frederick Hurst

frederick Hurst

15 years ago I came to the bay area to undertake a Ph.D in psycology. I am pleased to say I was able to complete the degree, and along the way developed a practice as a singer, actor and writer.

How does it work?
  • frederick Hurst
    Published 8 days ago
    Why the Araia "Kennst du das land" has come to mean so much to me.

    Why the Araia "Kennst du das land" has come to mean so much to me.

    Artists often record pieces without appraising listeners of what a song may mean to them. This oversight usually occurs because of production demands that preclude verbal descriptions of what a given song may mean to an artist. Producing a polished CD or video is considerable, and producers are reluctant to spend their precious dollars on verbal tributes that can be made by recording artists during a concert. Once in the studio, artists are expected to record their music as quickly and efficiently. Reminiscing about the composition of a particular song is discouraged. Fortunately, the recording of this specific song did require the use of an expensive recording studio. When I recorded the piece, I had no neurotic producer hanging over my shoulder. I am therefore free to reflect on what the relatively unknown aria "kennst du das land." Those unfamiliar with opera are unlikely to recognize the piece. I first became familiar with the Aria after attending a performance of "Little Woman." An original operatic work, the production allowed me to hear a breath-taking musical score and the Aria "Kennst du das Land". I became determined to master the Aria in question. My years of training had provided me with the technical tools needed to sing a variety of styles, but I had always reframed from singing pieces written in German. The sheer beauty of the piece overwhelmed my reservation and set to work on it with passion and zeal. The experience has been transformative, allowing me to connect with a part of my German heritage that had always felt peripheral. Having to master German required that I steep myself in a language that members of the Hurst family line had practiced for generations. Learning "Kennst du das land" became a transformative experience, allowing me to reintegrate a disowned aspect of my family heritage. I am not the first, or only, singer to have had such an experience. Singing is an inherently personal process. Few performers become successful by relying solely upon their technical prowess. Acclaim rarely occurs unless a performer has found a way to merge technique and emotional resonance. For this singer at least, mastering the complexities of the Aria Kennst du das land became an example of such a process. It is why this previously unfamiliar piece now feels profoundly connected to my body and soul.
  • frederick Hurst
    Published 9 days ago
    "Kennst due das land"

    "Kennst due das land"

    Artists often record pieces without appraising listeners of what a song may mean to them. This oversight usually occurs because of production demands that preclude verbal descriptions of what a given song may mean to an artist. Producing a polished CD or video is considerable, and producers are reluctant to spend their precious dollars on verbal tributes that can be made by recording artists during a concert. Once in the studio, artists are expected to record their music as quickly and efficiently. Reminiscing about the composition of a particular song is discouraged. Fortunately, the recording of this specific song did require the use of an expensive recording studio. When I recorded the piece, I had no neurotic producer hanging over my shoulder. I am therefore free to reflect on what the relatively unknown aria "kennst du das land." Those unfamiliar with opera are unlikely to recognize the piece. I first became familiar with the Aria after attending a performance of "Little Woman." An original operatic work, the production allowed me to hear a breath-taking musical score and the Aria Kennst du das Land. I became determined to master the Aria in question. My years of training had provided me with the technical tools needed to sing a variety of styles, but I had always reframed from singing pieces written in German. The sheer beauty of the piece overwhelmed my reservation and set to work on it with passion and zeal. The experience has been transformative, allowing me to connect with a part of my German heritage that had always felt peripheral. Having to master German required that I steep myself in a language that members of the Hurst family line had practiced for generations. Learning "Kennst du das land" became a transformative experience, allowing me to reintegrate a disowned aspect of my family heritage. I am not the first, or only, singer to have had such an experience. Singing is an inherently personal process. Few performers become successful by relying solely upon their technical prowess. Acclaim rarely occurs unless a performer has found a way to merge technique and emotional resonance. For this singer at least, mastering the complexities of the Aria Kennst du das land became an example of such a process. It is why this previously unfamiliar piece now feels profoundly connected to my body and soul.
  • frederick Hurst
    Published 10 days ago
    Taking a bullet for a President

    Taking a bullet for a President

    There are jobs in the world that I am thankful that I do not have. Lion tamer. Plummer. Dentist. A postal worker. These are all professions that I am glad are carried out by other people. My gratitude is based in part on my understanding of my relative strengths and weaknesses. This understanding has allowed me to understand why the job of taming lions and repairing other people's pluming belongs in the hands of other people. If forced though to identify one professional position that I would be profoundly ill suited too, particularly at this juncture in our nation's development, it would be that of a secret service agent, tasked with overseeing the protection of our current protection.
  • frederick Hurst
    Published 15 days ago
    A poetry recital

    A poetry recital

    The story behind the reading of my poems represents an age challenge that I am not alone in trying to solve. I refer to the existential challenge embodied in the experience of angst that periodically plagues every individual. The composition of existential angst varies from person to person. No two individuals experience angst in the same manner and their manner of discharging their psychological frustration is as varied. My version of this has generally revolved around the collective state of America's body politic and it subsequent spiritual deterioration.Those who have read my blogs will understand that when I use the term I am not referring to organized religion. I have been a lifelong atheist. Recent events involving attempts by evangelical fundamentalist to replace our democracy with a form of theocracy that is only slightly more liberal than the Taliban has only reinforced my suspicion of orgnized religion. The view that organized religion represented a political struggle, involving unregistered political bodies has become a fixed belief that is unlikely change during my life time. I give credit to the authors of the original bible for crafting a piece of polical propaganda whose content is not without merit, but its intent has been political nature, ensuring as it does that those who follow it embrace codified forms of behavior.
  • frederick Hurst
    Published 18 days ago
    How Ann's Freud advice almost ended the Hurst line

    How Ann's Freud advice almost ended the Hurst line

    In reviewing the history of one's family it is always possible to identity life choices that could easily have resulted in profundly different outcomes had the individual in question chosen a different set of actions. Proof of this truism can be found in every family liniage. An Irish immigrant decides to not make the harrowing journey to the new world to escape the Irish famine. As a result future generations of Irish Americans are not born, and the fabric of a potentially rich cultural heriatage is eviscerated. A genius with dubious academic credentials in comparison to his colleagues, decides not to accept a job as a clerk and instead accepts a position that affords him little time to develop his theories on concepts such as time or relativelty. I could offer further examples but in truth the argument speaks for itself. My own family is no different in this regard. While seemingly cursed with more than its share of tragic irony there is no doubt that myself and members of my family made choices that often resembled a Victorean meldodrama. Over the course of my life I have come to view such moments with a sense of humor that was lacking in my youth. Teenager angst rarely affords one a sense of detachment that is often useful in mitigating the impact of family secrets that are discovered late in life. Because of my tendency towards histrionics and tragedy it would be hard to identify one story that surpassed all of the anecdotal incidents that represented our collective folklore. If forced to chose one incident I would chose the encounter between my parents, and Ann Freud, the daughter of noted psychoanalyst Sigmund Fraud. A little context is in order to fully appreciate the extent to which one's fate often depends on a few words.
  • frederick Hurst
    Published 20 days ago
    The secret of the Nigerian con artist

    The secret of the Nigerian con artist

    I confess the workings of the criminal mind has always been something of a fascination for me. I am fairly confident that my interest in such matters is not based on voyerism or unrecognized pruient impulses. I have always understood that the origins of criminality are related to unmet psychological needs as they are to operant conditioning or genetic factors.