Salutojn, Samideanoj!

[Komisiu muzikverketon ]

Komisiu muzikverketon de Celeste HUTCHINS!

Mi nun verkas muzikaron. Cxiuj de la muziketoj dauxros proksimume 1 minuto longe. Mi finos dum cxi tiu somero. Vi (jes, vi) povas komisii muziketon speciale por vi mem. La komentario mencios vin kiel komisiito kaj nomigito. Vi ricevos WAV-an aux AIFF-an dosieron retposxte kun la muziko. 1 semajno poste, retposxtu la nomon al mi (mi ne permesos ian maldecan nomon). Mi konservos auxtoran rajton, sed la muziketo eldonigxos per “Kreiva Komunumo” kiun vi devos agnoski. Vi rajtos kopii kaj disdoni ankaux.

Placxus min si iu nomos muziketon Esperante.
I am a geek

World Music Assignment

Listen to “composed world music CD” and report back

Celeste Hutchins


World Music Paper


my World Music listening, I chose La Koro Sutro by Lou Harrison.  I picked this piece because I thought
it was obviously an example of "composed world music" and because I’m
quite fond of it.  Now that I’m
examining it more critically, however, I’m not as certain that it is an example
of world music. 

Koro Sutro
composed for 100 voice chorus, harp, organ and the "American
Gamelan."  The American
Gamelan is not actually a gamelan, but rather a metalphone percussion
instrument built out of old oxygen tanks and other scrap metal by Bill
Colvig.  It has its name only
because it sounds like a gamelan, but otherwise has little connection to the
real thing.  This may be
problematic if this piece is to be classified as world music, since the
instrumentation is domestic.

language of the piece and the text is very definitely international.  It is an Esperanto (La Internacia
translation of the Buddhist text, the Heart Sutra. The CD helpfully comes with the
words in Esperanto and a side-by-side English translation.  It was also premiered to an international
audience.  The notes with the CD
explain, "La Koro Sutro was first performed for an international gathering of
Esperantists in San Francisco on August 11, 1972."  The Harrison biography notes that this
performance took place shortly after a Universala Kongreso in Portland, Oregon.  While certainly not every piece of Esperanta
music ever
written is automatically world music, this one, because of the nature of the
translation, should be counted as a world music text.

sound of the piece also sounds like world music.  The tuning is very obviously not 12-toned equally
tempered.  This is especially
evident in the American Gamelan sections. 
The other percussion also has a "world music" feel to it.  The singing also sounds somewhat non-western.  It is reminiscent of some chant music,
especially when it has longish melismas on a single vowel.  This may be because Harrison studied
and found inspiration from early music. 
It may also be an imitation of a singing style found along the Pacific
Rim.  Based on the sounds alone, I
would certainly consider this piece to be world music.

packaging of the CD, however, does not convey world music.  The cover graphic pictures some grass
and a large anthropomorphized flower with a goatee.  It is smiling at an insect that also has a goatee and three
hearts float between them.  Eight
notes in various orientations dot the background.  It says, in large text La Koro Sutro on the right hand side.  Around the edges are names of people
involved in the project.  Also on
the same disk are Varied Trio, performed by the Abel, Steinberg, Winant Trio and Suite
for Violin and American Gamelan
, featuring David Abel on violin.  The disk is published by New Albion

of the performers, packaging, Pacific Rim aesthetics and even the record label
are so very California San Francisco Bay Area, that they make me homesick.  Of course, while I lived in California,
I did not think of this as purely California music, I thought of it as world
music.  Lou Harrison was known not
only as a California composer, but more so as a world music composer.  I did not think of his music and especially
this piece, as indigenous, but looking at it now, it very obviously was.

conclusion, while this CD is very obviously a California phenomenon, I still
would count it as an example of composed world music.  The international Esperanto community is eager to embrace it
– the best Esperanto vocal work ever written – as coming from Esperantio, and the music synthesizes so
many ideas and cultures that I would count it as a world phenomenon.

         (Esperantio is the name of a fictional
Esperanto homeland.  It is
essentially international in nature.)

Informo pri Lou HARRISON

don’t run away, this post is (mostly) in English!

