Monday, December 29, 2008

Modulation to the Relative Major(ity)

I just did a bit of counting and found that I've been attending Camp Harmony every winter since 1994, which makes it half my life now. I didn't stay for full camp the first year, but after this year, I'll have also spent half of all my New Year celebrations there. Wow.

Camp is in a new location this time, up between Santa Rosa and Calistoga. I miss the old Boulder Creek location already, but I'm excited to see the new place, and to see all the people who are coming out of the woodwork to see it too. (Camp has sold out for the first time in years, which is great.) Lacey, Rowyn, and I are driving up first thing tomorrow morning to help with set-up and welcoming, along with many wonderful members of our Harmony family, whom I can't wait to see.

Happy New Year, everyone!

P.S. I almost titled this post "Picardy Third," which also involves going from minor(ity) to major(ity). But that implies a final cadence, which isn't quite what I want. As for relative major instead of parallel, that's because we've moved to a new location (tonic note) but we'll have all the same good people, music, and dancing to fill in the notes of the scale around it.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

That Ringing in My Ears

A little while ago I realized that my cellphone ring was taking over my brain. It may be that I'm just overly sensitive to music, but I've come to the conclusion that the whole melodies-as-ringtones thing wasn't the greatest idea in the world. At least not for me and my phone.

First, I found myself occasionally noticing musical notes that matched the beginning of one of the melodies my phone uses. I don't have perfect pitch, but I apparently have enough pitch memory to set off associations sometimes. This resulted in periodic, split-second jolts of "oh-my-phone-is-ringing-oh-no-it's-not!" at the beginning of random songs, other people's cell phone rings, etc.

After that, I started being more aware of the part of my brain that's always scanning for my specific ring tone. If I left the TV on and go into another room, something was still picking up faint individual notes from the commercials and promoting them to brief moments of attention, in case they turned out to be from my phone. (Interestingly, though, regular music I was deliberately playing didn't have the same effect, perhaps because I was already consciously following a known melody.) Sometimes I would carry my phone with me from room to room, even though I knew I could hear it fine if it actually rang in another room, just to shut up that part of my mind that's out scouting for it.

Anyway, this all finally got annoying enough that I went and changed everything on my phone to real, honest-to-goodness ringing sounds, like a proper phone. And I must say it's been kind of a relief. My phone doesn't ring often enough to re-train me very quickly, but it doesn't have to. I know it won't be playing a melody at me when it does ring, so the musical part of my brain can relax and go back to it's normal job. Ahhhhh....