Saturday, June 30, 2007

There he goes again

I found some comments about John Adams on other sites,
Seems he made some comment about harmony at Harvard.
I would go look it up, but I'm afraid of getting it right.
You could probably look it up on Soho the Dog.

Harmony is usually considered to be the vertical component of music.
Chords, tone clusters, and the like.
But harmony has a larger meaning.
All parts of music, (or any other form of lying), "harmony", rhythm, tone, line, color, theme, emotional context, must be in harmony.
Proportion is the most profound harmony.

One thing that I've noticed in 20th century music is that the "popular", that is the money making music, relies heavily on rhythm.

"Classical" or money losing music, relies on rigidly controlled rhythms, rich "harmony", lot's a rules to keep everything in line, horizontally as well as vertically.
Candy for the king.

I say "Hah!"

Hobbled obsequious souls, seeking to please royalty, learn to rock, or at least swing.

Rhythm is the most saleable harmony.

Music is born of the heartbeat. Anybody who has one is creating music.

Anyway, I was in the presance of Mr. Adams once.
It was at a Composers Salon here in Seattle. One of the composers began a question with something about "harmonic progression" Adams interrupted with "I went to college too" (or something to that effect), which amused the congregation.

I didn't go to college, I'm not sure exactly what the significance of that exchange was.

But now, I have two small insights into the composers soul. If I connect these dots, perhaps I can interprate, extrapolate, infer, deduce, and just plain suss out, his entire personality.

Why I would want that is anybody's guess.
Just keeping an eye on the competition, I guess.

Yesterday, just out of iconoclastic pervsity, I wrote a two Tuba invention, laying the groundwork for the tuba concerto which is next on my list for the concerto project.
I believe I am making great progress with my music.
I approach mediocrity.
OMG, I feel dizzy.

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Thursday, June 28, 2007

Dinned she rain, rain, rain

"The Pirate Queen,in search of Grace O'malley,and other legendary women of the sea"
by Barbara Sjoholm
That's what I'm reading at the moment.
Imagine my surprize when I find on page 6 that she (Grace, not Barbara) married an O'Flaherty, who spent much of his time feuding with the Joyce's who eventually killed him.
Joyce eh?
Page 44 there's a story about Grace (the woman pirate) stopping at Howth castle and asking for hospitality, when she was turned away she kidnapped the owners grandson and demanded that no one ever be turned away from Howth castle and environs again.
Surely the inspiration for the similar story of the prankquean and Jarl van Hoother
in the first chapter of Finnegans Wake.
You have read Finnegans Wake haven't you?
I actually met someone who admitted that she read Joyce but that didn't turn out very well. (see "the story" on this site)
Further mythology has the word "clew" (later clue) defined as a bit of string (used to guide one out of a maze). Witches would tie knots in a piece of string or thread and sell it to seafararers to conjure wind with. Untie one knot for a good breeze, two knots for a strong wind but always with the fine print that undoing three would lead to big trouble. In other words the wind will do what the wind will and thanks for the Guinness.
A situation not unlike today's witches, lunatic mathamaticians who dupe us out of money to pursue their soft adademic lives by selling their "string theories"
And such.
I suppose that now would be the time for me to come to some kind of point.


Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Up in the mornin'

GGGGG...It's so quiet around here with Glen on vacation. I guess I'll have to do a blog about our last road trip. Before the next one, anyway.
But not today, today is a schoolday. I'm taking the trombone concerto, we'll see what a pro thinks of it.
Well, I'll see anyway, what I let you see depends on what I think about what he thinks.

Had a dream about the bear this morning. Two eyes following me, glancing over the shoulder.
A frustration dream.
Most of 'em are.
Means I'm still workin' on The Big Problems
The thing I like best about frustration dreams is the point where you realize its futile and give up/wake up.
There must be some great life lesson in that.
Let go / Let God ?
Trust your inner child?
Suicide is a solution?
I suppose it's a matter of degree and what are ya gonna do about it, anyway?

My "retirement" only means that I don't bust my knuckles anymore.
Not that I'm doing nothing.
Theroretically, keeping up my rental properties is work.
I don't know if my composing should be considered work, but the word "OPUS" does mean just that.
In about an hour, I'll pop on the bus and head downtown.
Caffiene and carbs at Caffe Ladro, then maybe the jazz service at Plymouth, a quick jog up to broadway, then maybe some library time.


