Roy Harris, Samuel Barber, Feldman

I have been listening to a lot of Barber again, part of my personal management plan to begin listening and studying a lot music again; I’ve long been enamored with Barber’s colors, the way ideas can move a major 2nd and bring about a lushness and bitter sweet character, and now am finding myself once again very entranced. I find myself coming back to his First Essay for Orchestra, there’s just so much there in that piece.

I had never really given Roy Harris’s music much attention, no particular reason I guess, but today on Rhapsody I put on Roy Harris: Symphonies Nos. 7 & 9, currently listening to Symphony no.7 and am enjoying very much the colors. I don’t know what you call that era of American music, but the big harmonies and sound are always a draw for me. The character of the piece at times is perhaps too light for me, but the colors, there is something there that I am very interested in. I think will spend more time with his music, as well as other’s from that era.

The other day while listening walking down the street, listening to Barber, I got to thinking about Feldman’s music as well, and some relationship between the two. Perhaps it’s the nostalgic character, but thinking of late Feldman works, maybe there’s technical reason as well: open harmonies, major 2nd’s…

Personal Management

Life has been busy these past few months since I got back from Poland: work, jury duty, time with friends, supporting Lisa in her work for her Doctoral qualifying exam (she passed and did marvelously!), as well as other other general tasks. The past couple of weeks saw my schedule lighten up, and in that time I spent mostly organizing myself.

I’ve been listening to a lot of FranklinCovey audiobooks the past few weeks, downloading their trial software and studying up on their ideas of personal management and planning system. There’s a lot of really good ideas there I think, and using my preferred organizer software KOrganizer/PI which I use at work, home, and on my Zaurus PDA, I’ve gotten better at organizing my todo’s and scheduling myself according to my values and goals. There’s still quite a room for improvement in how I manage my time and activities, but I think some very good steps have been taken.

It’s interesting how much of a process this is, of adjusting one’s behaviors and thought patterns (one of the greatest quotes I heard on one of the audiobooks was “you can’t do the same things and expect different results”), and how one makes plans, evaluates how successful one is at them, and continually adjusts to get closer to the goals.

I hope that the lessons learned the past few weeks will grow into a more productive, fulfilling, and rewarding lifestyle. I think that already there are changes happening for the better, and I’m looking forward to working with these new ideas and concepts to move my goals forward.