I've been going to a lot of "cultural events" recently. Partly, I think, because it's my last year at the University and I want to get my money's worth.
Two weeks ago, I attended my first football game. It was both disappointing and exciting -- I feel rather torn about it. I suppose my problem is that everyone I met had been building it up for me.
"Oh man, you never forget the first time you walk into The Big House," my co-worker had told me. He said that he felt overwhelmed by the sheer number of people and marveled at the feeling of being part of something so large.
I did feel something like that. I often complain that since moving out of the dorm I've felt separated from the University. Being at the game was the first time in a long time I have experienced the sensation of being part of a community, a group that shared emotions and experiences. I think we must be hard-wired to seek out these kind of feelings, which is probably why we value family and create our own groups of friends.
I did not have the awe-inspiring psuedo-religious experience that I was promised. I did, however, enjoy a very good game.
Last week, I saw the Russian Patriarchate Choir performing church music and a few folk songs. Less harmonic than a gregorian chant, the singing is as you would probably imagine. Soulful and heavy it filled the room with something like pious joviality.
It was interesting since generally I don't listen to music just for the music. Opera, for instance, is interesting to me not because of the amazing arias or the contra-tenor singing them. I enjoy the plots as much as (if not more so) than the pretty music.
However, the Russian choir was in a totally alien language. Also, I feel like most liturgical music isn't really saying anything all that original. It's generally a lot of praising, and what not. My experience of the music transcended lyrics, and content and was solely about melodies, harmonies, and voice. It was a truly excellent experience, even if I didn't get the jokes that everyone (or rather, every Russian speaker) was laughing at during the folk songs. I suspect some of the members of the audience to be Kossacks.
Tonight, I saw Madeline Peyroux. The concert went pretty much as I imagine. I tried to think of some clever similes to describe it.
"Like drinking the best coffee out of a mahoganey cup."
No? How about:
"Like drinking hot chocolate while sitting in your robe, watching the rain spray across flame-orange trees on a grey autumn day."
I guess it's easier to just say that it was the most mellow experience of my life. Peyroux, who sings like a Frenchier Billie Holiday, was backed by jazzy quartet consisting of a keyboard/pianst, electric guitar, electric/stand-up bass, and drums. The end result is that I felt warm and sleepy the entire time.
Lastly, I found the artist who did my favorite comic from the Flight collection I bought three years ago. It is completely fantastic, and you should all read it.
I haven't forgotten the promises I have made to this blog, but I keep getting distracted. Sometime, soon.