I don't know if it's better to blog in the morning while half asleep and I have nothing on my mind, or later in the day while twice awake, and I have too much.
Probably the morning is the more honest time.
But where has honesty ever gotten anyone?
Later could be more creative.
But more work....

Sic semper gloria mundi

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Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Monkey Music, A desperate climb to nowhere.

Well, the trombone concerto has assumed it's final dimension. I seem to have written a lively and humourous 3rd movement. Which means that I need to go back to the 1st Mvt and rectify some of the more chaotic and discordant verticals in order to align it better with the last. Throw a few dots here and there to lighten it up a bit.
The overall theme of the piece seems to be becoming; innocence, despair, then liberation and joy. Or...adagio, largo, vivace. Or... moderate, slow, fast.
Like the flute concerto which went, naivete, anger, dissociation/schophrenia.
Coming of age kind of thing. Innocence collides with reality and all.
This is one time I wish I had some kind of "higher education".
I'm learning a lot about music from David Mesler, (school starts again tomorrow) but I just don't have the BS skills to talk about the stuff.
So, it's a great piece of music and orchestras everywhere should be playing it.
Tuba next, then on to the strings. Or percussion.
Do listen to my mp3 links.

I'm reading a history of the Ottoman empire.
The usual rise and fall, when will they (it is all thier fault) ever learn?
The descriptions of the life of a Sultan seem very similar to the life of the last emperor of China, a movie I just saw.
The powerful man at the top is essentially imprisoned amid courtiers who actually control things.
Sounds vaguely familiar, the usual monkey pile wherever two or more of us hairless insane (we see that we are naked and are ashamed) apes congregate.
The need for a "god" to hide behind and blame.
The stronger ones climb for the high branches where the imagine they see more.
Mainly they are just trying to assuage thier fears and nakedness.
And basically use those of us on the lower branches as toilet paper.
But when thier branch breaks, they have farther to fall. unfortunately, they fall through the lower branches, taking some of us with them.
It's all pretty desperate.
But, then again, I'm alright, Jack.
It has always seemed to me that with our large brains and our "superior" intelligence , we should be able to realize the escapeist fantasies of peace, love and understanding, of "brotherhood" of mankind, of universality, of "we're all in this together" instead of using these profound desires to organize armies to beat it out of other similarly organized people.

But that would probably just take the fun out.

No real point in taking it seriously.


Monday, June 25, 2007


Loaded the dishwasher.


That's about it for today.

Lunch....I guess.


Sunday, June 24, 2007

Post Traumatic Stress

The B17s B=24s B-25s are circling the house. These are allied planes, I'm beginning to think that Hitler wasn't telling the truth about how well the war is going.
Ah, well at least it's going to be over soon. Let this be a lesson to the world. Don't ever elect a government that bases it's philosophy on lies and war. Never again.

Whoops, it sounds like Lane is having a bit of a flashback there. Actually, there is only one example of each of those planes in the air. They are based at Boeing International Airport and are hiring out demonstration rides. Costs something like 3 or 4 hundred bucks a ride. You do get to see our house on the trip but are probably going to be distracted by things like Mt Rainier, Mt Baker, Lake Washington, and the magnificently beautiful scenery. That and the incredible noise and vibration inside the plane. No one will be shooting at you, however. Probably.

Just part of the summer festivities here in this airplane dominated part of paradise.
Later the Blur Angels, actually , that's Blue Angels. They do move fast, however and when they sneak up on the house, the create a nice boom!! as they go over.

Living amongst a plethora of airports has it's thrills.

I have just this instant decided to go for a bike trip.

See ya later.


Friday, June 22, 2007

Surfing Safari, Singing Suzanna

While out on my morning surf, I managed to pickup the following splinters in my board.
The first is the RTO, The Really Terrible Orchestra. It is a collection of bad musicians who got together to give honor to less than supernal playing.
I guess. I haven't heard them yet.
Give 'em a listen, here's thier site.

  • Really Terrible

  • Another is "Sick Puppy" or SICPP. Stands for "Summer Institute for Contemporary Performance Practice"

    A gathering of musicians in Boston at the New England Conservatory to play strange new music.
    Read about it here

  • Sick Puppy

  • Bad Orchestras and wierd music.
    Sound like me and my computer.
    Unfortunately, my computer plays the junk I write exactly as I've written it.
    When I listen back, after the "Hey, I wrote this myself" moment wears off, it seems to be the same turgid mish-mash of semi-literate, disconnected ideas that defines the very first thing I wrote 10 years ago when I started this hobby.


