Sunday, February 14, 2010

We need a different, more diverse Identity

Each major Canadian city seems to be identified with something large, like a landmark. On each simplified map of major cities in Canada, you'll be able to pick them out by the landmark they're identified with. Sometimes the city will simply be the landmark. It's cool but it gets really boring after awhile.


For instance, here's a list of cities identified by their landmarks:


Toronto - CN Tower
Montreal - Olympic Stadium
Ottawa - Parliament Hill
Calgary - Calgary Tower
Vancouver - Harbor Centre + BC Place Stadium
Edmonton  - West Edmonton Mall


For this reason, it makes me wish we were identified more than with our landmarks. When people think of Ottawa they think of Parliament Hill. It's great that we're a capital city, but the problem there is the fact that we're strictly a government town, no one thinks any different, there's a lack in job diversity if you want to go far in a career, everything's bilingual (which is fine if you know both official languages, which I don't, at least fluently), everyone looks on us not as a metropolis but as a head of government, and really, it's boring.


For us, it's the head of government, which I already explained, but also largely our canal. If you think of Ottawa seriously you come up with Parliament. If you think of Ottawa in a fun way - the canal comes to mind. It's definitely not really a place for artists. My whole family is in government. I myself aren't interested, and none of my family members are going to convince me, like some have.


It's like this movie I once saw - it takes place in a mining town, where the mines are the choice for employment, and the protagonist has no interest in them then he does for astronomy. His father discourages his interests, opting for him to work in the same environment as everyone else, and even goes as far as to stop his teacher from giving him books on the subject (that or the principal discourages it). It has a happy ending where the main character grows up and has some sort of job with NASA, but still, the whole premise is still there.


The main topic is supposed to be how we should be recognized for something else for once. Enough of Parliament Hill. What about the communities? Or the other landmarks? Something that doesn't have to do with the Federal Government at least. When anyone thinks of Ottawa, it's the same as how Americans think of Washington. That's where the politics takes place. That's where the important business goes on. To refer to Ottawa is to refer to Canada's government, not the city and its suburbs.


That's what's annoying about being a capital city. Not all capital cities are the same. My aunt was telling me about Paris, and how it's full of amazing artists and architecture and history. Not politics.
Now why can't we be like that? It's too bad we don't have a national tower or something. Our tallest building is - yeah. A government complex. And even that's not very tall. That's because the tallest thing in our downtown core has to be the thing this whole post has been making reference to - the Parliament Buildings.


Thanks to the height limits, the Piece Tower has to be the tallest structure to be easily visible in our skyline. To promote the main topic here: You think of Ottawa - you see the Parliament Buildings.
All for the capital city aspect. Now I'm bored...


Justin C.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The Young and the Old

One key aspect of my enjoyment when I listen to music with synesthesia is the feeling of age matched with the pitch of the sound.


For instance, when I use my editing software (Adobe Premier) I can use a slider to slow the sound down, making the pitch lower. Likewise for moving the slider more toward the right. If I move it to the left, the sound gets lower until it begins going backward, when it increases in pitch again. I associate age with this.


Often I'll take a bit of music, a part of a song that I like most (something I've down hundreds of times to the early bit of the song "In the City" as mentioned hundreds of times also) and once it's slowed down, with the pitch not affected, I'll play with the pitch using that slider.


Going at regular pitch, if an instrument makes me think of something, like say, the bass makes me think of myself, then I see myself at the age of eighteen, my current age. If I were to slow it down and make the pitch lower, I get older. If I speed it up and make the pitch go higher, I get younger. Likewise for other people I think of for different instruments.


A really good way to see this is using Quicktime. Playing a video, there's an option to increase or decrease the pitch, without slowing it down. I've done this before on things I've done. I once watched my documentary completely on high pitch. Voices sounded not higher, but younger. I sounded like I did when I was nine or ten instead of sixteen. My father sounded like he did at maybe eighteen or slighter younger. Not because that's how I see it through synesthesia, but because that's how they sounded at that age. My half-brother Nelson sounded like a talking baby at age eight.


This is one of those experiences that I enjoy with music and synesthesia, because when people are thought of or involved in my thinking, it makes me see how nice it would be if their personalities stayed the same at older ages (this would be if they had awesome personalities that I love evoking through the music right now). Like they're the same wonderful person you once knew, just older and with a more experienced, deeper mentality.


By the way, the title of this post takes its name from an early Madness song.


Justin C.