I’m presenting a paper on Wednesday about Lou Harrison. the paper is not yet written. the book is not yet read. I’ve only got a few hundred pages left, so it’s ok.
Lou Harrison was many things. He was a vegetarian. He was a pacifist. He was fluent in Esperanto. In fact, one of his best known works, La Koro Sutro, is entirely in Esperanto. ELNA, the Esperanto League for North America, calls it the best E-o (that “E-o” thing is a top secret abbreviation for “Esperanto” that Esperantists use. don’t tell them that I told you!) piece ever written. It was premiered in San Francisco in 1972 at the NASK program. the NASK (Nord-Ameriko Somera Kursaro) program is a intense summer class in E-o, that used to be held yearly at SF State (it has since moved to Vermont, since Sf State now has regular classes year-round). a huge community grew up around the NASK program. Alums from various years keep in contact. People from all over the world come and, of course, many locals drop in.
the Bay Area is/was a sort of E-o epicenter. The headquarters of ELNA are conviently located in Emeryville. some of this was because of NASK. Anyway, more than 300 people from 28 countries went to concerts and lectures (in Espernato) surrounding the NASK program and the premier of La Koro Sutro. Somebody must have a recollection of this. Maybe a recording? I asked on the northern CA E-o email list, which is very low traffic and haven’t heard a reply. I just emailed Charles to ask if maybe OM has a recording. I don’t know who else to ask, especially since all the ELNA folks monitor the NoCal list.
I’m suppossed to know what my thesis is going to be about by the end of next semester. In the old days, composers used to have to write their thesis about other composers or tuning systems or something else besides about their own work and I think that was a good system. Especially since I’m not doing any of my own work right now. *cough*.
anyway, if you’re walking down the street by SF state and you see cassette in the gutter that says “1972 NASK” on it or otherwise happen to hear something about this, I’d like to hear about it.

Letter to the language department

I am writing to ask if it would be possible for me to take the language
exam in Esperanto. Esperanto, as you may know, was invented in 1887 and
is now spoken in nearly every country on Earth. Although it’s popularity
is currently low in the US, it’s extremely popular in many in other
regions, especialy Eastern Europe. It is the language exam most taken by
students in Bulgaria, for example.

If Esperanto is unavailable, I can take it in German.

Thank you very much for your time (multajn dankojn!),


Learn Language Audio Course

Man, those things are useless. what’s the gender of the noun? who knows? but my suitcase is on the train! (oh no!)
Piece idea: Audio course in esperanto. starts out straightforward with sections you would expect. “Section 1 – Greetings” “Aro Unu – Salutojn” But starts getting progressively stranger. and the “boing” between sections gets more elaborate, until it starts overlapping with the language section and turns into full pieces of music. “boooing zooom bewww bweeee excuse me, my hamster is rabid…” etc. all of this will be microtonal, of course…
I need a fluent esperanto collaborator. i wonder if ed would do it?
wait, maybe i should do it in german, since i’ll have to take a test in it. Verzeihung! Mein Hamster hat die Tollwut. (I wonder if “rabies” will be on the exam…)
Joanna Russ, author of The Female Man, did a funny, short phrasebook for interstellar travellers. It has phrases like, “That is my travelling companion. It is not a tip. I will call the manager.” It would be perfect, especially with “hello”, “goodbye”, “nice to meet you” spliced in at the beginning. The language would have to be Esperanto or Klingon or something, since a national language might be offensive in that context. I wonder if she would go for it.