    It's possible, by twisting a few knobs on my computer, to make these cyber-players play out of tune and out of synch.

    Maybe instead of trying so hard to make it "good" I should try the opposite tack and see what it sounds like "bad"

    One of my favorite musical inspirations is P.D.Q.Bach's concept of "innovation through incompetance"

    Actually, though I don't think I've achieved much innovation, and my incompetance is beginning to annoy me just a bit.

    Another musical inspiration is the Frank Zappa quote "Record it first, we'll rehearse later" (sic)
    I read somewhere He said that while filming "200 Motels"

    That really belongs in the "attitude" section of this blog site.

    Follow me out onto this limb, if you will.
    "200 Motels" is an expansion of the psychological inspiration for Steve Foster's "O Susanna"
    "I come from Alabama, with my banjo on my knee"
    That's touring.
    "It rained so hard, the weather it was dry; the sun so hot I froze to death", et cetera.
    That's crazy.
    That's Foster.

    "Touring can make you crazy" the theme of 200 M's
    That's Zappa.

    See what I mean? Same message, innit?

    Good night and lot'sa luck
    That's E.R.Murrow

    "Bonsoir et tant pis"
    Thats L'ane Savant.

    Tune in again tomorrow for more of the same, or maybe more of something else.
    That's me

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    Thursday, June 21, 2007

    Wild and Crazy

    I realize that society expects me to blog every day, faithfully, like a good little raving lunatic, but I don't feel like it today.
    I'm just going to do whatever I want today, and I'm not even going to tell you what it is.
    It might be carving parts for the two violin projects I have started, it might be working on some crazy invention, or etude or even symphony.
    Putting new tires on the VW, whacking weeds in the yard, wiring the kitchen lights.

    You'll just have to guess.

    Riding my peugeot Fidelio, paddling my canoe, sculling my shell.

    You'll never know.

    On the internet nobody can hear you laugh!

    Ha Ha.........see what I mean? You didn't hear a thing, did you?


    Tuesday, June 19, 2007

    More attitude

    It's the attitude!

    I'm just as funny as P.J. but not as nasty.
    O'rourke hit the nail on the head for me when he complained that the
    Sports Car club of America wouldn't let you drink and race at the same time.
    Which just spoils all the fun.
    Ricky Bobby knows what it is really all about.
    So does Jack Black.
    We are animals and have animal urges but we have to spend most of our energy controlling (if we're smart) or denying (if we're not) them.
    It's the denyers who cause all the trouble.
    It's the denyers who suffer.
    We all have the snake at the base of our brains, with onion like layers of socialization covering it all up.
    To pretend that our fantasies are going to "bring peace" or "end hunger" is nothing but schizophrenia.
    Those who pretend that they are going to "change the face of Christianity" are absurd.
    The only way to honor diversity, tolerance, and love of god, self and neighbor is to practice those things.
    It's just like learning to play an instrument.
    If you want to learn to play a flute or a hammered dulcimer, you practice.
    You don't sit around wishing you could just walk into a party, sit down at the piano and rock out.
    You practice beforehand.
    Which spoils all the fun, according to our British cousins.

    One needs a most cursory skimming of history to see this.
    Great fantasies like saving your soul and going to heaven leads to thousands of years of bloody conflict added to thousands of years of bloody conflict already endured by the sane people of the world.

    Great fantasies like the french revolution. Liberte Egalite et Fraternite et Madam Guillutine. Non?

    Half a million dead to "free the slaves" and create the KKK. Turning the black population from an economic asset to a despised and abused minority.

    Purifying the race by murdering 6 million, which is ironic because according to the Bible, (which I take as mere human opinion and not necesarily God's word) Joshua, when he fit the battle of Jericho, started it all by deciding that the proper thing to do when he got his troops to the promised land was to kill all the people and take all their stuff.
    I, personally, don't believe this was any big change in human behavior.
    It's not the Jew's fault.
    It's not the Republican's fault
    It's not the Nazi's fault.
    It's just the way it is.

