There is one last work on the Imaginary Timescapes
performance that I have yet to write about—the companion pieces Obesessions from the Twittersphere and Confessions from the Blogosphere,
“serious” music that makes the audience laugh. The seed for Confessions from the Blogosphere
was planted in my brain when I received a valentine in 2006 from my friend Ethan Chessin, a trombonist and music teacher who has periodically brightened my days by mailing absurd cards involving construction paper and few words. This particular one featured the letter “B,” a snake, and a single word: “blogosphere.” (Perhaps there was also a small heart somewhere on it identifying the creation as a valentine; anyway, it arrived in February.) Back then the word was fairly new, and it did have a ring to it.At some point I started poking around on blogs, looking for material. I found a “confession” that was only mildly embarrassing and pretty funny, and then I started looking for more, discovering that people write some pretty absurd, and sometimes hysterical, things on the internet.
Fun fact: the 2007 premiere of Confessions from the Blogosphere by C4: the Choral Composer/Conductor Collective was conducted by none other than Phillip Cheah, who is singing bass in the vocal quartet that will perform these pieces on the Imaginary Timescapes concert! The program note for the first performance of these two pieces as a pair (I wrote Obsessions from the Twittersphere in 2009) is as follows:
In the few years since the premiere of Confessions from the Blogosphere, on-line communication has blossomed and diversified. The arrival of Twitter was both powerful and ridiculous. The same tool is used to spread political movements and to inform the world what one had for breakfast, in brief spurts of 140 characters or less. Focusing on the ridiculous, Obsessions from the Twittersphere mocks the mass-distribution of the meaningless. Tweets about obsessions from strange to harmless are patched together in an unfolding dialogue between strangers.
Confessions from the Blogosphere is inspired by the comparatively old-fashioned realm of the on-line blog. Like a tweet, a blog post is inherently public. Unlike the twittersphere, however, the blogosphere often has an association with intimacy. Created in an intimate, comfortable space (at home, alone with one’s computer), it frequently contains highly personal thoughts once relegated to the old-fashioned diary. As I started reading blog entries that ranged from the banal to the bizarre, I was captivated by a unique kind of confession motivated more by humor than by guilt. The text to Confessions from the Blogosphere is composed entirely of quotes from these blogs. The quotes overlap and compete for attention, reflecting the context of fast-paced internet surfing in which they are read.
Obsessions from the Twittersphere
I have a slight obsession with my iphone.
I have a very weird obsession with fat pigeons, they’re so… interesting.
My obsession has probably turned unhealthy.
Yes, I do think your obsession with Samantha is a bit unhealthy.
Holy crap, dude.
My child has developed an obsession with buckles.
Like, on her booster seat,
All she wants to do is snap and unsnap them.
I have an obsession with strollers.
We’ve got like eight!
Thank God I can’t afford my obsession with cars.
A new obsession is building.
I want a new obsession.
Developing a small obsession for sesame snacks.
Europe’s obsession with corporate remuneration has little to do with preventing excessive risk taking.
We need to find a place that makes good leechee martinis,
They are my new obsession!
Lately I developed an obsession with Art Nouveau and Art Deco architecture of Bucharest.
Twitter is an obsession.
My obsession has probably turned unhealthy.
— compiled by Karen Siegel from tweets by: @Squeakees, @jkamazingkris, @tripleXmas, @j9gem, @samarapostuma, @thody, @Angians, @trishaO_o, @YasTwit, @mister_Sam, @KraseyBeauty, @viapontica and @MissBeeyawnkuh.
Confessions from the Blogosphere
I like Paris Hilton for real.
Should I be ashamed?
I’ve never been a fan of Tom Cruise.
There! That’s off my chest.
I occasionally watch a couple soap operas.
My cousin got me hooked on “The Young and the Restless” when I was fourteen.
In junior high I joined the chess club because I liked the nerdy boys.
Yes, in the most worrying O.C.D. episode of late
I pulled out all of my shoes.
I wiped them down, treated the leather.
I took my post-it notes and wrote in black sharpie a short description of the shoe
Which would then be visible when stuck on the inside of the clear stackable boxes in which my shoes reside.
So there you have it people.
I have issues.
I have admitted, shared, and am feeling positively at ease with my madness.
My weakness isn’t pairs of shoes, gadgets, or collecting D.V.D.’s.
I’m continually tempted to buy new notebooks
The paper variety.
You can never have too many notebooks
And I love looking through old journals full of old sketches from over the years.
While digital is such a powerful medium and my wacom pen is lovely
Nothing beats the satisfaction of doodling on a piece of paper.
There, that’s off my chest!
— compiled by Karen Siegel from blogs by: “Misty,” “Mulligan,” “Kim’s Suitcase,” “Style Editor,” Rachel Cunliffe, and “a gay, partnered guy from South Louisiana.”