14 December 2012

Tales of Bacon + Gritting my Teeth + Schwarzenberg

For my World Music class this semester, our professor assigned everybody a Fieldwork Project to complete by the end of the semester. We all had to find a person involved in world music (non-Western or folk or non-mainstream), interview them, research about them and what they do, and present a brief (10 minute) presentation to the rest of the class, and submit an 8-10 page research paper.

It sounds daunting, no? Well, I thought so. This week, we're going through all of the presentations and submitting our papers on Thursday.Tuesday, Rory (a musical theatre aficionado and fellow lover of Newsies) presented, and she did her project on this guy who just blew me out of the water! His name? Christylez Bacon (pronounced Chris-styles; his real first name is Chris). He's a progressive hip hop artist - he takes the essentials of hiphop - the beats, beatboxing, rhythms, etc. - and blends them with just about any other musical style you can imagine: classical, jazz, children's songs, classical Indian, Chinese, Japanese, Korean...the list is endless. Now, before you wrinkle your nose up in disgust, hear me out. I actually dislike hiphop. A lot. It is my least favorite musical genre of all time. But what Chris does is unique. He removes all the vulgarity and ratchet-ness so prevalent in modern rap lyrics and replaces them with words that make you THINK. His beatboxing is on point. He plays dozens of different instruments! Everything about him is just unconventional and unexpected. Here's a couple videos for y'all to check out (one is above): ----------->-->

I presented my project today, too, but it wasn't nearly as interesting as Rory's. I did mine on the guzheng; a Chinese zither first used by members of the literati (upper class of scholars in China in Japan; they wrote beautiful calligraphy, painted, wrote poetry, and were able to afford not working on a farm). There were so many amazing presentations, and it was cool to know that there were so many talented people who lived and worked in MoCo (Montgomery County). Oooh! Even though I had a semi-boring report, here's what the guzheng looks like, and how it sounds being used on a modern piece:

Continuing on this school-related note, I am NOT playing around with finals this year! Last spring I thought I could breeze through everything, which resulted in God rooting some pride out of me...as well as knocking my GPA down a bit. I'm determined to get not a single grade lower than a B this semester; I'm hoping for all As in the spring. So, I actually printed out all of my professors final exam guides to use as study aids. I'm pulling out my highlighters, textbooks, index cards, notebooks, laptop, bookmarks, and loads of water and snacks. Vicente, one of the guys in my program, opened his house to us (Scholars), and so we'll be spending Friday-Sunday with each other just studying and prepping for Tuesday's and Thursday's exams. Pray that we can get through it without driving each other nuts!

No Schwarzenberg Tales today, but I do have a Schwarzism. Before Core started this morning, a few of us  were outside the classroom in the hallway. We were talking about studying, exams, etc. Out of nowhere, Matt says, "I might as well sit at my desk and wear a diaper all weekend; I have so much stuff to do." We  were all dying! He's one of the most quotable Scholars. Lol. I can do a post with pics from our study session tomorrow, and you can see what my classmates look like :-)


  1. You find the most unusual stuff-music, food, etc. Well, maybe it's unusual to me because I've never heard of it. Pretty cool. I learn something new everyday. :)

  2. Lol, you could say that. I just happen to know people from a lot of different places all over :-D I didn't know about Christylez Bacon until Rory did her presentation; I'm hoping to go to one of his shows next year! :-D And I'm now thinking of picking up the Guzheng or Koto (Japanese equivalent) sometime in the future, too...

    Cool beansios, chica! I've been learning a lot from you and Golden, too - about relationships, people, hair, God...so many things. I'm glad that we can learn from each other and share what we've learned with even more people :-)