    Much as I'd like to take a Ferreri and a bottle of Wild turkey on a wild ride along Lake Washington Boulevard, I don't
    I don't because I believe that we are all in this together.
    That the laws are for the protection of all.
    Actually I don't think I'll ever be able to afford a Ferreri

    We could, of course, be nice to each other.
    But that takes real courage. all you lunatics out there....Get real, brothers and sisters.


    Monday, June 18, 2007


    I just finished Norman Lebrecht's "Who killed Classical Music"
    I just watched "Talladega nights"
    I just watched "School of Rock"
    I just read P.J. O'Rourke's "CEO of the SOFA"
    I have invented an apocryphal history of music.
    Caveman 1 bangs on a rock. "Listen to rock music", he says, gets girl.
    Caveman2 bangs on 2 rocks. "Me invent counterpoint" he says, takes girl away from Caveman 1.
    Things escalate, soon every body is banging on rocks and taking girls from each other.
    Soon "Big Guy" takes all the rocks and all the girls
    "Me invent MUSIC", he says.
    Putting a stop to all that noise.
    Thousands of years pass.
    People twang on bows, blow through reeds, and bang on everything but rocks, rocks are taboo due to "tradition"
    The noise becomes attractive, so religion bans it.
    Except for THE CHURCH which uses it to attract customers. A large, hollow, chanting sound is invented that causes people to congregate, kneel down, and kiss up.
    Hundreds of years pass.
    Sackbuts, shawms, clarinos, chalumeaus, rebecs, rakets, theorbos, colasciones, curtals, citterns, and thousands of other things that make noise are invented.
    That's the medieval period.

    People find fault with THE CHURCH's music and start experimenting.
    The concept of "tune" pops up. The inventor gets the girl.
    THE CHURCH clamps down big time.
    Thats the dark ages in which Ireland saves civilization.

    Counterpoint is invented.
    Counterpoint is when a musician hogs a bunch of "tunes" all to himself.
    (Academic types try to pretend that there are "rules" to it.
    Music begins to die even before it is even born.)
    J.S. Bach did this more than anyone else and won, getting two girls, and a bunch of boys.
    That was the Baroque (as J.S. said "If it ain't Baroque, it ain't music)

    An embarrassed generation tried to make do with one "tune".
    Beethoven took this one tune thing as far as it would go by simply repeating one tune over and over untill he won the Classical period.
    He got one girl. Who was immortal.
    She should speak up. She could undoubtedly shed much light on that part of history.
    A very important part of history.
    Not only were "liberte", "egalite", "fraternite", invented by the Frenche revolutione, and "democracy" by the American Revolution and the Industrial revolution started by Mesieur Cugnot (he invented the automobile, sort of, but most importantly, Beethoven stumbled, unwittingly, on the holy grail of Rock'n'Roll. (attitude, attitude, just listen to the 4th movement of the 7th symphony, close your eyes and imagine a really good rock drummer working it. Hah?)
    That was the classical period.

    Everybody else started wearing black, moved into freezing garrets, and got tuberculosis.
    This was the Romantic period

    One night in a vodka sozzeled dream, Beethoven visits Stravinsky, and leaves a mysterious message. The message was, "remember the rocks"
    Stravinsky almost understood and invented "The Rite of Spring", which rocked, sort of.
    Stravinsky won that round.
    Having failed for millenia to be properly understood, Music apparently decided to commit suicide. For the mext 50 years music turned against itself shedding it's personality a piece at a time, tunes became "tone rows", counterpoint dissappeared,
    harmony became a death screech, minimalism set in, somebody put music in a cage and deprived it of all sound whatever. A sad era.
    It was called modern.

    Fortunatly, thanks to M. Cugnot's invention, (which he called a "Fardier" which means "load carrier" [Hamlet agonized whether he wanted be one of those {he was a prince he'd rather die than bear a fardel]}) the automobile evolved, and with it, the most significant item in realization of real music, the garage.
    Because of the garage, teenagers could go there and try to play music without suffering any "musical education".
    Finally, music could live free.

    Untill the record companies got ahold of it.

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    Sunday, June 17, 2007


    "Wild Swans: Three Women of China" by Jung Chang
    There. I actually did some research. Boy are my arms tired.