skipping back to the OM festival….
I went with Christi to work, then went over to the Palace of Fine Arts for a TV thing. Evening Magazine was filming some of the wineglass ensemble for their show, and I was a in the ensemble. So I sat at a table, with the TV camera and obnoxious TV personalities to my back, and played a wine glass tuned too full of fluid to be audible. The wrid thing about playing wineglass, is that it creates standing waves in the fluid. SO if you’re playing and can’t hear yourself for some reason, like because you’re on a stage and the monitor speakers are pointing at you and there’s a mic right over your glass, you can look at the fluid and see if you’re getting sound out. In really full glasses, drops of water spring up, creating a mist. These glasses were filled with very cheap wine, so a mist of something like redwine vinegar was spraying up at my hand.
The pitch wasn’t audible, though, so the guy sitting next to me said that you could raise the amplitude by running your finger along the outside of the glass, rather than rim. He then demonstrated this. It was like a nice physicics lecture, because the raised amplitude of sound, directly corresponded to a raised amplitude of waves in the fluid and red wine got sprayed out all over me. Fortunately, I wore clothes that would bear this, just in case.
So we sat and played wine glasses in the background, while the TV people had inane banter encouraging alcholholism. Why would you play a wineglass, when you could drink the contents??!! Well don’t drink and drive, folks, but be sure to drink a lot. Certainly, drink alll the wine in front of you rather than linger over it or make music! Um, actually, the “why would you play a wineglass…” sentence is a direct quote.
Then my stand partner showed the TV people how to play the wineglasses. The male announcer said, “Oh I think mine’s a bit sharp.” and then drank some. Ha ha ha. Go alchoholism. Anyway, he has acting skills, because he didn’t gag on the auful wine.
Then the TV folks went to talk to Charles about the score auction. He pointed at the handwritten, signed scored by Lou Harrison and explained about them. Then, out of the blue, the host asked him if he watched Survivor. Charles looked startled and the female host said that whoever of Survivor has “finally met his match. ME!”
Clearly I’m not missing any life-enrichment by skipping the Tv medium. After this utterly meaningless bit of publicity was over (would anyone who want to watch that TV show want to come to our concert??), I asked Charles if he needed me to do anything. He said yes and had me watch a rehersal with him. I think he wants or needs a personal assistant or something.
After watching Amy X reherse, I went back to the OM office, where I did some kind of grunt work, then back to the PFA, where I sat at the auction information table and missed the composerss pre-concert talk. A lot of people wanted to look at the scores, but nobody was taking bid forms.
the concert was a world premiere of a new work by Ge Gan-ru that was studies of Peking Opera. It had a lot of fast plucking in the String Quartet and a piano part. The plucking seemed to flow from one instrument to another. They also did slides up and down the strongs. It definitely evoked Peking Opera, while also definitely New Music. Very interesting. Amy Cook and Mario were in the audience and so were Tiffany and Ed and Mitch and Mitch’s chew toy Stacey. Saw all of them at intermission.
Then Amy X Neuburg played. She did the same set that I saw her do over the summer at the San Jose Museum of Art. Her songs are pop-y and entertaining and use Bel Cant opera singing techniques, which means that she can sing really well in a flat or in an operatic style. All of her songs use vocal loops. So she’ll sing one thing and loop it and then sing with herself and loop that. Bobby McFerrin uses this technique too, but Amy X is cooler.
The audience thought she was the bomb. I don’t think many of them knew of her work before. She sold more CDs than anyone else at the festival.
then Evelyn Glennie played two songs for solo snare drum and several songs for solo marimba. She wrote one of the songs that she played, but the rest were written by other folks. You wouldn’t think that anyone would want to listen to songs for solo snare drum, but she was so amazing, I could have listened to another hour of snare drum. And the marimba was also incredible. At one point, she was singing the same pitches that she was playing on the marimba. What makes this an especially amazing feat is that she’s been profoundly deaf since age 8. She plays with tremendous warmth and sensitivity and with great care. She has an incredible dynamic range (the ability to play very loudly, very softly and in between) and is probably the world’s best percussionist. Apparently, she’s also very gifted at reading lips, but obviously cannot dect sounds that she doesn’t visually witness. Christi says that she went to the artist retreat one day and there was a loud noise outside. Everyone jumped except Glennie, who asked what happened.
Anyway her performance was inspiring and changed the way I view the snare drum.
One of the Board of Directors had a party afterwards, so we headed over, as did Mitch, Stacey, Tiffany and Ed. It was in her five story warehouse/loft thingee. All of us unimportant hangers-on tried to look as if we belonged and tried not to be intimidated by the decor. Oh yes, I always go to parties at houses with Lichtenstein and Warhol hanging on the wall. Wanted to inpect them to see if they were real or prints, but didn’t want to be uncool. Wanted to talk to the composers but didn’t know then and hadn’t been introduced and didn’t want to be uncool. Christi introduced me to the hostess. People started going home. As it got less croweded, I started being less cool and talked to a bunch of nifty folks. Some guy on his way out said “Gxis la revido!” I said “Cxu vi parolas esperanton?”
the guy took esperanto with Ed Williger at Stanford but had quit just weeks before Tiffany, Christi, Mitch and I had started. He was amazed to learn that several esperantists had been at the party. He was kind of drunk though and tried to engage everyone in a game of charades. We were parking on a tow-away after 2:00 AM spot, so we took off and then spent more than an hour on the bridge trying to get home.
Overall, great concert. Great party. I haven’t been to party that cool since the era of dot com launches ended. I just heard today that thursday actually had the best turnout of all the nights. Also, I leanred that the symphony opening was scheduled for wednesday also (poor planning, really) and the Chronicle reviewer skipped it to come to the OM concert! Unheard-of!!
More later

