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About Pat

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  • Occupation
    Student, Media System Design
  • Favorite movies
    Every time I try to write something in this spot I realize that my memory does not serve me well.
  • Favorite music
    Jars of Clay U2 Muse Radiohead Some classical music (Bruckner, Chopin...) Some flavours of Techno and House
  • Favorite creative writing
    C.S. Lewis J.R.R. Tolkien Tolstoy Dostoyevsky Thomas Mann Francis Schaeffer
  • Favorite visual art
    Vermeer Paul Cezanne Goya
  1. Thanks for your thoughts. "Gloom" is a fitting description of the general atmosphere, especially towards the end. I'm not familiar with Norse mythology, guess I'll read up on Beowulf at least to get a general impression. My only exposure to the Norse pantheon is the movie Thor, heh. One aspect that I found which deserves emphasis is, I think, the feeling of longing, which is arguably stirred by the myth inherent in the Silmarillion. Charles A. Coulombe put it this way (which meshes well with the Shelley quote, btw): "It has been said that the dominant note of the traditional Catholic liturgy was intense longing. This is also true of her art, her literature, her whole life. It is a longing for things that cannot be in this world: unearthly truth, unearthly purity, unearthly justice, unearthly beauty." This describes pretty well what I felt -- along with all the grief, doom and gloom, of course...
  2. Don't know if this fits the subforum -- feel free to move this to "Wider World", "About You" or -- gasp -- "therapy")… Some days ago I finished the Silmarillion for the first time. I am a Tolkien nut, with a habit of reading LOTR at least once in a decade. Some of my most enjoyable experiences (at least literary, but arguably also in my life) have been reading LOTR on a bench in the woods and immersing myself in the story, lore and myth. Lewis would call this Joy, I'm sure. Now, listening to the Silmarillion (audiobook, comment about the format below) had a profound effect on me, much deeper than I expected or wanted. The creation myth (Ainundale) and the legends, especially Beren and Luthien's as well as the Fall of Gondolin, somehow deepy moved me. Not in a superficial way -- there's no sentimentality involved, not at all. The material is too dark for this. Nostalgia doesn't describe it either. It's more like a true desire for heaven -- a Sehnsucht, or Wehmut. It's fading now, but still very much present. It is as if your inner, spiritual "glasses" are polished, you see clearer, and try to fathom the depths of Life and Death. I can't pinpoint exactly why that is. Maybe because it is string of very dark tales and only at the end -- when the Valar hear Earendil's plea and come to realize the hopelessness and sorrow of the peoples of Beleriand -- we see some sort of resolution. Maybe because it's mythology at its purest, and there is a longing in us all for myth that gets stirred by those tales. Or maybe it's just a darn good, profound tale set in a imagined past of our present world and carries motifs we all share and know. As Tolkien has said somewhere, it was meant to have taken place at some time in Earth's past. And yes, if you think the text is too dry, serious etc., I really recommend to try out the audiobook… the German version I listened to (narrated by the late Achim Höppner) is excellent. The narration brought it to life in all its mythological power. It truly is riveting at times, and I can imagine the English audiobook version is similarly impressive. So, Did anyone experience the same? I wonder if I'm in the "normal" camp on this...
  3. Well, after re-reading Tolkien and C.S. Lewis (and a change of mind about the notion that those two authors are the "only" viable Christian fantasy writers) I'm ready for another work of fantasy fiction. Particularly Gene Wolfe has been recommended on the 'net as an outstanding, genre-transcending author of SF/Fantasy who is known for his literary ablities and his mastery of the English language. Another factor is him being a practicing Catholic; It's been said that his worldview has an apparent influence on his works (Catholic symbolisms, motifs of redemption/search for salvation etc.) What are your thoughts, and what would be a good starting point for his oevre? I've heard that his critically acclaimed "The Book of the New Sun" is very good, but not easy to comprehend, especially on the first read. I fear that it might be too difficult for me as a non-native speaker (full disclosure: My father was Irish, but I did not grow up bilingually). Some further concerns about "The Book of the New Sun" (spoiler alert):
  4. Thanks to all of you who contributed! This has been very helpful indeed. Thanks, jfutral, fo that bunch of links. We will definitely check them out. The reason why we were looking specifically for schools/academies with a Christian slant/background is that my wife (the person very close to me -- hehe) already attended drama school, but some issues she had with some things that had been taught there let her consider Christian schools first if at all possible. Unfortunately due to an illness she had to drop out of school, and it closed down soon afterwards... but she still has an itch to do something in this regard.
  5. As the title suggests, are you aware of drama schools in either the UK or Ireland preferably those which are run by Christians? Fire away if anything comes to mind. I'm asking because someone very close to me is planning on going abroad to one of the aforementioned countries and is interested in taking up an acting career. Thanks for any hints...
  6. Now it dawns on me why my hotel is kinda overbooked this weekend.... I was wondering why. By chance I learned that on the 9th and the 10th there will be some well-known public figure in Munich. None other than...... the POPE! YAY! Coincidence? Does God want to tell me something? I dont know... And we just wanted to have a relaxing, rather calm weekend. Guess the city centre will be off-limits to us, but we'll check the situation.
  7. Dont know if that fits in here, but I can shed light on some of the more important web 2.0 aspects that stand behind services like last.fm... Pandora, last.fm and other web applications make ample use of web 2.0 principles because they are inherently web 2.0. User contributed value is one of those core principles; another is the so-called long tail. It means that there is a small quantity of popular products in a big market, but also a huge amount of products in low demand in niche markets -- which are, counted together, at least on par with the big market and the big names. Traditional stores cannot sufficiently handle those nice-market products -- storage space is often limited. But web stores like amazon can. They can take less popular items into their range of products on offer. An example is netflix.com: They lend out more unpopular films than popular ones [wikipedia, the long tail]. In summary:The long tail is a principle, a web 2.0 business model that allows small retailers (and labels, in the music world) to find a place to put to market their niche products -- and to find their customers on the web which would otherwise be very difficult. As far as I can see, this is increasingly successful and popular with consumers as they are almost guaranteed to get what they want in one or the other corner of the web.
  8. Aah, the jars. They've been constant companions throughout my early Christian years, so I have a sweet spot for them in my heart... It was "Much Afraid" that, back in 1997, I found surprisingly different and innovative for CCM. I hold bad production values and cheesy drumloops against their self-titled debut, ad no, here in Germany I haven't been exposed to "Flood" in heavy rotation Jeffrey: I'd recommend, as others have already said, "Who We Are Instead" and maybe "Much Afraid" as starting points to explore. Those two I consider their best works to date -- but that might soon change! Just listened to samples on the iTMS, and "Good Monsters" sounds impressive. Lyrically, the theme of authenticity, brokenness, self-realisation and how we are monsters inside -- the flesh, if you will, for all you religious types (myself sadly included, hehe) -- is equally interesting.
  9. Pat