    Not four swans

    Thursday, June 14, 2007


    O.K. We're talking about toy pianos, China and my illustrious* musical career.
    Here's how all that comes together.
    Margaret Leng Tan (I've linked her site, check it out) was in town for a concert at Cornish couple a' years ago.
    I belong to one of the organizations that sponsored the event.
    Margaret Leng Tan is a pianist who does 1derful things with toy pianos.
    And full sized pianos.
    She plays stuff by John Cage (and others)
    John Cage (and others) got his start at Cornish.
    This shindig took place in the Poncho (nothing to do with Mexico)
    I volunteered to help out with the event.
    So I got to meet her. Very nice. Beautiful hands.
    I sat at the table with her selling Seedees and keeping track of the $$$.
    Loads of fun, I bought one, autograph and all.
    Oh yeah, here's the other thing, I borrowed, from my movie-loving friend, a VCR of "The Last Emperor of China" and' over the span of two evenings, watched it.
    Fascinating story.
    Chinas 20th century history is incredibly complex and painful ordeal.
    Yanked out of the past and into the future with a minimum of courtesy.
    The Forbidden City, Sun yat sen, Chaing Kai Shek, Mao Tse Tung, Nanking, the Japanese, Manchuko, the communists, the nationalists, Red guards, the little red book, cultural revolution, the long march.
    The fake Chinese music that Amos Yang mentioned at the luncheon monday.
    You've all heard it in older movies, pentatonic stuff not unlike the fake indian music in cowboy and indian movies.
    The Nazi ambassador complained about the atrocities at Nanking.
    Taiwan, Hong Kong, the Brits, opium......
    There are several (lots, actually) good books about the subject.
    Can I rememberem?
    "Four Swans" don't remember the author. The story of four generations of a chinese family, from foot binding to jet set.
    Anything by Amy Tan (don't know if there is any relation to the pianist)
    "The Rape of Nanking" don't remember the author.
    "Le Conditione Humaine" by that french guy, starts with an "M"
    Just a minnit, I'll go check my library;
    Well, the house is all tore up, can't find it, you've heard of him, diplomat, politician, writer.
    I know I've read more, but that's all I can think of right at the moment.
    All us round eyed barbarians were ever interested in was the communist takeover, which was a mistake.
    As are all simplistic impressions.
    About anything.
    Or anybody.

    Ill-lustrious = lacking in luster.


    Wednesday, June 13, 2007

    Mechanical Pianos

    Speaking of pianolas, or "player" pianos, Jaquard looms, or other manifestations of computer genetic material, I once participated in one of Trimpin's installations.
    It consisted of nine computer operated toy pianos arranged in groups of three with a coin operated control panel.
    One could stuff a quarter in the slot and select one of about 44 titles most of which were by local composers who responded to a call for scores,
    One of them was my own "Slo motion number 9"
    Scoring for this ensemble was tricky because, although all 9 pianos had the same limited range, each piano needed a separate line, so some needed to be in the treble and some in the bass clef.
    I tried to include a passage in which a rapid line swirled around the room, each note on a different piano. It didn't work. It just sounded like random tinkling, which wasn't too bad an effect on it's own but didn't really fit the rest of the piece.
    Not that the music was sophisticater enough for it to make too much difference.
    Anyway, the composers got to keep the quarters (I made $10.00)*
    But it was fun for all except, perhaps, for some of the Jackstraw employees who reported that the favorite piece of the installation "Alley Cat" was overplayed and got a bit annoying.
    If you ever get a chance to experience a Trimpin computer controlled music installation, do it. One of my favorites was the water organ. A room full of water filled buckets had organ pipes lowered and raised into them causing the air to be pushed through the reeds making the sound.
    The raising and lowering was controlled by a bank of photoelectric sensors passing over a wall of CD blanks.
    A wonderfull sound not unlike being in a cathedral on some distant planet.
    You realize that we are on a distant planet?
    Way out in space?
    Don't you?

    * to the IRS; I reported it.

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    Tuesday, June 12, 2007


    Yesterday I went to a luncheon.
    Here's what the invitation card said;
    Please join us in support of
    Seattle Chamber Music society
    at a luncheon
    celebrating contemporary music and art
    featuring cellist Amos Yang
    "Seven Tunes Heard in China for Solo Cello"
    by Bright Sheng
    with brief commentary by
    young composer Jeremy Jolly

    Monday, June 11, 2007
    11:30 AM
    Howard House Gallery
    in Seattle's pioneer Square.

