Sunday, July 11, 2010

Delta State Alma Mater

Delta State University is one of a few regional universities with an original alma mater, I would think. The alumni have always been rather proud of the tune, which was written in 1930 by Ruth Fischer. Her original manuscript is on display at the university's alumni foundation house. I took a photograph of the manuscript and typeset it as a score in PDF. The following is what that score sounds like when generated electronically.

The 1958 alumni and alumnae sang it at the Delta Music Institute during homecoming festivities, and that session was recorded on youtube:

The Sinfonia chapter at Delta State has often been asked to sing the university's alma mater on certain occasions. When it does so, it usually reads from an arrangement done by chapter alumnus Tim Goodson, scored for men's voices. We never recorded ourselves singing it, but I can provide the Finale rendering of it into strings:

The tune is very difficult to work with, as it really does lend itself toward one particular musical style—that of early twentieth century female vocal trios and jazz big band, into which I doubt this piece was ever actually rendered.

I had tried for a very long time to come up with my own noble arrangement of this tune, when I found myself sitting at my friend Coday Anthony's house one night with Chris Hartfield there who was playing a guitar. As he was strumming and joking around, I asked him, "What can you do to the Delta State alma mater tune?" He thought for a moment and started playing it from what he knew. I fed him a few of Ruth Fischer's original chord progression (which uses a lot of extended tertian and jazz harmonies), and eventually he hammered out a new guitar version of it. He started singing along and I thought it sounded very good. Coday was inspired to record it. As a student of the university's recording technology program, he had the equipment at his disposal, and we began nailing the track down in his house, one track at a time. We started with the guitar alone, then added the guitarist singing it in an easy style. When at the repeat, we wanted to have some kind of really pleasant melodic voice of some kind, and we tried whistling the tune. I started whistling it, and they decided that that whistle would be perfect. The following file is the result of that night's labor.

I still want to try to integrate the tune into other genres, but so far, I believe this version to be the best recording I've heard. We had a great time making it.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

I wrote a song! // Mi verkis kanton!

I wrote a setting of "Let not your heart be troubled" earlier this month. It is a work in progress, but it is mainly written in imitation of James Horner's harmonic language, with the thematic usage style of McNeil Robinson. Hopefully it also has a little Herbert Howells in the organ part. Listen to a Finale mp3, and follow along in the PDF score.

Mi verkis kanton de la teksto "Ne maltrankviliĝu via koro" ĉi-monate. La verko estas nefinita, sed ĝi estas skribita ĉefe laŭ imitado de la harmonia lingvo de James Horner, kun la stilo de tema uzado de McNeil Robinson. Mi esperas ke ĝi havas iom Herbert Howells en la orgeno. Aŭskultu ĝin supre, kaj legu la PDF partituron.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Delta State Parking Regulations // Parkaj Reglamentoj de Delta Ŝtata Universitato

One of the old jokes I used to pull out on occasion was the Delta State University parking regulations.

As it stands, the policies have several little holes in them. The main one is the hours for zone enforcement in zones 1, 4, and 6. The other is the last section, which just says to "litter."

Interested in these anomalies, I wrote the maintainer of that page the following E-mail:

Out of curiosity, I decided to read through the published parking regulations at Delta State, and I have a few questions about them.

Firstly, the times in which zone regulations are enforced are a bit difficult to follow. You indicate here that Zone 4, for instance, is only enforced during school time on Monday through Friday, and quite strangely from Sunday to Saturday (which I believe is every day) from 2 a.m. to 7 a.m., in the wee hours. Is this correct?

Secondly, the rules appear to require littering. See the regulation marked G, which simply tells the reader to "Litter."

I thought that I would bring these inconsistencies in your department's policies to your attention, so that they can possibly be worded more accurately, so as to avoid confusion, as your name was listed as the maintainer of that page on the Delta State web site.

I wish your department luck in all its endeavors.

I have yet to receive a response since I sent the letter on June 1.

Unu el la malnovaj ŝercoj ke mi rivelis estis la parkaj reglamentoj de Delta Ŝtata Universitato.

Nun, la politikoj havas multajn truetojn en si. La ĉefa estas la horoj por diszonada efikigo en zonoj 1, 4, kaj 6. La alia estas la fina sekcio, kiu nur montras ke oni "disrubu."

Interesite en ĉi tiuj anomalioj, mi skribas al la paĝestro la sekvantan retpoŝton:

Pro scivolemo, mi tralegis la publikigitajn reglamentojn de Delta Ŝtata Universitato, kaj mi havas kelkajn demandojn pri ili.

Unue, la tempoj en kiu diszonado estas efektigita estas malfacila por kompreni. Vi montras en tio ke zono 4 ekzemple estas nur efektigita dum klasa tempo lunde ĝis vendredo, kaj tre strange dimanĉe ĝis sabato (tiu, kiu mi kredas estas ĉiutage) inter 2 atm kaj 7 atm, je la fruaj horoj. Ĉu pravas?

Due, la reglamentoj ŝajnas postuli disrubadon. Vidu la reglamenton "G," kiu simple montras al la legiston, ke oni "disrubu."

Mi pensis ke mi atentigus vin al ĉi tiujn malkonsekvencecojn, por ili povas eble teksti pli ĝuste, por eviti konfuzon, ĉar via estas la paĝesto.

Mi volas al via departemento fortunon en ĉiuj penoj.

Andreo Oŭen

Mi jam ne ricevas respondon ekde 1 de junio.

I feel like learning a language. // Mi volas lerni lingvon.

The summer has been a very relaxing one. The relaxation will no doubt make the following two semesters possible. For the most part, I have been calmly learning information and courting my girlfriend. This summer, I have learned how to use Adobe Illustrator to a reasonable degree, and I have used it and other products to develop my web sites. I started learning a few basic grammar rules and words in Turkish and of course I continue to work on my Esperanto. All is well.

La sumero trankvilas. La trankvilo ebligos la du sekvajn semestrojn. Plejparte, mi trankvile lernas informojn kaj amindumas mian koramikinon. Ĉi-sumere, mi lernis kiel uzi Adobe Illustrator modere, kaj mi uzis ĝin kaj aliajn produktojn por plibonigi miajn retpaĝojn. Mi komencis lerni kelkajn gramatikaĵojn kaj vortojn turke, kaj kompreneble mi daŭrigas lerni esperanton. Ĉiuj bonas.