 May 2019 – Trump losing court battles regarding taxes and finances and legislation.

Mon 20 May 2019 – Russian fighter jets and bombers intercepted by US warplanes off of Alaska. Not a lot of reporting on this. Probably just a distraction from the cyber threat?

Tue 21 May 2019 – McGahn doesn’t show up to House hearings after subpoena issued.

Fri 24 May 2019 – Escalation of tension in Iran. Troops to be sent to the region and $8.1B in weapons being sold to Saudi Arabia and UAE. Effectively move moves in a proxy war.

Fri 24 May 2019 – Huawei ban continues (“trade blacklist”), Google and others granted 3 month license to continue business with them. Huawei cannot buy parts from US companies.

Orchestral Study #5 (variations)

  1. Orchestral Study #1 (flowing and hymn-like)
  2. Orchestral Study #2 (driving and chaotic)
  3. Orchestral Study #3 (adagio with melisma)
  4. Orchestral Study #4 (allegro)
  5. Orchestral Study #5 (variations)
  6. Orchestral Study #6 (space)
  7. Orchestral Study #7 (dialogue)
  8. Orchestral Study #8 (toccata)
  9. Orchestral Study #9 (seven interludes)
  10. Orchestral Study #10 (rupture, slowed down and from different angles)
  11. Orchestral Study #11 (a crowd, disassembled)
  12. Orchestral Study #12 (thesis)

I say this every time, but this one felt like a failure early in and, except for the last section, still does. It’s because the muddy harmonies and overfull orchestration that I could never get right. It reminds me of a watercolor when you layer too many colors: a grayish, uncertain mess. This one also took the longest to complete because of my unhappiness throughout. Lesson learned?

The goal was a passacaglia-type work, but I think of it now as four variations without a theme. My intent always drifts as the ideas start to reveal themselves. The first section doesn’t have the clarity to come across as a thematic jumping off point, but it does set the harmonic structure for the three sections that follow. Second section: a chatty variation with runs swapped across the instruments. Third: long held notes in the horns while oboe, bassoon, and violas jump around noisily as background radiation. Fourth: the longest and the one that flowed out very naturally. A brash, more harmonically clear and confident statement split in the middle and the ending with a more uncertain theme using solo violin, viola, and cello.

Next up may be a sonorist piece. I’m using a classical orchestra just for simplicity (it’s enough of an effort to learn with just this limited palette) so I’m not sure how well that style will communicate.


News for the week of 12 May 2019

Fetal heartbeat bill

Tue 14 May 2019 – Georgia passes a bill (HB 481) that criminalizes abortions after six weeks. “[U]nborn children are a class of living, distinct person” that deserves “full legal recognition.” Women who self-terminate can be prosecuted. Gov. Brian Kemp. 34-18 in the Senate, 92-78 in the House.

Wed 15 May 2019 – Alabama passes a bill (HB 314) that makes it illegal for doctors to perform an abortion. The woman will not be prosecuted; the doctor can face up to 99 years in jail. Gov. Kay Ivey. 25-6 in the Senate, 74-3 in the House.

Thu 16 May 2019 – Missouri Senate passes a bill (HB 126) criminalzing abortion after eight weeks. Women would not be prosecuted; doctors would face five to 15 years in prison. Gov. Mike Parson. 24-10 in the Senate.

Continuing the story, Washington and either Volusia or Brevard county voting machines in Florida were hacked by the Russians in 2018, potentially tipping the scales. Republicans previously blocked security measures recommended by all intelligence agencies to secure elections.

Lots of Iran news. Basically, the administration is telegraphing aggression based on very, very suspect intel in order to either Iraq war that shit or for Trump to (as some Republicans fear) set up a Kim Jong Un-like meeting with Rouhani and give away everything like he did then. Rep. Tom Cotton said, unbelievably, said the US could win a war agains Iran with: “Two strikes, the first strike and the last strike.” Where to even begin.

Trump may pardon a soldier, on Memorial Day, who was convicted of war crimes.