Monday, 7 March 2011


I went to Southampton this weekend, to enlighten people about the neo-Nazi themes in Richard Llewellyn's How Green Was My Valley. Here's a bit of pop-culture trivia: the film adaptation won 5 Oscars in 1941, including Best Film. Thus beating Citizen Kane!

I came back with typhoid. I knew there was a reason to avoid the pestilential antipodean end of this island.

I croaked my way through about three pages of my paper, before noticing a '2 minutes to go' sign being waved in my face. It felt like I'd hardly started, but my points were made and a really lively question and answer session followed. I attended a range of other peoples' papers including one on Lucha Libre, but my favourite was Sarha Moore's 'Metal, Machismo and Musical Mode: How the 'Feminine' Phrygian second has been appropriated and transformed'.

Basically, with the aid of some clips and a melodica (keyboard thing you blow into), she demonstrated how the flat second (sing the Jaws theme to yourself: it's when the second note of a sequence is flat rather than a whole tone higher) went from being a suspiciously feminine technique used in madrigals to being a macho 'diabolic' sound used only in heavy metal.

After the conference, I tried to find somewhere to eat and got repeatedly turned away for being on my own on a Saturday night. Does wonders for one's sense of self-worth.


Zoot Horn said...

Those papers sound interesting. Especially the unpronounceable musical one. Does a flattened fifth have the same effect? It was described as the Diabolus in Musica and banned by the Council of Trent in the C16th. It features in the first bars of Purple Haze... which kind of proves the speaker's point.

Sinéad said...

I'm picking up on the being turned away from eateries because you're alone... you should see the reaction i get on the (rare) occasions when i choose to eat out... a woman eating alone? in utah? somebody find her a husband quick!!!