Monday, July 31, 2006

I'm handing in another draft today

Well, I'm off to school to hand in a draft of the complete dissertation for my professor to take a look at. I'm hoping this is the last major revision, but I'm a bit worried with the additional pages that I've included. I think that 20 pages for a chapter might seem a bit short in the context of the other chapters, but, then again, I've stuck it in the middle of the dissertation, so it shouldn't stand out. The shorter chapter (essentially dealing with the celebrity in a non-mediated context - live performance - although some might argue that a concert is still mediated because the singer is singing through a microphone - whatever) follows, and is followed by, a strong chapter, so things should be okay.

I'm scared, though.

Too much on my plate right now. I HAVE to get going on my post-doc applications. Getting going is difficult when you have no idea how you're going to write the proposals for said applications.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Almost done

Well, 18 full pages later, I'm almost done this new "chapter." It's going to end up being maybe 20 or so pages (perhaps 21), so it'll be shorter than the other chapters, but it's also in between the longer ones, so it won't be as noticeable. It'll bring my page count up, and more importantly, it'll look at particular characteristics of Morrissey's live performance which "colour" his star image.

Once this stuff is put together, I have to get on my work on a proposal for post-doctoral work, involving a new theoretical approach to the singing voice, using the Canadian songstress Feist as a case.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Stuck on something again

Okay, so some of you might know that Morrissey often whips his microphone cord around like a crazy person when he is performing, as if he was whipping even himself. This might just be dancing, but does anyone know if there is anything out there about flailing around? In case anyone is wondering, he doesn't look particularly effeminate when he is doing this, so I'm not sure if it's a "camp" gesture or not. I guess it being an exaggerated gesture would put it into camp territory, but I just don't know.

So I'm stuck. I should just leave a couple of blank lines and keep going on the next thing, but I don't want to.

AAARGH! (frustration - or a pirate - nope, just frustration)

[image from the galleries]

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

"pushing" vibrato

So, I'm not sure if anyone notices, but sometimes when someone sings, and they push a lot of air through their voice, they can force their vibrato. Actually, I think it's more of a succession of glottal stops or something. Anyway, Morrissey does this in concert. It sounds like a flutter, but it isn't his normal vibrato. He turns his normal vibrato off and then does this "glottal stop" thing, perhaps pushing more air through.

Maybe I'm not making sense, but does anyone else do this kind of thing? Any musicologists out there run into articles about this kind of vocal gesture? I would think not, since such a thing would be completely against bel canto singing style.

I've started talking about it by using Robert Walser's idea of electric guitar distortion, where power is pushed through an amplifier, basically causing it to fail, and thus distort the sound. For Walser, this is not actually a sign of failure, but rather of power and expression. So maybe this is what is happening with Morrissey, except that his voice doesn't crack or anything - he seems to be doing this himself, taking control over his normal vibrato with the glottal work.

What do you think?

Saturday, July 15, 2006

In case you were wondering...

If you would like to check out my website, you can. It's at:

I have to write another chapter for my dissertation. 212 pages isn't enough apparently. That's okay. I'm still planning to be done before September.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Back from my weekend away for Canada Day

I hope anyone who celebrated Canada Day had a nice one on Saturday. I was in front of the Parliament buildings when the Snowbirds (the Canadian Forces aerobatic team) did a fly-by. A tear literally came to my eye! It was great. I'm a sap for planes flying over my head in a display of patriotism!

I also had a very interesting conversation with some friends over the Pentecostal Church and its current views on moral issues and its current move toward inclusivity, favouring ministry to the community over perhaps "fire and brimstone"-type, or "call to holiness"-type preaching. We also discussed the lack of theological support at higher levels of the church, which probably leads to a lot of problems or incertainties when dealing with moral issues and so forth. I guess the Pentecostals aren't as "Biblically conservative" as I would have thought previously - and maybe I'm using the term incorrectly anyway.

So that was a bit of an eye-opener.

In other news, the dissertation revision is done and the draft has been delivered. Hopefully it is in good shape and there isn't much to do to it before submitting it to the department for reading.