Wolf! Wolf!

As one might surmise, this is sort of a follow-up to my previous post, Goldilocks—I want to drive the point into the ground even further and, since I’m in the driver’s seat, you’ll just have to sit back and take it.

If you aren’t privy to the original Goldilocks, I suggest you take a gander. But if you’re lazy like me, here’s the synopsis: I try to equate bloated language with crying wolf. It sounds fantastic but loses its effectiveness over time. It’s hyperbole, exaggeration, not real. So, I wonder whether or not this disproportionate language might be the culprit behind the negative perception of classical music. I suggest that it’s really no one’s fault, it’s the language we inherited. And no one is immune: composers, critics, musicologists, theorists, laymen, performers, superheroes, etc. I also give you three kaleidoscopic images and ask you to imagine them joyfully weaving in and out of each other. Great fun.

So here we are a couple of days later and the first thing I randomly come across—just making the daily rounds—is this nice article by Scott Cantrell.

FWSO preps for Mahler symphonies

Sweet. Perfect for demonstrating my point. I think that anything Mahler is already so bloated that we might want to start spelling his name with a few extra letters (Mawhlerr?). Besides, y’all know that everything in Texas is bigger. And bigger is, incontrovertibly, better!

The instrumental forces required for the Second Symphony are truly heroic...

I read that Odysseus once employed seventy lyres just to take a shit. That’s one heroic shit, folks! But tales of truly heroic instrumentations don’t stop there. Achilles wasn’t actually killed by an arrow. Instead, he accidentally choked on four bone flutes. Neil Armstrong refused to leave Earth’s atmosphere without his sixteen euphoniums. The beaches at Normandy were stormed by 150,000 soldiers armed with nothing but oboes and bassoons. And Ethan Allen and Benedict Arnold at Ticonderoga? They lulled the British to sleep by playing 21,000 autoharps. Mawhlerr? Pffft. He used some extra brass and winds for his symphonies.

And this is the first picture that comes up when I Google Image “truly heroic.”


Aaron said...

Euphoniums or euphonia?

Either way, the picture is Fun To Look At.

Empiricus said...

Since it was in reference to Neil Armstrong, I decided to go with the Americanized variant.

Murderface said...

Is that a Chihuly piece?

Gawd I fucking hate that guy.

Empiricus said...

Not sure. Its certainly possible. This photo was posted to Picasa Web Albums by someone named Terry. Terry gives us an epithet below the photograph (the extent that it has anything to do with anything is dubious). Nonetheless, here it is:

Hanging ArtWork~When we quit thinking primarily about ourselves and our own self-preservation, we undergo a truly heroic transformation of consciousness. Joseph Campbell.