Wednesday, May 30, 2007


Heres my version of something I found on Think Denk
I have no idea what it's all about.
Check out the link and see for yourself
It's called "Icanhascheezburger"

  • Grout

    My body is achin'
    Every muscle is sore.
    I really dont think
    I have had enough sleep
    The cabinets are gone
    A lot has been done
    Been working all week
    We've got the new sink
    Yet there's still more

    Tiles to go before I ......

    Sunday, May 27, 2007

    Sunday kind of Folk

    All right. I found a office supply place open and I have a new toner cartrige.
    The pressure is off, so I went back to Folklife festival.
    Heard a wonderful Chicago-blues band by the name of
  • Sassparilla

  • Called themselves a jug band but I saw no jugs. Washtub bass, washboards, homebuilt guitars, they sat on plastic buckets, but no one hooting away on a jug. Made no difference. I loved it!
    I really love the blues. There are people who argue that Jazz is based on the blues.
    Nonsense, I say to "those people", ALL music is based on or inspired by the blues. There is the tautological argument that composers write because they feel that there should be more to life, therefore they feel they are getting less than they deserve and have no other way of trying to get it than writing music, even though they know it is impossible.
    That's the blues Dear readers.
    Recently I heard Seattle Opera's excellent rendition of "La Boheme"
    Lost love, the enevitability of death, having a good time in the meantime.
    That's what the blues is all about.
    "Fidelio" is a fantasy about a longing for freedom. The blues.
    "Turindot is a fantasy about dealing with cruelties of the powers that be (The MAN). The blues
    Beethoven's 9th Symphony is about longing for a good time. The blues
    Studying composer's biographies, you will find very few truely happy stories.
    Even Haydn had to work for the man. The blues.
    Read Mozart's story and tell me that blues man's type of life
    "Flying Dutchman" is a fantasy about impossible love. The blues
    "Porgy and Bess" well, yeah, willing to admit it.
    It's a little known fact that Michael Pretorius was a kick-ass blues shouter.
    It's so little known that even I don't know it.
    I think I've made my point.
    If you don't agree, please be kind, I'm feeling a little down lately.

    P.S. This whole blog is me singin' the blues, innit?
    "The Seattle Symphony kicked my ass blues"
    Sounds real good on hammered dulcimer

    And speaking of Celtic music.....
    Speaking of the cultural feelings of people tossed out of thier homes by forces over which they have no control....
    Being hot property in the muscle market...
    All of us.
    Everyone who looks up experiences the blues.
    If you listen to religious utterances closely, what are they saying but, O lord I am so down and you are so up, please be kind.
    Which is all I ask of you.

    Labels: ,

    Saturday, May 26, 2007


    As I looked out my window this morning, I saw the yard. Smooth grass peeking over the windowsill. The large bush off to the right. Then I realised that my window is on the second floor! So I had to fire up the old Honda and shorten the lawn a bit.
    Turns out the large bush was actually the 20 foot tall apple tree!
    Then I went to Folklife festival heard a great percussion jam session on a bunch of marimbas, including a gigantic double-bass that had me planning how to make one for myself. Not that I have any room for the darn thing.
    Also, besides digeredoos, blues guitarists, child flautists, violinists, cellists, banjoists,etc, I heard a wonderful hammered dulcimer trio. One of those things is ethreal enough, but three together is O.T.W. (as DeKoven used to put it) or even O.T.G.
    My lovely and talented ex-wife doesn't like my new picture.
    That's because the old one is a fuzzy silouette and you can't see all the wrinkles or my beady little pig eyes.
    I guess.
    Anyway, I still love the folklife festival. I always visit the musical instrument craftsman showroom.
    I am always jealous because the workmanship is several orders of magnitude better than mine.
    My goal in life has always to raise myself to mediocracy, and, whether or not I've made it, I'll let myself believe I have.
    Derrick, my brother in law's 3-year-old boy is outside right this moment banging on the big 5-foot gong I made from the end of an oil tank.