New News


Protools is softare that is used of sound editting. It does everything that you can do with a multie track tape recorder and a mixing board and a bunch ofthings you can’t. It’s got 24 possible tracks and splicing and just like photoshop quickly automates things that used to take hours with razor blades and splicing tape. It’s very cool.
I’ve got some heardware that lets me record up to eight tracks at once (actually, I could go 16, if I attached some other stuff, but only two mic pre-amps) anyway, I have two versions of protools. One for OS9 and one for OSX. I’ve been having problems with both versions. Right now, I can create a file and record to it on OS9 and play it back and edit it in OSX. I haven’t tried recording in OSX yet, but all the other things won’t work in theother operating sysem. I can’t create files in 10. I can’t play them back or edit them in 9. Just thought I’d share.


I finally got five minutes of bart sound mixed into a file. The file has problems, but we’re going to have the judges look at a websirte to listen to them and the mp3 conversion hides the flaws. Thank goodness, technology is working in my favor for once! The voice-over part is not finished being editted to pieces yet. I have have a very nice sample of jean saying wistfully, “well, i guess that’s unemployment.” My midiverb seems to be on the fritz (what’s going on with my equipment, anyway? did the pentagon test it’s EMP missle offshore or something?), so i added a 13 milisecond delay with 50% feedback at a 20% mix for reverb. Many, that’s got some aliasing… I’d use if for noise FX, but it’s wayyyyy to cheesy. URL of website will be posted here. We’re calling it “Mind the Metro” with a subtitle that somehow explains that metros are the same everywhere, even though they’re different and the universality of the urban commuter.

Other Minds

I spent all day yesterday working in the OM office. I processed email unsubscribe requests so they can send out their giant reminder email. And i put inserts into programs. about 2000 of them. And I put comp tickets in envelopes. I don’t want to speculate on the number, but I’ve heard a rumor that 25% of the audience is going to be comped in. Ushers get two free comp tickets for another night. It would be cheaper to pay the ushers a living wage than give them these tickets. It’s the most generous ushering thing that I’v ever heard of. Anyway, I continued helping Christi with comp tickets until midnight, when I fell asleep on the floor with my head in her lap. Maybe that was somehow helpful.
the festival starts today. they’re playing a piece arranged by Christi. If you don’t have a ticket and want to go to a night aside from tonight, I have an extra ticket. I’ll be plaing on friday night. Contact me if you want to go.

Brain Tumors

Somebody on one of my mailing lists might have one. I met somebody with a brain tumor when I was in Portland and I guess I looked visibly freaked-out when Renee told me because she and a number of other peope asked if I was alright.
The last holy candle has burned out.

Things that keep me awake at night

More brain tumors…

I can’t hear as well in my right ear as in my left. Normally, I just wonder why this is so (I always hold the telephone on the right. I’m on the right side of the band I play in… hrm, but I was on the left when I played in hgihschool band. My tuba bell was on the right though…) and make vague plans to get an earwax removal kit. but at 3:00 AM, it’s a brain tumor. “Can I see as well with my right eye? I don’t think very creativly! Maybe my right brain is being impacted.” Yeah, the thing that are giant at 3:00 AM are stupid by morning.


