Art has no aim; it is aim itself; it is the absolute because it is a reflection of the Absolute- the Soul. And since it is absolute, it cannot serve an idea, it is dominant, it is the source from which all life comes.
Art stands above life; penetrates the essence of the universe; reads to the ordinary man a secret, runic writing; interprets all that exists from one eternity to another; it knows neither limits nor laws; it knows only the duration and power of the soul; it binds men’s soul to the soul of the universal nature and considers the soul of the individual as a phenomenon of that other soul”
by: Stanislaw Prybyzewski, in “Confiteor” in Zycie (Life), January 1, 1899
And so my winter break is coming to an end. Next Monday I start my second semester of graduate studies, where I shall immerse myself anew in music, music, and music
(and the midwest weather). Between a musicology course in twentieth-century music to twentieth -century musical analysis, choral conducting, graduate musical composition, and ensembles. This semester will be challenging, but rewarding, I’m sure. Let’s see what this semester brings. Up until now I will be a part of the IMEA in Illinois, and there might be a slight (very slight) possibility that I can get enough funds to go to the ACDA convention this year. If I get the chance, it would be amazing. It’s still somewhat incredible and humbling coming back to the island and meet again my professors and peers. The pressure is still on when the hint, again, that I am the “new guinea pig” because before me nobody has done a Masters in Music, specially Choral Conducting. I just have to work harder this semester. As we say in the Choral Department (thanks to me) “If you try hard enough and believe in yourself…”
If music be the food of love,
sing on till I am fill’d with joy;
for then my list’ning soul you move
with pleasures that can never cloy,
your eyes, your mien, your tongue declare
that you are music ev’rywhere.
Pleasures invade both eye and ear,
so fierce the transports are, they wound,
and all my senses feasted are,
tho’ yet the treat is only sound.
Sure I must perish by our charms,
unless you save me in your arms
I believe in the sun, and the warm it exudes.
I believe in the moon, the stars, and space.
In the sound of the wind against my face.
The chill of winter on a morning’s breath
In the sea and its temperament
I believe in starting clean, and the opportunities it can bring.
In children’s smile on Christmas day
I believe in the fall, the grace in nature’s death
I believe in the spring, the phoenix’s birth
In the meadow, the forest,
the burning heats of men…
I believe in the cloud terrain after the kiss of rain
the shadows if a flamboyan tree under it’s rest
I believe in the torments that life brings
in the act of weeping, the mourning of a death
I believe in the sun, and the warm it exudes
I believe in the crater of the moon,
in the rouge meteors that scar the sky
I believe in the frigid winter winds against my skin
freezing my bones, and frosting my soul
But most importantly
I believe in you…
Author’s Notes: Here you have my first poem of 2014. I was inspired by the Composer Ola Gjeilo’s “Across the vast eternal Sky”. Something I have learned about life in the last couple of months is that we should never stop believing… I hope you enjoy. Happy New Year!
i thank You God for most this amazing
day:for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes
(i who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun’s birthday; this is the birth
day of life and of love and wings: and of the gay
great happening illimitably earth)
how should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing any–lifted from the no
of all nothing–human merely being
doubt unimaginable You?
(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)
Finals are done, and I’m back home in Puerto Rico for the Winter Break. Coming back home is good. I’m still not accustomed to the change in temperature. Living in twenty-something degree weather (that feels like ten-something because of the wind chill) to the drastic eighty degrees with seventy percent humidity is… taxing. Nevertheless is good to be back, at least for two weeks or so to say hello to the family (in person and not by FaceTime) and see some familiar faces. So far, I crashed a choral rehearsal from my undergraduate. Saw my highschool/undergrad voice teacher, and my choral conducting/literature/methods professor. It’s been good, but bittersweet. It has put a lot of things in perspective, such as family, friends and what I want to do in my life.
I’m still debating coming back to the island after I receive my Masters degrees. In one side it would be returning to my comfort zone. On the other, it would be returning to a place where I know I could find a collegiate work opportunity, because of my networking. I don’t know if the job opportunity would be a stable one, but with the way things are back here, it is… daunting. When I came here, teacher’s went on strike, and the overall teaching opportunities/lifestyle are light and day in comparison of what I’ve seen in Iowa and in Illinois. These past six months of actually living alone, in a place where no one knows me has made me seen life in a different ways, and I’ve remembered and learned new this. Some of these are…
- No matter where you come from, people judge you (or should judge you) for your actions and how you present yourself.
- Everybody should deserve a chance for every job opportunity.
- Don’t tell everybody that you don’t have something, do something and find something similar.
- Family is only a phone call/text/FaceTime session away.
- Family can also be your close friends.
- If you try hard and believe in yourself… (inside joke)
- Everybody can pass through a storm, they maybe unresponsive and not believe your words, but they can appreciate (or so you think) that you are a phone call/text away.
- No matter what happens, you have to work hard, because in the end it’s your future. Your life.
- Pick people’s advice like a grain of sand.
- Only the past is set in stone, the present is a gift, and the future as the sea’s wave. Even though the past is set is stone, do not throw it to the sea for the waves will carry it back to shore.
- Drink wine.
- Graduate School helps you use the most obscure and random scholarly words just to make your argument that more… scholar.
- It is in our scholarly duties to make up words so that other scholars can use them, and so the scholar circle begins.
- Personal style evolves. I still laugh when people say I have good fashion taste, if they could see me in my undergrad…
- Mozart is in fact from the 54th, later 45th century. He was possibly a woman, and he did in fact use non-human technology. He may have been indeed a reincarnation of The Doctor.
- The Doctor Donna is a professor of mine, also she is hardcore. Also, she loves French stuff so when you do a research project in French Chansons, you better werk if not she will shred you to pieces. Good for me, I rocked my paper AND presentation.
- Musicology might be a career move for me, or at least be a minor in my doctoral degree
- Always hope for the best, even when things seem dark.
- Just as in BBC’s Merlin. “The Darkest is just before dawn“. And, Just as Dumbledore said “Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, when one only remembers to turn on the light”
- Yes. I am a huge nerd.
- Study hard, but nobody can part-ay like happy choral grads who laugh so hard that they fall from their chairs, and then laugh harder. (looking at you, yes you.)
- IF you put three choral grads in the same hotel room, they may or may not start laughing. This laughter would be loud (in harmony, with a certain counterpoint), and it WILL last for AT LEAST 30 minutes. The undergrad in the room would later tell you, “I though you guys were going to be all serious.”
In short… if I’ve learned or re-learned some of these things in a short amount of time, I know that I have so much more to learn. All you can be in life is a sponge, learn from everything.
Happy Holidays from Puerto Rico