    O My!! I've got to get a score printed and bound and to the Northwest Symphony Orchestra call for scores. Not that they'll actually want the darn thing. I keep trying. It's the third movement of the clarinet concerto and I don't have the faintest idea of a name to call it so that it sounds like a piece in itself.
    Plus, my printer cartridge is running out and the next two days are holidays and my composition class is one of them and the thing is due the 1st!!
    It features neither Double-Bass Marimbas nor hammered dulcimers (love that sound).

    Labels: , ,

    Wednesday, May 23, 2007

    Better picture

    You've got to be

    As I mentioned before, I'm reading Norman Lebrecht's "Companion to 20th century music".
    Besides having no reference to Spike Jones or P.D.Q. Bach, the entry for the word "humor" has the following amazing statement; "music and humor are essentially incompatable"
    Music is an essential and integral part of life, and life is, as we all know from our own personal trials and tribulations, pretty much a cheap joke.
    Thanks god!
    Beethoven's bombastic fist wavings are always worth a chuckle. He did, if you remember properly, feel himself superior to the aristocracy because he believed in "equality".
    That word is a joke in itself.
    Mozart's childish analities could provide a years worth of SNL material.
    Haydn purposely wrote humor.
    And that is just surface of the classical.
    The romantic period was just plain silly, as romance always is, and therefore qualifies as humor. If you can't find a chuckle in Wagner's ring cycle, you have my sympathy.
    As for the 20th century, I'll agree that the first half was not very funny, largely due to a serious infection of academicism.
    And, of course, the concept of reducing music to some little mathamatical formula is worth a supercilious snort if anything is.
    Once Rock'n'Roll bloomed, however, music came alive again.
    Because it was funny.
    Because music is life.
    And life is a joke.

    Labels: , ,

    Saturday, May 19, 2007

    Musical weekend (It's all about Mimi)

    I've just been notified by (God, I guess or whoever it is that does these things to this site) that I now have "Automatic Saving"
    This latest improvement seems to make it impossible to save posts.
    Let's hope that I can still post stuff.
    O.K. apparently it still works good enough.
    Friday we went to the composers salon. It was at a different place because it was an all percussion show and that little soundbridge place couldn't handle it.
    Unfortunately, it's not a permanent change, so I'm still out of a place to go for that sort of thing.
    Anyway, the music was fascinating, it always amazes me how much can be done with percussion. Commonly, percussion in popular music is just one pace keeping beat that holds the song together. At the University Street fair there were examples of this on every corner. The pieces played at the salon were all good and all different. The one I liked best was for two drumsets and lasted 45 min. and was never boring.
    The salon was held at the Good Shepard center in Wallingford. It is a very nice space and would make a much better venue for the salon. Apart from the fact that I haven't been kicked out yet, it is large enough for a small chamber orchestra and the acoustics are good. All I'd need is my own chamber orchestra, something I could afford if had the courage. Or knew how to go about it.
    Saturday we went to the aforementioned street fair, the usual stuff of all street fairs some decent bands, cajun, bar bands (see above, boring back beat section)
    funky singers, naive politics, infra dig philosophies, and kooky religious activism.
    It's been a while, but I still enjoy looking the place over and mingling with the crowd, at least untill it gets too crowded to move.
    Saturday night meant the opera. La Boheme by Puccini. Nice tear-jerking music, but a stupid story. Most operae have stupid stories. The local free paper "The Stranger" had the following comment "Rich people just like to watch poor people die"
    Which explains war, doesn't it?
    The story is based on "Notre Dame aux Camilles" by Dumas (pere ou fils, I don't remember) about a girl who dies of "consumption" (pneumonia, I believe) before the evils of modern medicine.
    Anyway, some dufus "falls in love" (whatever that means. Apparently it doesn't mean spending money on medicine rather than champagne untill it's conviently too late.) with her and it's all one heart wrenching tragedy after that.
    The appeal is that this "love" fantasy is kept pure by nipping it in the bud or something.
    I guess that having her die avoids the possibility of having to live with her forever.
    More actually, it seems to me that entirely too many dramatic works , whether novels, movies, plays, oprae, etc, are dependant on killing some hapless woman.
    Wouldn't it be better to find some way of firing our endorphens with a more kindly sort of story. It's just as unlikely and unrealistic a thing.
    Actually, there are too many logical inconsistancies for me to be able to stay with the "plot" of LaB. Of course, there is some nasal congestion when she dies but that's largely because of the music. Can you imagine wht the world would sound like if every emotional event in the world was accompanied by the appropriate music?
    One benefit would be that you would know beforehand how others were feeling before you took a wild guess as to how to approach.
    On the other hand, however there would be soooo much bloody noise all the time that life would resemble a hell that neither Dante nor the pope could ever imagine.
    although, I imagine Jerry Falwell should be getting an education in that regard right about now (and forever)
    I'm thinking about an opera about the discovery of penicillin. The lonely scientist working away in his Parisian garret finally achieving success after many trials and much mockery only to be suppressed by the dramatists of the world and dieing, ironically by his accidental creation of AIDS or something like.
    There seemed to be an awful lot of French flag waving in the performance. perhaps this is something that homeland security ought to look into.
    At the first intermission, just as I was about to tell my wife how much I was impressed by the Tenor, she started listing all his faults, non of which I had noticed. Later after the show, when aforementioned singer got the loudest round of applause, I realised that audiences can be just as wrong about things as I.

