Ravenna Flamenco

el arte de la guitarra

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Of Axes and Books

posted in practice on october 1st, 2008
pile of books

In the best of all possible worlds (as might say the good Dr. Pangloss), we would all have trust funds or rich families to finance our flamenco habits – and would probably play pretty well given all the time that not having to worry about actually making a living would free up!

Financed socialite, alas, is no fate of mine. A certain axe is about to fall on yours truly and there will be consequences. Don’t get me wrong: this is no complaint – I know that among musicians who juggle myriad responsibilities and make palpable sacrifices for their art I’m in good company.

Yet axes will be axes. My particular axe happens to be one very massive stack of books. And one very hairy exam. Yes, kids, that’s right: in a scant five months, Andy will be taking his PhD Qualifying Exams. Which means that as of now (i.e. the official moment that "exam panic" sets in), any function not necessary to continued respiration or avoidance of homicidal behavior is officially being "back-seated" to exam reading.

Said "back-seating" does not, of course, include guitar playing – I’m a firm believer in the idea that mental health doesn’t happen all on its own (see note above re: avoidance of homicidal behavior) – but it does include frequent updates to Ravenna Flamenco.

In anticipation of this official moment of exam panic, however, I have finished up a number of pending RF updates: every tab but one now has a video illustration, five new tabs that have been "in the works" are now posted, and performance notes have been added for tabs that were previously performance-note-less.

As I am still planning to practice, play, and perform, I will try to update toque from time to time, though if entries over the next few months are thin, please do forgive me. This said, once my exams are over (i.e. March), I will certainly have positively staggering amounts of things to say, post, and otherwise distribute. In the meantime, please do peruse the articles, noodle with the tabs, and practice with the metronomes.

And if you should cross a zombified and hungry looking Andy on the street a few months hence, don’t worry: I won’t eat your brain (unless, that is, you’ve just read – and understand – Fredric Jameson’s Postmodernism, or The Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism – in which case your brain might start to look pretty good … ).

Now you go play – I’m going to go read.


tags: phd
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