Saturday, November 12, 2005

Friendster testimonials

I've lately taken up the literary form of the Friendster testimonial. There are a great many styles of testimonial - poem, encomium, chatty story-telling, shout-out... I try to be somewhat more formal in my tributes, ideally brief and with a bit of truth as well as wit.

Here in reverse chronological order are the testimonials I've written for people so far - I'll update this page and link it on the sidebar under "friends" as I write more:

Jason Calloway, February 26th, 2006:

Almost everyone on friendster seems eclectic to the point of being a little nuts, but Jason is the real deal. Last summer at Spoleto we played a Bernd Franke septet with all kinds of extended techniques - we string players got to use our Harris Teeter VIC cards as plectrums. Jason had actually worked with Franke, so he had all his cellistic growls and sighs down pat. Ya woll Jason, and I hope to see you next summer!
Benjamin "harry lipsquid" Schwartz, December 2, 2005:

Schoolkids swarm in by the busload to hear Harry extemporize on gypsies, drunken Irishmen, and the parallels between classical concerto form and hip-hop clubbing. He incites them to such passionate musical appreciation that they volunteer joyfully to be impaled and mutilated as part of a bull-fighting demonstration introducing Bizet's Carmen Suite. Bravo, Harry - you deserve the juiciest watermelon in South Beach.
Naomi Gray, November 11th, 2005:

There are plenty of clever, talented, beautiful cellists in this world; however, there are very few who will warn you when your car is about to be pelted by massive tropical fruit. Thanks, Naomi!
Lydia Lui, November 3rd, 2005:

I once played an all-Mozart concert with Lydia in Charleston. It was at this gorgeous, stately, historic church, and at one point I was sitting around being bored, wondering what I'd have for dinner, when I saw Lydia copying this line from a bulletin board:

"Life is denied by lack of attention, whether it be to cleaning windows or trying to write a masterpiece." - Nadia Boulanger

How many people would bother reading that, much less copying it out? I was so impressed that I decided to copy it down myself. Unfortunately, I was not inspired to clean any windows, or to write a masterpiece.
DeAunn Davis, October 29th, 2005:

I became acquainted with DeAunn years ago in Evanston, thanks to a close mutual friend and a ceramic bust named Mr. Sailor Pimp. One chilly November evening we invented a whole dictionary of fabulous new words together; sadly, they were all forgotten the next day and a minidisc glitch ended all hope of recovery. Still I can't shake the fear that a situation may arise in which I'll need those words again - or maybe it already has, and I just didn't have the vocabulary necessary to realize it....
Sara Clerk, October 23, 2005:

What an amazing, lovely, soulful person Sara is - happy to hypothesize on physics, philosophy and, um, phrisbee, or just to commune with some frogs on a rainy Sunday evening. She proves that poetry and wisdom and silliness can coexist in peace, and can also elegantly solve tricky microphone placement dilemmas.
Nelly Kim, October 23, 2005:

Nelly has a really stunning array of friends, but I think I am the only one who can say I sat next to her in Mr. Fouts' 8th grade American History class. We've both come so far, and yet we're still trying to fulfill the demands of scary old men. Mostly now they've been dead a century or two, though, and don't give any pop quizzes.
Robert Woolfrey, October 15th, 2005:

Rob is one of those people whose personality seems to defy description, as well as gravity - or was that his hair? Anyway, it would take a great poet to capture all of Rob's virtues in 1000 characters or less (leaving aside his vices for the moment...) I'm not that poet, but if I were, I would probably try and include some of the following: ^ * $ ~ !!! ? Rock on Rob!
Piotr Szewczyk, October 15th, 2005:

Ever since I moved into the apartment below Piotr's, my life has been a whole lot funkier. A talented composer, Piotr also knows more about jazz bass playing than any violinist I have ever met. And who could refuse a recording session with Piotr followed by a round of Polish vodka? Just as long as it's not served with hot beer and eggs - that scares me.


Joe said...

There was a really funny testimonial written on the label of one of the basses at Robertson's in Albuquerque last time I was there. It was basically a roasting of the person that commissioned the instrument - really creatively done with lots of insults and lovely calligraphy. :-D The bass itself was pretty unique - very small, but gorgeous inlays on the fingerboard and purfling. Anyway, that post just reminded me of that...

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