    Other than that, I'm feeling depressed by being reminded, by being allowed to attend a salon, of my status here as a second class citizen.
    As I've said before, if all this nonsense is a message from God, let him put it in plain English.
    If English is good enough for Jesus it should be good enough for God.

    Labels: , ,

    Wednesday, May 16, 2007

    The Russians

    I stole this quote from Jeremy Denk. It's by Vladimir...I'm drawing a blank, here, he wrote "Pale Fire", a delightfully whacko novel......Nabokov!

    In a sense, we all are crashing to our death from the top story of our birth to the flat stones of the churchyard and wondering with an immortal Alice in Wonderland at the patterns of the passing wall. This capacity to wonder at trifles--no matter the imminent peril--these asides of the spirit, these footnotes in the volume of life are the highest forms of consciousness, and it is in this childishly speculative state of mind, so different from commonsense and its logic, that we know the world to be good.

    One could, with a good microscope, spend the rest of one's life studying a spoonful of dirt. The examination of Martian soils or Moon soils is important precisely because there is so little happening there that there is at least some possibility of making sense of it.

    Back to wirk


    Tuesday, May 15, 2007


    Sounds like one of those code words you have to type to identify yourself in order to make a comment but it ain't.
    The only way I can log into my own site from this 'puter is to leave a comment.
    dropijspoigjs is just a random attack on the keyboard.
    Usually I delete the "comment" but for some reason, I liked this one I'm tired.
    I have been cutting laying and grouting tile all day, my arms are as tired as if I'd just flown in from the coast.
    I've been reading Norman Lebrecht. After reading about him on Music and Man, I got what the library had. "Song of Names" "Covent Garden, the untold story" and "The companion to 20th century music".
    "Song of" was cute, definately on the smily side of that bifaced drama masque"
    I've always thought that there should be another mask in that kit, an expressionless one to stand for indifference. Or the mundane, neither comedy OR tragedy.
    Or, some damn thing.
    So, in "Covent Garden" I find that certain kinds of artist shenanigans are not endemic to the heartless SSO (I still cry myself to sleep at night [or might, if I weren't reading all these big books]).
    Look at that ]) sideways doesn't it look like some kind of ASCII space monster. How 'bout like this? ]:( or this? }:( .....Nahhh!
    Where was I?
    It turns out that this Norman person is a foriegner! He is doing really well with our language. Way to go Norm! Wait a minute, Norman...Norman... Of course! the Norman Invasion, he's from Normandy, He's french, just like John LeCaree (pronounced Caraye, there's 'sposed to be an accent ague* on the last e, I think) the spy writer.
    What else?
    I've looked through the "companion" a bit and am dismayed to find in the "Jones" section no mention of either Sam or Spike. Although the "Sex Pistols" are there, there is no mention of Darby Crash.
    Can you believe it?
    I'm not mentioned, of course, because I am a 21st century phenomenon (you spell it, I'm tired)
    I've also got Theodor Adorno's "Quasi una fantasia" (it means "like a little lemon flavored sugar-free soda pop).
    Speaking of "pops" there was a fist fight at a Boston Pops concert recently, a kind of one sided bout, I hear.
    What's the world coming to?
    Although I do remember reading an article awhile ago in which the Beatles revealed that they wrote "Helter Skelter" expressly for the purpose of inciting mass bloody murder.
