HCH 13 / November 2016
Some introspection on a (very) lazy Sunday, by Tussah Heera
Today was seemingly the laziest day I’ve had all year. Quite unusually, I don’t feel very guilty at all. I guess I needed this quiet, stay-at-home getaway, watching Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire on ABC, helping my mother shop for clothes online, and conceiving ideas for this post in the late afternoon (something I’d never do on a normal day), instead of doggedly practicing or studying for once.
A brief respite always leads me to dig deep into the various trivialities of my mind. As I sat, enjoying a piece of lemon cake in front of the TV, I found myself vaguely remembering a time when I was busy revising some Beethoven sonatas a couple weeks ago. Through this idle, platonic reminiscence, I came upon a relatively interesting predicament. I found that I have taken to remembering details of the score – all the dynamics, articulations and tempo markings – in the form of internet memes. Yes, the same internet memes that we encounter every day on social media. If there is a special case in the music where I can’t think of an established meme, I just make up my own instinctively.
For example, I recollected that right before I played the suddenly soft (subito piano) scale right after the second theme of the exposition of the first movement of the Appassionata sonata, this image (found on DIYLOL) instantly popped into my mind:
Comedy aside, every time I play that part of the Appassionata, this meme appears in my head, almost brazenly, like an admonition from the composer himself. I actually – and laughably – find myself taking this meme seriously.
After I consciously found out that my small brain is using memes as unconventional mnemonics for music, I also marked that this trait extends into my everyday life. For example, it’s a known fact that when I’m in the shower, I’m totally devoid of willpower. It’s almost as if there was a magnetic force pulling me towards the soothing hot water and refusing to let me get on with my life. Hence, I had inspiration to make a ‘One Does Not Simply’ meme a few days ago: “One does not simply take a two-minute shower”.
To be honest, my adopted meme-centric nature does make me quite unnerved at times. Though memes serve as faithful mnemonics, I figured I’d best leave them at that level. First of all, they have changed my thought response. When an inspiring topic hits my mind, my thoughts BEFORE the advent of memes in my life went something like, “Oh, that’s awesome. I’ll write a poem or story, compose a piece/song, draw a comic, etc. about it!”. Now, I involuntarily think, “Nice. I’m sure that would make a good meme!”. This can stifle creativity, productivity, and promote lack of articulation if I’m not careful enough. Even though I’m far from a prude to new waves of imparting information, I can’t help but think – what does a popular picture with two scanty captions have that’s superior to an actual piece of work?
With this final rhetorical question, I found my mind shifting into another frame of thought, completely abandoning this subject. I quickly drafted this post just to preserve an interesting cross-section of my earlier stream of consciousness, kind of like petrified wood, or amber. And then, despite all my aforementioned aloofness on the subject, my mind suddenly blurted out, “I bet there’s not a meme for THAT feeling yet!”
Oh, the irony.
Tussah Heera, LA, May 20, 2012