Thursday, August 18, 2011

Frustration Etude Number One

Here's my guarantee: none of the words in this post will be the F-Word itself.  However, you should be aware that The Word is essential to my subject.  You'll have to think about The Word if you read more.  Now is the time to quit reading if you're offended by even thinking about that particular profane taboo word.  (Yeah.  You know that I know that you know what it is.)

Be warned: the guarantee is limited to written words only.  It does NOT cover the short musical composition, Frustration Etude Number One.  You'll find the listening link below.

I've engaged in a form of f-ing self-censorship by not using The Word directly, only referring to it euphemistically,  because I'm trying to be sensitive to the feelings of my readers.  The Word has previously appeared casually elsewhere in Mixed Meters.  (Click here to see where.) I'm sure it will again.  I'm confident that those people who actually click through to hear my music are strong enough to withstand the onslaught of profanity to come.


I hear you asking, why did I compose a piece where the only lyric is ... The F-Word?

Because I too often find myself using That Word for a particular purpose and I would like to stop using it that way.  The particular unwanted purpose is to scream F*** at the top of my voice as an expression of my frustration.  I only do this in private - like while I'm driving.  Sometimes in the shower.

However, there's a problem with this behavior: screaming F*** at the top of my voice doesn't really salve my frustrations.

So I attempted a very personal compositional experiment.  I theorized that featuring "The Word" in a piece of music would help me give up using it.  Writing music has to be good for something, right?  Maybe it can help me deal with my frustrations.

So far the experiment seems to be a qualified success.  Of course there is no way to test the theory scientifically.  All the evidence is anecdotal.  To be safe I added "Number One" to the title because I expect future doses of this musico-linguistic medication, in the form of other similar etudes, might be required.  I have not composed a Frustration Etude Number Two ... yet.  (Send in some recordings of you or your friends screaming/singing/saying The F-Word.  Maybe that would inspire to compose a second etude.)

Frustration Etude Number One contains The F-Word over 30 times.  This is one of those pieces which I've described as being "my finger in your eye".  It also has a lot of microtonal disonances and untempered intervals.  Whats more, this piece quotes in vain a certain famous American folk melody, one many people might consider sacred or spiritual.  Consider yourself warned.


If you do decide to listen to this etude, you should be very concerned whether other people, for example co-workers or children or Republicans, can hear it.  This is the essence of NSFW - Not Safe For Work.

Click this picture of the rusty thing on a telephone pole to hear Frustration Etude Number One
Copyright © 2011  by David Ocker - 100 seconds


Here's an interesting article on the history and legal aspects of saying THAT word in public.  Some of the stories are pretty funny.



Take a Flying Duck Tags: . . .

2 comments:

Pasadena Adjacent said...

that there was some mighty fuckee fun

Archivist/Cultural Liaison said...

Copland would approve