1. Do you prefer representational or abstract art? Why? Any favorite pieces you'd like to mention? I prefer art that is abstractly representational. I guess that means I prefer abstract art! When I was growing up, my parents wanted me to learn how to play the piano, so they bought one of those stupid electronic organs that were all the rage in the late seventies. <???> No matter how hard or gently one struck the key, the same electronic tone droned out. This turned me off to the piano. However, when I was supposed to be practicing, I would often "improvise" — pressing groups of keys or "melodic" patterns. The mash of sounds really resonated with me. I think because of this (unless I already had an innate affinity for the playful intertwining of harmonies and dissonances), my taste in art is all about sonorities. It's about combinations of colors and sounds. Whether the art is visual, tactile, auditory, literary, etc., I am more drawn to that which can evoke a certain air. In the visual arts I like Piccaso's blue period for the overall mood created by his use of colors, Lichtenstein for the boldness of his colors and graphics, Chagall, Léger, Pollock, and Van Gogh; in sculpture I love Brancusi, the way his lines and curves live in harmony with their surroundings; in music I love the sonorities created by Debussy, Ives, Bartók, and others. Anybody who hasn't listened to Ives Concord Piano Sonata, Bartók's Music for Strings, Percussion, and Celeste, or Schoenberg's Transfigured Night is really missing out!
2. Do you sing in the shower? If so, what do you tend to sing? Duh! Yeah! ;) I sing whatever I'm in the mood for. Sometimes it's classical, sometimes musical theater, or country, or rock, or folk tunes. Sometimes I scat and jazz things up. Sometimes I completely make things up. Some is not appropriate to all audiences. This morning, in a particularly silly mood, I was singing, to the tune of "Dragostea din tei," "Uta hee, uta ha, Uta Hagen, Uta Hagen…daz!"
3. What's the biggest mess you've ever made? I really can't remember. There was an incident in college that was memorable, if not all that big a mess: After lunch, a group of my friends and I were in a silly mood and decided to create a gloppy mixture of all our leftover juices and sauces and condiments. It was truly disgusting slop! One of my table-mates, Jay, agreed to pay me $5 to throw a spoonful at any random person. Knowing bitty wouldn't mind too much, I called her over to our table and flung a spoonful at her. Once we explained the situation to her, she was happy to be part of this scheme to take Jay's money, since we didn't like him all that much. Jay never paid up, though, and it made hanging out with mutual friend JC a bit awkward the rest of the year.
4. What historical period most interests you? In the arts, the period that most interests me is the late nineteenth century through to the mid twentieth century. There was some really exciting stuff happening during that period, especially in music. Outside of the arts, I don't think I have a favorite historical period.
5. Do you have a favorite opera? How about a composer? My favorite opera is easily Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro. Other favorites include Mozart's Don Giovanni, Puccini's Tosca and La Bohème, Bizet's Carmen, Strauss' Der Rosenkavalier, Leoncavallo's Pagliacci, and Bartók's Bluebeard's Castle. As for favorite composer — if restricting myself to opera, I would have to say Mozart, and then maybe Puccini; but favorite overall would be a group including Mozart, Beethoven, Bartók, Schumann, Bach, and … oh, there are too many great composers to mention!
As usual, if you want to ask me questions or have me interview you, just let me know in the comments.