    I doubt it, nothing like that has ever happened at one of my shows, and if ANYthing should invite crowd violence........
    Reading Adorno, I find, as usual, that pretty much everything I thought I'd discovered on my own has been said before...and better.
    My illustrious composition teacher suggested (in a desperate attempt to get some kind of musical competance stuffed into my head) that I listen to some Walter Piston, so I checked out all the Seattle Library (if you happen to visit here,
    don't miss it (even though the handrails on the escaliers** go faster than the treads))had.
    So now I've heard WP's 2nd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, & 8th symphonies.
    I'm going to go out on a limb here, and I don't care how much controversy it generates, but the symphonies of Walter Piston don't do to me what the symphonies of Beethoven do.
    Just my opinion.
    I'm still trying to find some of this Eddy Emerald guy's work.
    I'm beginning to think the search in futile.
    Considering my background, I should be able to come up with some cute joke about the word "piston" but I won't,proving that there is still a spark of decency in me.


    * I can't spell it, maybe it's grave, who cares? I think I got fenomanun rite thogh.
    ** That's french for stairway, it's not an accurate translation, but I like the word better, and anyway, if you don't get the joke, you've failed the intelligence test.
    *** I just like asterisks ****
    **** and footnotes
    Good bye!

    Labels: ,

    Friday, May 11, 2007

    Fantastic news!!!!!!

    Well, yesterday I finished laying all the uncut tiles (well, not the ones that are to go under the cabinet under the north {north by northwest, actually [the streets are tilted a bit here so they don'd have a strictly north-south alignment]})wall.
    So now I've got to spend the day cutting tiles so I can get the space under the refrigerator, the cabinet we already have, and especially the stove, finished and grouted so I can move them back enabling us to walk through the kitchen and, more importantly, heat up food.

    Coffee can be done in the microwave, but it's not the same.

    You never get intimate stuff like this from Jeremy Denk or Ilkka Talvi, do ya?

    I'm getting nervous about monday's class. Fooling aroung in the kitchen keeps me from writing (meets the legal definition of) music.
    I'm paying this guy to help me pretend to be a composer, the least I can do is bring some new outrage to class.
    He has two pre-teen boys at home, so probably the fact that I don't break anything (except certain rules of harmonic decency) makes for some kind of relief for him.

    Speaking of co-incidence....

    ....sorry to run off like that, I just heard the garbage truck and had to rush out and put out my can.

    More stuff you don't get anywhere else.

    What co-incidence? I forget.

    Oh, yeah.

    Just when I need it to cut tile for the kitchen, a tenant leaves a tile cutter when she moves out. What luck, eh?
    Of course a tile cutter sufficient to the task can be had for $89.00 at Lowes and the cost of preparing the house for a new tenant and the lost revenue amounts to several thousand but,what the hay? I like to be thankful for small blessings, no matter how expensive.

    I mean whattim I gonna do about it now?

    Which is my philosophy about my SSO adventure
    Which is my philosophy about my relationship to whatshername and Jesus.

    So, now I've got to go and plug in the tile cutter and find out that it doesn't work.

    I'll tell you about the Union Hotel and the Annie Oakley room later.

