Job Hunting Part 2 - Music

Current Listening: Mozart Piano Concerto No. 27 K595- Allegro
Mitsuko Uchida with Jeffrey Tate and the English Chamber Orchestra

I saw this performed live in Sapporo, although it was Mitsuko Uchida performing and conducting with the Cleveland Symphony Orchestra. Absolutely gorgeous, by far the best concert I have ever attended. I feel, hearing Mozart live really shows the depth of how Mozart wanted to present his music. The layering of different sounds and instruments is something a recording just can't match. Not to mention Mitsuko Uchida is the undisputed queen of Mozart piano works. Her latest recordings of Mozart's piano concerti Nos. 23 and 24 won this year's grammy. Although I am more preferential to her recording of Nos. 20 and 27, I am glad she won either way.

Concerti is the haughty plural. O ho ho ho!

I can go for hours of why Mozart is the driving force in my life, but that will come near the bottom.

The situation in Japan has gotten better. I feel that the initial shock has worn off and people are able to assess the damage and begin rebuilding. The temporary shelters in the hardest hit prefectures are soon to be finished and they are taking applications for residents.

The Fukushima nuclear power plant is still a crisis, though less than it was a week ago. The Tokyo Electric Power Company has made quite a few mistakes when it came to reporting different facts and figures so things are a bit muddled, but the general trend is that things are getting better.

Thank you to the people who read the last entry. Indeed, if you write it

and post it on facebook

people will read it.

Since things are starting to get back to normal, my break from job hunting has come to an end and I am back in the game. The job hunt progresses. For lack of a better term, it's going. Forwards, backwards, in circles, I don't know. But at least it's moving. I have a phone consultation scheduled with another recruiting company next week. This time it'll all be in Japanese which makes me a little nervous.

Although I keep tabs of all the sites I'm using, I've decided to move on to a different job hunting site, called careercross.com that also specializes in bilingual jobs but it seems the layout is better and I can post a picture to attach to my resume. I have a typical Japanese resume pic (head shot, no smiling) that I scanned, applied liberal amounts of photoshop to and uploaded.

Also, I created a linkin account, because that's what the cool kids are doing. Also the rich people.



Shameless plug.

As for the actual hunting, I have shot my arrows at:

1. Helpdesk Support

Appeal: Computers! I like computers! Also, I am the tech support at home (which I am sure many of my younger brethren are) and I have set up a wireless printer network and that took balls. I'm not sure I could do it again. Um, I am also a team player, a fish out of water, a lemming at sea, and have excellent communication skills, honed by talking to children in English and getting blank stares and talking to Japanese English teachers in English and getting blank stares. At least we all understand Japanese.

2. Bilingual Desktop Engineer

Appeal: see above.

3. Internal IT Support

Appeal: see above above.

I think I can point out a trend. Essentially, these are all the same job, packaged a little differently and sent off to different companies. Like before, there was also a bonus job! And by bonus I mean one I didn't apply to through the site, but applied through direct means via the company webpage or was scouted / headhunted for.

Like going out of your way to save the little animals trapped in Zebes at the end of Super Metroid.

Bonus Job 3: I was contacted by a company that originally expressed interest in my IT background and wanted to set up a phone interview. I of course said yes, although I was surprised by being called 5 minutes late. Japanese are on time about everything, and it was really strange. Of course, the interviewer wasn't Japanese, so perhaps the culture is a little different.

The interview went well, and after the initial getting to know you / how much have you researched our company part, she stated her true intent, like a Buffy vampire changing from hot into demonic, but still a little attractive.

She asked if I wanted to work for her company itself, which was a bit of a surprise. But apparently some background in science and speaking a few languages is helpful when it comes to networking with clients and potential candidates. Unfortunately, she wanted me to start in May, and my contract doesn't end till August. She also hinted at wanting me to jump ship from my current job, but that wouldn't have been the best move. All in all, I noticed that I'm actually starting the job hunt a little too early.

I like the traditional job path. Working in a large company as a salaried full time employee would be fine. While I continue on that route, I am also starting to branch out into other, riskier occupations, since I have time before companies are really looking to hire for August/September.