    The music was delightful, the food was delicious.
    I talked with interesting people.
    John Adams' sister in law.
    Former head of the University of Washington (he loves the sonority of the cello and the oboe, so do I)
    One of the subjects of conversation was toilet paper
    Made my day.
    So what was yesterday's blog all about?
    Two glasses of wine?

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    Monday, June 11, 2007


    So, I'm depressed. About the most I expected from my amateur musical "career" was a place to show my mediocre work and the Seattle Symphony stole that from me. My music will never be interesting to any significant orchestra. I am not allowed to merely have fun with it, and there's no way I can expect to be able to take myself as a "serious" composer. so what's the point.'s a funny story that I first read in Barbara Tuchman's "Proud Tower" and am again reminded of in my reading of Norman Lebrecht.
    Ricard Strauss was trying to conduct a rehearsal with a difficult singer. The singer, whose name escapes me, (Paula de Ahne, Or something similar) was being very difficult and stormed to her dressing room. Strauss followed her. Soon the other musicians heard tremendous yelling, screaming, bumping and other alarming noises from behind the closed door. They knocked and told Strauss taht if he wanted to fire her, they would be glad to support him in that action. Strauss stuck his head out of the room and informed them that "that would make me very sad, inasmuch as she has just consented to become my wife"
    Life, love, irony, violence........see what I mean about the blues?

    Another quote I found in Lebrecht's "Anecdotes";
    "Busoni would ask;
    "What's the difference between Godowsky and a pianola?
    Godowsky can play ten times as fast but the pianola has ten times as much feeling.""
    I guess you had to be there.
    I am truly sorry that this post is so lame, but I do have an excuse. I'm not sure what it is, but I'm sure I have one.


    Friday, June 08, 2007

    No, no, no

    It has to rhyme with "achin'" because of the palindromic rhyme scheme.

    Thursday, June 07, 2007


    I havn't had any suggestions for the last word in the "Grout" poem

    Solvitur Ambulando

    Solvitur Ambulando. Variously translated as; It is solved by walking, to solve a problen, walk around, many things are solved by walking, you can sort it out, you can work it out, you can find it, unknot it, free it by walking, and possibly more.
    Attributed to St. Augustine. (I've been called a saint. Also a prince, a gentleman, a scholar, and, once, even a "decent guy")
    What I'm using it here for is to complain about my sore back.
    I think that walking around is good for it. Gentle exercise. Upright posture so that there the muscles used for balance are evenly and lightly stressed. Blood circulation. Respiration.
    It is getting better although the deposits of lactose, or whatever it is that it is that causes the pain and spasms, seem to have moved to a different part of my back.
    Ain't that always the way it goes?
    O.K. I'm going to explain a joke here. The label for that last post is "latin pedalpoint". pedalpoint is a musical term for a long held note that sort of establishes a base for the music, sort of a safety net underneath it all (so the notes don't fall out, I guess)
    It comes from the organ practice of resting one's brogans on the, listen carefully here, pedals.
    Peds, pods (triPOD), bicycle operating devices, (from a word like ped from some old language or other, like greek, latin, sanskrit, or even bantu, I don't know, go look it up)
    So, anyway, I'm explaining a joke here.
    Pedalpoint here means to point your feet.
    In the direction of a problem in this case.
    Or a dilemma, {which is Greek for "two problems"} or enigma, for solviturian reasons {like a sore back or a broken heart [or a fear of the unknown]}
    It (the joke) also refers, obliquely to the address of this site (stellamartis), which is the latin nomination for the planet Mars. The Romans called it a star, probably because it looked like one. Still does, as far as I'm concerned.
    Stella means star and martis means war.
    They called it the war star because it is red
    That's their opinion, they all look the same to me (white)
    Anyway, that's why the blog is so labeled.
    You've got to watch out for stuff like that here.
    So...solvitorian ambulandoism is doing it's job on my little back annoyance, but it hasn't done much for my "music career" (another snide joke)or the the moral, psychological, legal, emotional, social, ethical, and self esteem questions raised by the Seattle Symphony/dulcimer hammering bear incident.
    I just got another invitation to attend something at B'hall. They just can't seem to let go. I guess if it means so much to them...
    It's really thier problem innit?
    I seem to have lost my train of thought. Perhaps if I walk around a bit...