Fundamentalists have the death thing all figured out. You die (or get raptured) and go to heaven where you get to spend an eternity with people who agree with you about everything and get to bad-mouth all the folks in hell and occassionally yell down that they can’t have any of your bottled water.
Catholics always have to go and make everything more complicated. Because of that story with the grape pickers, whether or not you get into heaven has to do with whether or not you’re in a state of grace when you die. That’s it. If the pope cursed god as his last thought, he’d go to the fiery pit, whereas if Dubya Bush’s last thoughts were, “oh my god, what was I doing? Jesus, forgive my misdeeds!” he’d go right to heaven. Everybody is equal in heaven.
except that everybody is not equal in heaven. There are all these saints floating around. Saints are God’s special friends. You can’t square it, if St. Joan of Arc is God’s special freind, how can she be equal with Bob the foul-mouthed butcher from down the street? And what about Bob’s swearing? He was never sorry for it. It was a sin on his soul, even though he was good enough for heaven, he still wasn’t perfect. Hence: purgatory. If you didn’t finish your penance on Earth, you get another shot after you die.
Purgatory is the great equalizer. Basically, non-saints are imperfect and need to cleanse sin from their souls. So they go to a temporary hell for a while and burn for their sins. when a fundamentalist’s mother dies, he gets comforting thoughts of Mom having afternoon cofee with Jesus, bad-mouthing sinners, just like at home. But Catholics geet to lie awake at 3:00 AM wondering if their devout mother is burning for her sins. It can keep you awake for sure.

Say a Prayer

fortunately, like Americans have Mis Manners, Catholics have the Baltimore Catcheism to give us algorythms to handle problems. Your prayers can get folks out of purgatory faster. It’s like writing letters for convicts or something. This is the prayer:

Come holy Spirit, fill the hearts of thy faithful
and enkindle in them the fire of thy love
Send forth Thy Spirit and they shall be created
And thou shalt renew the face of the earth
Let us Pray
O God, who didst instruct the hearts of the faithful
by the light of the Holy Spirit, grant us in the same
spirit to be truly wise, and ever to rejoice in His con-
solation. through Christ Our Lord. Amen.

saying that prayer every day for a month gets you a five year plenary indulgence with the usual conditions applying. I don’t know what that means except five years less purgatory for mom. See, you can say prayers like that and transfer the indulgence to a nother person, provided the person is deceased. Also, in the Middle ages, thrity people fasting for one day was equivalent to one person fasting for a month. after a while, they decided that you couldn’t pay other people to fast for you anymore, so the group fasting fell out of fashion. but if they did it for free, it still counted.
this means that if thirty people recite this little prayer to themselves today, my mom spend five fewer years in purgatory. this is what the internet is really all about. Sending money to debtors, a dollar at a time until they can pay off their credit card debt, or saying prayers for dead people.
My mom sure believed in all this stuff. I’m not too sure about it. It all seems kind of overly structured and fair to me and I’ve seen no sign of anything else God made being fair, but at 3:00 AM, it all seems very reasonable. So maybe I could sleep better at night. Say a prayer for my mom. And that guy on my mailing list who might have a brain tumor.

My Dad

He’s taken up being a camera guy for pledge breaks on KTEH channel 54 in San Jose. Sometimes he films the phone bank volunteers and sometimes he films the host’s finger as s/he points at pledge gifts. One day, he may work his way up to being a sound guy. I offered him use of my mixing board if he wants to practice at home, but he declined. He’s also got a red BMW motorcycle. It’s a nifty looking bike. I haven’t seen his leather outfit yet.

Rock Band

I was drunk. I played the tuba instead of bas. If I’m drunk next week, I’ll play the tuba again. I think learning to play rock while drunk helps with the rock and roll lifestyle thing. I’m ready to be a rockstar.


Ok, so I was sitting talking with Christi and Jenya last night about our installation plans when the phone rang. I answered it “Saluton!” since that seems to make telemarketters hang up. But then a strangers started talking quickly and fluently to me in Esperanto! I was flabbergasted. Not knowing what to make of it, I agreed to everything the person said, cathcing only that she was from ELNA. She thanked me about 100 times as she hung up. I have no idea what I agreed to. Maybe I’ll be cleaning restrooms at ELNA headquarters. anyway, I think I might have told her I was Christi. It was very confusing.

right now

Mate is a stimulant tea thingee from south america. It inspitres me to write too many words while avoiding tasks such as walking to the drugstore to get an earway removal kit or working on editting my 11 year old neighbor yelling VJ-style into a mic about how BART is dangerous for little kids.