Something that I have had an itch to do for a long time is make music. My inspirations are many but most importantly the Rebecca Black song "Friday", which really pushed me into seriously considering it.

Really, if something with such horrible singing, godawful lyrics, and shitty ass production can make money, then having a cat walk across my music program should produce something at least twice as good.

Maybe three times.

Let's talk about music. This is going to get technical, so if that doesn't appeal to you, please feel free to stop here. If you would like to see a little more in depth analysis of classical vs. modern music, please read on. I'm using the term classical loosely, but anything from the Baroque, Classical, Romantic, Modern periods I include for simplicity's sake.

Most people like music. I like music. I play music. My background is in classical piano, which I have about 18 years of. I don't do jazz, I don't improvise. I only play clearly written sheet music from long dead composers. But the depth of the writing of these composers is beyond anything I've seen in recent years. The average Mozart piano concerto is 30 minutes or longer, but each movement complements the other to create a wonderful complete piece. Beethoven's 9th symphony takes over an hour. Wagner's Ring cycle takes a week to complete in its entirety. And these are brilliant pieces with layers and layers of harmony that seem unfathomable to create, written over a century ago. Their complexity is unrivaled, and some have said understanding the genius behind some of these works is like touching upon God. The advancement of "classical" music stopped, I believe sometime in the mid 20th century, when John Cage decided that four minutes of silence equates to music.

Rebecca Black's Friday is 3 minutes 48 seconds. I lose attention and brain cells everytime I listen to it.

I like pop. I really do. But it's something light and fluffy. Catchy and short, and for the most part forgettable. To see their interchangeability, please refer to the Axis of Evil 4 Chord song:


The staple of my musical tastes has always been classical. However, techno is the one genre of modern music I feel connected to. The length is indeterminate, and one piece can flow seemlessly into another, provided the DJ is good. What techno does is create a beat, and layer things on top of it, until it attains a degree a complexity, and then each layer is removed or changed as the composer sees fit for different effects. The note harmonies aren't necessarily complex, but I believe it is the layering of different patterns that gives techno its appeal. Which isn't too different from a theme and variation piece from classical. The beat is steady, and once there's a main theme the importance lies in differentiating each section, yet creating a coherent whole.

Of course, playing music and writing it are two different things, just as reading and writing are. I may be able to follow instructions when given the music, but creating the music is a whole other ballgame. I have this nifty music making program, and after 3 hours of learning how to use it, I had about 11 seconds of drums leading to a shitty beat. Hopefully my efficiency will improve. But I hope that the important thing will be my years of music theory, and that it will help whatever I decide to churn out. And the other important thing is that for the first time, in a long time, I felt like it was something I really wanted to do. I find such joy in Mozart, and have always felt it was a pity nobody else appreciated it. If I can remix some of his melodies into something people want to listen to, perhaps that will lead to classical appreciation. It also helps me because I don't have to make up stuff by myself.

On a final note, the great similarity between classical and techno is that words aren't necessarily required. The music is strong enough by itself. It doesn't need words to impart extra meaning or to make an impression. And that is something I respect in both genres.

I will be damned if I have to sing. And if I have to, I can reverb, synth, distort and mutate my voice to the point where I sound like Lady Gaga.

So, dear readership, I have two questions. If there is anyone out there with techno composition experience, please give me whatever tips you have. To the extent that I know the program, it's like photoshop for music. Any help would be appreciated.

And the second question which everyone can answer: what should my DJ name be?

DJ Awesome is probably already taken :(

Second final note, Britney Spears is making some kind of comeback. I love toilet (literally) humor.


1 comment:

  1. Hey, what editing software do you use? I've tried a few before and it's really easy to make a lot of stuff sound techno-like with all the synthetic sounds and whatnot. You should upload what you come up with later on.

    I agree classical music is so crazy it's in its own era and dimension of music for a reason. I wonder if you'd really appreciate Jazz since it's not governed by the same musical laws as classical. You should give it a try.

    Haha, you just had to mention that "Friday" song. Her lyricist needs a lyricist unless her only target audience is that of three years old and younger. The only other thing I can say is that I never thought that auto-tune could be made to sound bad...