Monday, December 29, 2008

Astros, Fuentes y Flores

Dicen que no hablan las plantas, ni las fuentes, ni los pájaros,
Ni el onda con sus rumores, ni con su brillo los astros,
Lo dicen, pero no es cierto, pues siempre cuando yo paso,
De mí murmuran y exclaman: Ahí va la loca soñando

Ahí va la loca, ahí va soñando
Con la eterna primavera
de la vida y de los campos.

Y ya bien pronto, bien pronto, tendrá los cabellos canos,
Y ve temblando, aterida, que cubre la escarcha el prado.

Hay canas en mi cabeza, hay en los prados escarcha,
Mas yo prosigo soñando, pobre, incurable sonámbula,
Con la eterna primavera de la vida que se apaga
Y la perenne frescura de los campos y las almas.

Ahí va la loca, ahí va soñando
Con la eterna primavera
de la vida y de los campos.

Y la perenne frescura de los campos y las almas
Aunque los unos se agostan aunque las otras se abrasan.

Astros y fuentes y flores,
no murmuréis de mis sueños,
Sin ellos, ¿cómo admiraros
ni cómo vivir sin ellos?

Saturday, December 27, 2008

In and Out of Solitude

I. I feel more than a little messed up. What of me behaving out of the usual within camp compounds is not part of it; it just means that I was okay at the time. But now with no one around (no parents nor sisters nor Saturday dates) to vent my eccentricity upon, I feel more than a little messed up.

Perhaps having guard duty all the way through this 6-day break isn't that bad an idea. I'll be able to concentrate on library books. If I wasn't reading or at rest I'd have a company mate to talk to next to me with a clipboard or a rifle or suchlike, and for everything else there's the new Battalion cat to play and fight over food with. Perhaps. Okay, perhaps not.

II. On the computer I have Civilisation IV, Roller Coaster Tycoon 2 and Myst IV: Relevation, which are all pretty tiresome games as it drags on.

III. I spend much of my time around friends for that reason.
Christmas Day, for example, was spent with Jedi, Damien and Yixiong at Causeway Point, us four together comprising the nerd quartet of 06s6e.
Damien is now a BMTC Ninja Coy drill sergeant
Jedi a Regimental Policeman at Pasir Laba
Yixiong is a boatman roaming the southern seas!
Watched Ip Man, which people hereabouts liked to pronounce as I-P Man. The Japanese general in the film didn't look very Japanese; he looked more like Nakamura.

IV. And church is a good place to go when you feel alone.
Now that people crowd there during Christmastide, there is no worries of being alone. At least, people do more than just brush past you. For this time I joined Millie's family in the second-storey seats, where her daughter Pamela was also. When after the final hymn ended we went around to bid greetings to the parishioners, I realised how little it is the number of people I actually knew in there: the priests, the handful of evening choir members on duty, Millie and family.
Come to that, I started out not knowing anyone.
Pamela has a beautiful singing voice; she takes after her mother.

V. Sunday Evening Choir (Angela Pacis) is on roll for Easter Vigil 2009 PARISHIONERS WATCH OUT

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Firebase Orchestra

Source: Chelsea Mandello
This idea came to me on the bus while I was listening to the way Sigur Rós turns into music the sounds of ballerinas' slippers squeaking across wooden floorboards, which like most instances of Avantgarde composing is quite interesting to listen to.

So Sigur Rós' approach is to record such random noises and wreak acoustic manipulation thereupon.
To their sister band Amiina, anything at all can be an instrument. For example, they adopted the musical saw, which is amazingly a real instrument in itself; and also a set of desk bells tuned at different sizes, which isn't.
The bandsters of Uakti from Brazil double up as carpenter-craftsmen and make most their own instruments. Just watching them perform alone is a stretch on the imagination.
It won't seem too weird, therefore, to create some music with PYROTECHNICS!

The idea is simple. The Firebase Orchestra is a group consisting of an array of arms, which may be composed of anything from GPMGs to Matadors (anti-tank weapons) to artillery to assault rifles and so on. Every performance is staged and the setting would be a live firing area. And be assured that the audience is ushered to a safe place to witness the event.

The performers will be arranged in a row, firing towards targets of variable range, while the conductor (commander) coordinates the performance through free comms.

Needlessly speaking, the weaponry would require some adjustment, and here are some suggestions from my part.
1. GPMGs (General-Purpose Machine Gun): can come attatched with a calibrated barrel of adjustable length, with which the gunner's assistant can change the tone of the MG drone as the rounds are continuously fired.
2. Matadors: function as percussion arms. On trigger it produces one boom when the rocket is ejected from the tube, a split-second of flight time, and a second boom as the target is engulfed in a fireball. The rhythm i.e. the delay time between booms can be controlled using multiple target boards for the Matador, each placed at pre-determined distances.
3. Assault rifles: will be used for the melody. For this, it may be preferable to use blanks and change the tone using different supressors (which I assume affects the way gunpowder explodes inside the chamber). The downside is that a lot of them will be required to drown out the GPMGs.
4. For added effect. Illuminating and tracer rounds can be used at night.

Friday, December 19, 2008

A Summary of December

This is no longer the sedentary month. No way. No sir. It's a packed month to be in, not quite as extreme as November, but not as carefree as October either, and certainly not as holidayish as September. I have reverted to being a mercurious dumbass again (last recorded occurrence in August). The Battalion has gained another resident Battalion cat, which is yellow with pale stripes and not as crippled as the black and white one which got kicked out for good a few months back, just after it survived being torn to pieces by the dogs.

Thoughts about going on a skydiving / hiking / any other extremem sports course after ORD used to be crazy man's talk, but now a few people are finally leaving behind the couch potatoes within. Joshua is thinking of flying clear skies over Australia in days to come, and I wish him great weather when that happens.

I have now an idea what hell is like. It's a place where instructions are roared out across the place at you but the guy's muffled and there's more than one of them doing it and all the instructions are fighting one another so there's not much you can do apart from wait, disobey, or vainly attempting to comply to all of them at once.