More IM Converation

christopherff2002: Hello there.
electrogirls: saluton!
christopherff2002: How are you this afternoon?
electrogirls: bone!
electrogirls: kaj vi?
electrogirls: (i made new years resolution to only IM in esperanto. don’t worry, there’s a dictionary at that you can use to translate)
electrogirls: kiel vi fartas?
christopherff2002: Lovely.
electrogirls: bona. kie vi logxas?
electrogirls: mi logxas en Kalifornio
electrogirls: mi estas 26 jara ino en Kalifornia, kaj vi?
christopherff2002: How do you use the site?
electrogirls: log in as a guest. there’s a dictionary in the top right hand corner
christopherff2002: password?
electrogirls: click on the link “click here to log in as a guest”
electrogirls: it’s on the right, at the top of the list
christopherff2002: I don’t have the time for learning all this at work, take care.
electrogirls: gxis la revido!

Esperanto class was bursting at the seams! We are going to move to a bigger classroom. (no, i am not making this up.) But there is still room for you! Yes, there is. Tuesday night 7:30 – 9:30 enhanced with kekstempo – cookie break time! keksoj = cookies. See, now you’ve learned one useful word, there’s no reason not to show up.
Speaking of Esperanto, I’ve been thinking more about Christi’s silent movie idea. Phillip Glass does a lot of movie composing for old movies, but the one’s i’ve seen have all been movies with sound and subtitles. Opera singers sing the lines of the speakers in the movie. so he just plays the movie with the sound turned off. and then I thought of the perfect movie to do that to: Incubus! no, don’t leave! William Shatner, when interviewed about his role in Incubus, consistently describes the script as “operatic.” He says it deals starkly between good and evil – like an opera would. the movie is, as i’m sure you know, the only full-length movie shot entirely in Esperanto. And it doesn’t have much dialog. the dialog it does have is very easy. There are long sequences with pretty pictures where no one speaks. (these are the best part of the film.) those sections could be filled with musical interlude. Also, the movie has very few speaking parts. There’s that guy who only lasts for one scene, Kia, her sister, Marco, his sister and the incubus, and I’m not sure if the incubus even speaks. so we could get away with a mezo-soprano (I don’t like high sopranos so much), an alto and a tenor. Maybe a second male part, maybe not. If we got a second male part, there could be cool chorus-y suff when the evil minons file in at the beginning. Don’t get me wrong, there are problematic elements in the movie. It would take a bit of snipping. For all of it’s operaticness (as perceived by Shatner), it’s still an icky horror movie. There are only two scenes that really ought to go. there’s the one where the evil minions tear off Marco’s sister’s clothes and the incubus lurches in with his bad teeth. (well, it is an icky horror movie and we’re going to cut that scene.) and of course, the scene in the end with the goat. I think we could have Kia and Marco running towards the church and then have her crawl in, harmed, and never explain what happened. Or, we could just have the incubus show up to get her and cut before he turns into a goat. Really, this film does have all the great aspects of opera. Think Don Giovanni with it’s graveyards and people eating corpses and satanic figures rising from the dead. Think of that and thenk really low budjet, with only three singers, no sets aside from a screen and projector and a small pit orchestra. Additionally, this is an act we could take on the road. People would come see it because it might sound interesting, but think of all the esperantists who want to see what on earth an opera based on Incubus would be like. see! this is a great idea!

Today is the first day of Esperanto class. Yes, this means summer is finally over. I left for my mom’s house really early, so I don’t have 15 GRE words for today, but they will resume tomorrow along with the 5 esperanto root words of the day. If I learn 20 new words a day, in two languages, soon i’ll be the best spoken person on earth. (note to self: there must be a more multi-sylabled way to say that…)
I woke up in a bad mood because I couldn’t remeber what “abjure” meant. But now I feel happier.
My mom is popular. Twof reinds came earlier and two more are on the way. That’s all god. She’s also happy. I’m not paying attention to her right now because I am updating my blog. Bad daughter! No bisquit!