    Labels: ,

    Thursday, May 10, 2007

    Day in and out the life; body language

    Yesterday (May 9) I bussed downtown in order to go to the library to hear the Ladies Musical Club lunchtime concert. I went as is my wont to Cafe Ladro for a tall drip (I've been called worse) and a peanut butter cookie (which I tried to install on my computer to no avail)
    While I was munching and slurping, a musician I know (I've eaten an Oreo at his house)
    happend in, apparently on break from rehearsals at the musical salt mine across the street. Poor guy, he is a truly talented, amusing, and friendly gentleman, an all 'round nice guy.
    Generally, we wave, or nod, or occasionally say a few words.
    Today, however was a bit odd. I saw him coming with some of his musical co-conspiritors, gave a little wave and smile, he did the same, but then continued to expend energy nodding, smiling, waving, but not speaking. I got the feeling that he was embarassed by my presence somehow. Hmmm.
    Last time I saw him was in the same location and on that occasion I dumped a CD of my latest assemblage of (meets the legal description of) music on him.
    And, my card.
    Could it be that he is embarassed by knowing what a turkey of a composer I am?
    It doesn't embarass me to know that.
    So anyway, he went to the counter with his friends and bought his stuff, I went back to my cookie. (cute word, cookie, a kids word)
    On his way out, however, he started making motions with his hands that were apparently meant to convey some kind of message. There was a vertical component to the gestures that could have been a salute, or a wave or something. Also there was a horizontal component that, combined with the vertical, almost seemed like a genuflection.
    Was he acknowleding my godliness?
    Was he making the sign of the cross in order to ward off evil?
    Or, perhaps Hi, how are ya, (vertical) I've got to get back to work (horizontal, movements, like operating a bow {he is a string player})
    It is obvious to me that he considers me a true looney, somthing which all of you are aware of already.
    Or perhaps he was conducting, hoping to keep some semblance of control over my insanity.
    I guess that would be the same as the sign to ward off evil.

    The last time anyone connected with that aformentioned dark hole of the Seattle music scene spent that much energy acknowledging my presence in public was when a certain flute player walked across the length of the opera house (the old, interim one in the ice skating rink)(That's how long ago it was) to engage me in conversation. To see how that turned out, search "The Story" on this site.
    So my paranoia meter is on the rise again.
    The concert was nice, with a saxophonist playing Bach on a soprano, a piece by Evan Chambers on an alto, and a piece by David Keane on a baritone.
    Liked it all, but the Bach was transcribed from a flute partita (A minor) and I thought that the sax voice did not do justice to the work.
    the sound is harsher than a flute, besides being a tone lower.
    Thanks to the Ladies Musical Club for putting on these concerts. (

    We want on a road trip we drove long hours.
    We saw geological features.
    We saw fossils. We saw mountains.
    We saw waterfalls. We saw gardens.
    We stayed in motels. I read the book the Gideons left.

    The falls were the ones known as "Silver Falls" in Oregon near Salem.
    The garden is the one known as "The Oregon Garden", also near Salem (follow the signs to either place), a relatively new place, underfunded, relying on volunteer support (Hmm), but rivalling the fabulous Buchart Gardens just outside of Victoria B.C.

    My attention deficiency disorder is beginning to kick in, 'bye.

    Besides today I must move the refrigerator, the stove, and the cabinet and glue tile under 'em.

    Labels: , ,

    Tuesday, May 08, 2007

    Democracy for the genius

    Joshua Bell busked anonymously for 45 minutes and was collected approx 30 bucks.
    Another great violinist, an English girl, did the same in England and made the same.
    So it seems that the street value of top-notch violinists is about $45.00 /hr.
    Perhaps this experiment should be expanded to other job titles.
    Imagine a conductor on the street, hat out?
    What would that be worth?
    Or an executive director, a music director or a human rescources whatchacallit?
    Or, a CEO?
    A friggin' President, hah?
    What would any of these people be worth if WE had any say in the matter?
    What makes talent and bossiness more important than dirty hands and skinned knuckles/


    Web Counter
    My worth as a human being