    Jane Fonda

    Yes, thats what she said. The German original is "neu entdecken" which translates "to discover anew" and in this context is probably better translated "rediscover" because she said "MY faith" a few words before -- which implies she had believed before, at some point in life.
  10. Pat

    Jane Fonda

    Just came across this very interesting interview with Jane Fonda (in German): http://www.spiegel.de/kultur/gesellschaft/...,352237,00.html Translated (by me) excerpt: It goes on, interesting read.
  11. Neat.... stylish. To comment on some comments made here... there is one quality inherent in all of Coldplay's albums: Balance. In my opinion, they strike exactly the right balance between tonal oversimplicity and overcrowded layers of sound. In addition to that, I find their lyrics evocative and thoughtful. But maybe thats just me.... About time they release a new album --- Parachutes and Rush definitely exceeded their half-life for me. Listened to them countless times. Oh wait -- how about putting on Amsterdam right now?
  12. Pat

    Electronic music anyone?

    No, I dont think so. As rathmadder correctly pointed out above, there have been numerous influences from this side and also from across the big pond. What I can perceive however ist that a unique european flavour of techno could develop because it fell on, so to speak, "fertile ground" in Europe and accordingly it was more of a mass movement among youth than in the states. I say "was" because techno euphoria is dwindling significantly. It is now reduced to club culture -- where it originated; in the states techno, with a few notable exceptions perhaps, never was a mass phenomenon and is rather confined to club culture in the big cities. Now synthpop and derivates might be a whole different story, and admittedly I am not too familiar with its history. Note also that I started my sentence with "While browsing this forum"... so this forum might or might not be a representation of whats hip in the states as of now (at least in some circles ), given that the majority here is from the U.S. Thats why I phrased it in nationalistic terms (albeit intended in a humorous way). I was surprised to see country music on the rise, which for example in Germany would probably never happen (neither american country nor german folk music, which has the distinction of being almost painful to listen to ).
  13. Pat

    Electronic music anyone?

    Joe, this soulds a lot like the way music is used in the emerging church movement. I guess they try to see the bigger picture how modern music can be used in a church context and try to develop new forms of services, events and churches as a whole. In this case "form follows function" -- music is used as a mood creator, as a backdrop, to amplify the experience. (again: I guess it is so, need to dig deeper to understand the EC concept fully).
  14. Pat

    Electronic music anyone?

    Alan: I always confuse orbital and orb, I have an orbital cd here (w/ the well-known halcyon on and on tune) which I like but I wouldnt count as one of the best personally. Are (the) orb much different musically? Thanks for the tip, opus! MUCH appreciated. Had a blast there. Just to inform you where I come from: About 10 years ago I usually listened to prog trance stuff and european techno, esp. german techno. I also had an acid phase. Then I discovered nu electro (courtesy of a dj friend of mine) and the tech house stuff. Would count those styles as my favourites among (a little bit of synthron) and (more) minml techno. Tech house is also nice. Ocasionally french house. I would not touch jungle and hardcore w/ a 10 foot pole though. Awful stuff.
  15. Pat

    Electronic music anyone?

    No, as I have no connections w/ punk whatsoever.... they seem to be pretty ironic and critical of society, like U2 and their zooropa stuff. (bud worlds apart musically I guess). Anti-consumerism look-in-the-mirror like. Interesting stuff!
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