Saturday, August 5, 2017

New Biography Post

Today I'm going to write a biography post.

I'm a bit nervous for various reasons, one of them being that I haven't written such a post in quite awhile.

But...hopefully it will all work out okay.

Well, actually it will likely turn out to be a shitty, rambling mess.  But I think some people are okay with that, which is pretty cool.  If not, my future self tends to enjoy reading them. Although even she often wishes that I had been much less wordy. Every morning I read a past post, and I'm always a bit happy when the morning's post is a particularly short one.


I'm going to use to pick a name from my list.

There are 37 names right now.  Let's see who I get....

It is...

Malcolm Turnbull!

No, I'm joking.

I already wrote about him...years ago, before he was Prime Minister.

The real subject of my post is Elana Kats-Chernin.

I was just thinking, shit. All this suspense is going to be ruined by the fact that she's named in the title of my post. But then I decided I'll just not put her in the title.

If I decide, though, to do more biography posts, I'll play before I start writing.

So...let's get on to Elana Kats-Chernin.  I'm guessing she's a politician, mainly because I don't easily recognize her name. It IS mildly familar since I'm the one who added her to the list...not too long ago.  But I'm more familar with actor names than politician names.

I just Googled and saw Elana Katz-Chernin is NOT a politician. She's a composer! That's very cool. Not that politicians aren't sometimes cool, but I'm personally maybe more impressed with composers.

Lord Wiki says that Elana Katz-Chernin is from part of the former Soviet Union (Now Uzbekistan). As an American talking about that part of the world, I feel compelled to make a joke about Trump. But I'm not clever enough for least not right now. Maybe something will come to me later.

Chernin was born on November 4, 1957.  She migrated to Australia in in 1975.  She would have been about eighteen then.

She had studied music in the Soviet Union and then continued her studies at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.

Lord Wiki says she also hung out in the whole Darlinghurst underground Theatre scene. So I guess she did theater and music. Or maybe she did music FOR the theater.

Chernin wasn't just not Australia-born. she also rushed off to Europe for thirteen years. I'm starting to feel she's barely Australian. But that's unfair of me.

She did return to Australia in 1994 and has maybe been there since. Well, I'm sure she's had a few journeys here and there. But maybe she's been Australia-focused for the last twenty or so years?

Now I'm starting to rethink my idea of preferring composers over politician.  Lord Wiki has details about Chernin's music career, and I'm kind of dreading reading it. It doesn't seem interesting to me.

But I'll try....

Chernin has written operas.

She composed music for the Sydney Olympics in 2000.

She wrote some silent film soundtracks. I guess people are still making those.

Here's something that's a bit more interesting to me. Chernin wrote a Ragtime piece of music that was used in the New York scenes of the film Mary and Max. We saw that movie, and if I remember correctly...we liked it.

I kind of feel like I made a mistake in adding Chernin to my list. I probably assumed she was a film/television composter, which DOES interest me. But for the most part, it looks like she's not that sort of composer.

I AM going to try to listen to some of her music.Though her career doesn't really interest me, I think I might actually like her music.

First I'm listening to Chernin's "Chamber of Horrors".  I shall probably play with Annie the cat while I listen. Annie needs a lot of love and attention, so I have to multitask a bit.

I'm not really liking the music. It might, though, be because this recording is performed on a harp.  I'm not sure I'm a harp kind of person. Listening to it makes me feel like I'm a child at a Mother's Day brunch, wearing itchy tights and waiting too long to get my food.

I'm going to try something else.

Here's "Slipped Back Tango", performed on a violin.  I think I usually like violin.

I might actually be okay with the harp as well.  I'm not sure, really.  I'm not sure if it's the harp I didn't like with "Chamber of Horrors" or the composition itself.

OR I might like it, but I just need time to let it grow on me.  I often don't enjoy a piece of music the first time I hear it.

So far, I'm liking "Slipped Back Tango" much more than "Chamber of Horrors".  It's a tango-like way.

Now I'm going to listen to two cellists perform a piece called "Phoenix Story".  I am quite sure that I like cellos, so if I don't like this one, it will be the composition I dislike.

Listening...Yes, I'm liking it so far.

The song reminds me of something that would be in a dramatic scene in a movie starring Judy Davis.

I'm going to now read an interview with Chernin. It's on a blog written by a piano teacher.

Chernin says she started learning piano when she was four. It started with her watching her older sister's piano lessons. I wonder if her older sister became a musician/composer as well.

Chernin says, that when she was a child, she had technique issues, and because of this, her hands would tire easily.

Chernin has pleasant memories of working with a teacher in the Soviet Union who was strict.  But Chernin appreciates the strictness, and she also appreciates the cups of teas they drank together.

That's sweet.

Chernin lives a busy life that is sometimes disorganized. At times, she misplaces compositions she's working on. Yeah. Those kind of things happen sometimes.

I'm kind of picking through the interview for stuff that's interesting to me as someone who's NOT a piano teacher. There's not much.  Most of the stuff is going to be more interesting to people who are into pianos, composing, orchestras, etc. If you're one of those people, I suggest you quit reading this blog and go straight to the interview.

Well, I think this biography post is going to be much shorter than usual.  Sorry about that.  Although I'm not sure who I'm apologizing too. My future self will be grateful for the short post, and I'm sure other people will be as well.

Actually, I CAN guess who will be displeased...FANS of Elana Kats-Chernin.  They will likely think that I have cheated Chernin, and that I'm awful for not being more interested in musical compositions. So to THEM...if they find my blog, I give my apologies.