106: Unsuspect

Unsuspect (Adjective): 1. Unsuspected; not subject to suspicion. 2. Not suspect; trustworthy or reliable. 3. Unforeseen.

TODAY on flaglock: I shiver at the arrival of winter and ponder more strange dreams, feedback on Polish dance, and thoughts on “Say I Love You.”

I threw a scarf around myself (like Merlin throws his beard around himself) and took a dive into the cloudy morning. I saw my breath for the first time this season. Mom remarked today, “It’s about time you started digging up your scarves.” The nights are sharper and the days are sluggish to grow warm. The winter really drives home just how much it would suck if our sun went out.

I can’t be the only one who’s noticed: why the DEVIL would any alien civilization suffer themselves to physically come round and launch an invasion of our Earth? If they’ve read any of the stupid invasion fiction that we’ve spawned, they’ll know that we tend to win in the most improbably stupid and the most colossally unfair ways ever unblushingly penned. I enjoyed H.G. Wells’ solution: death by delayed reaction to some errant Earthling bacteria that they had no immunity to (good job sick bay, real great work in speedily working up and deploying a cure).

But back to my point about winter: there’s absolutely no point in getting your little green hands dirty. If the subjugation (or even extermination) of mankind is your goal, why bother? Get your fancy technology up and running to deploy a MASSIVE solar umbrella over the earth. Once you block out our sun, I guarantee that pandemonium will reign. Once our governments somehow manage to control the madness, you deliver your demands. And then everyone is ready for your arrival whenever you feel like descending. The upshot of this plan: you get to perch yourself atop your gigantic horrible solar umbrella and tan yourself for a couple of days (weeks, I imagine) while we Earthlings get our stuff sorted.

On Rafał’s new album: I have dug up positive reviews from The Telegraph and at least one German source (which, despite its long-winded suggestion for improvement, assign the album a ten-for-ten in every category of pianism on its rubric) that give favorable reviews. The Guardian is less charitable, but who cares what they think. It has received a single five-star review on Amazon from a certain “Santa Fe Listener” and another five-star review on Amazon.co.jp. The signs look good. I hope this means better and better sales for Rafał. Already we are told (sources from Preludia) that the next concerto album is almost ready-to-go – orchestra, conductor, repertoire, missing only dates – and that the next solo album is planned out too (no Chopin, no focus on Polish stuff). Barnes & Noble has finally gotten around to shipping my copy, but I cannot yet find tracking information about the package. I continue to refresh the page in high hopes.

This weekend at home has done good things for my hands: I have shed almost everything from my repertoire now, and focus tightly on a core of technical exercises, a lone concerto, and selected arrangements of mine. This is mostly Moritz Moszkowski’s Etude op. 72 no. 6 in E-flat major, Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto no. 4 in G minor, and then the wibbly-wobbly stuff that goes all over the place when it comes to keyboard performance. I’m surprised that my touch appears to have improved with neglect.

Mom cleans the house very well when given free reign. I notice, conspicuously, that the workroom is left untouched (and it looks a little sad and out-of-place compared to the rest of the spotless house). It is all too good to be home again, and all too sad that I have to go back again tomorrow afternoon. Life can really be dull at all the wrong times.

I had another one of those last night. And again I played an strongly protagonistic role – not a common feature in my dreams. The monster of Nian had come to our little village to lure away our children: the children were out on the grass playing, and the men were banding up to check up the mountain about a huge apparition that had appeared earlier. In a moment of clarity I admonished them: “You idiots! Can’t you see it’s trying to lure us away so it can take the children?”

I was hitherto unmoved by the score to “Say I Love You.” I confess that it was half the reason that I decided to pick up watching it at all, because seeing the name of my favorite film composer plastered on created an enormous incentive. It has been mostly minimal work with keyboard, strings, some kind of wind instrument (organ offshoot?), and other stuff. I suspect that he may have arranged the opening too, because that’s just his style. But today, I really smiled as he flexed his musical biceps. Episode eleven, where the male lead and female lead take a lovey-dovey trip to the analogous in-universe Disneyland™, is Nomi’s breakout moment in the series. The first shot over the entrance is given a fanfare in a cozy chamber string group (possibly as small as a quartet). This instrumentation comes and goes in the scenes at the park, all intimate and cheerful and lovely (and above all, HAPPY) at the same time. Nice work there, Mr. Nomi, you’ve got me back on track again. I’ll be looking for this particular score in stores from now on, maybe.

On the whole, “Say I Love You” is an interesting experience. There’s a lot of “modernist” imagery in there that tries quite hard not to be traditionally romantic. Props to the creators, there’s a pronounced (and pretty well-executed) attempt to be original. The romance is pedestrian and the story is hardly groundbreaking, but the atmosphere is what I’d pay for. There’s almost a little economy of smiles going on with the female lead: in the later episodes, you will get to see her smile more and more, and it melts your heart after the thorough freezing it got from her icy countenance in earlier episodes. It’s a really sweet story with a nicely unobtrusive score (which, as I’ve mentioned, in places has the opportunity to really take the rug out from under you) and a surprisingly original feel to its opening. I’ve yet to see an opening that opens with vocals over keyboard and string quartet, never going above a mezzo-piano. Now THAT takes some patience.

J39M

 

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