    Wednesday, June 06, 2007

    Lotus eater

    The air is thick today. I walk at half speed through the wet soupy atmosphere.
    Simon and Garfunkle's 44th st bridge song (something like that) goes through my head inadvertantly. I had planned to attend the Jazz services at Plymouth church (I had a Plymouth once, a '52. I put a Desoto motor in it)but I spent so long at Caffe Ladro with my tall drip and my chocolate brownie. that I missed it. I had lunch at J.R. Sprints instead.
    Breakfast and lunch in the same hour, efficient.
    I am presently at the Library where I found three more Lebrecht books to read.
    "The book of Musical Anecdotes", "The Maestro Myth", and "Discord, conflict and the making of music"
    Discord, that rings a bell.
    Anyway, having finished the floor, I decided that careful walking would be a good thing to do for my lower back muscular spasms. Inaction seems to exacerbate the stiffness.
    Solvitur Ambulando, as a dear friend of mine (someone whom I do love deeply and profoundly)once said
    Soaking it in hot as could be stood water last night didn't hurt either.
    I had intended to accomplish many other things on my way to the library, but this turns out to be a monotasking day
    Or maybe not, days not over yet.


    Monday, June 04, 2007

    The picture

    Check out her site

  • Ann Cummings
  • Sunday, June 03, 2007

    Oh no, not again

    Yeah, so what?
    I outlined the 2nd movement of my trombone concerto this morning
    1st movement is blocked in.
    Once I get the 3rd or maybe even 4th sketched in, then comes the details.
    The details are supposed to make the difference.
    The Devil is in them.
    God is in them.
    Way too much pressure for me!
    If someone should ever happen to want to hear this stuff, I suppose I'll polish.
    Unfortunately, then one needs to create a readable score and that's just work!

    Yesterday I went to the Beacon Hill neighborhood festival to hear a friend play piano.
    You've heard of her on this site before (search "Being Ann Cummings")
    A fearless artist!
    She also wears masks that fit the theme of the piece she's playing (ooh, ooh, I have a picture. I'll post it later, cant do it from here anyway)
    The festival was held on a tennis court.
    Absolutely fearless!

    A Steinway outdoors is kind of a novel concept inasmuch as she plays classical music. Prokovief, Liszt, Rachmaninoff, Shostakovich and the like.
    The other band was keyboards, guitars, and trumpet playing a kind of mellow jazz or something.
    Fortunately, there was amplification for the piano.
    Looking at things from different angles is always informative and hearing this kind of music in casual al-fresco with screaming children, passing cars, jets overhead, etc., did offer a new perspective.
    Listening existentially rather than intellectually.
    I don't do emotiomnally (can't even spell it)
    Most of the composers were late 19th or early 20th century and some of them had to suffer "The Dictatorship of the Proletariat"
    Having thier music (and often thier person) condemned by the simple minded jerks who always seem to float to positions of power.
    (I can't seem to let this Seattle Symphony thing alone, can I?)

    Anyway, it does seem to bear out my scientific theory that intelligence has mass and therefore weight since it always seems to be so rare at the upper reaches of society and so rife here where I am. (I have another scientific theory that I may post someday)
    Everyone I know is smarter than I and everyone I hear about in the news is not.
    What else?
    O yeah, there were also several childrens acts including tumblers, acrobats, unicyclists, and double dutch jump ropers.
    The main feature of these acts seemed to be falling down.
    They were charming and a tough act to follow especially with Rachmaninov.
    There is a large Chinese population on Beacon Hill and thier children did some dancing. They're kids and anything they try is beautiful.

    Surfing around in my ennui (a little known east european 3 cylinder automobile some say is just a cheap copy of a Trabant), I found a site apparently devoted to my secondbest loved novelist, William Gaddis.
    Love his work
    He is more cynical than I (not tooo hard to do)
    He can also write novels (way toooooo hard to do)
    Well not any more, being dead and all.
    Go check some out of the library.
    Some titles are "The Recognition", "JR", "A Frolic of His Own", "Carpenter Gothic", "Agape Agape" maybe there's more, I dunno.
    I liked "JR" the best.
    The Seattle Library (yet to evict me from the premises) had a booth. the gir...person man...personing the booth handed me a card to fill out challenging me to read three, yes that's right three whole books this summer!
    If I can manage to do that, and log them in the aforementioned card, they will give me something, and I'll be entered in a drawing for a "Book Lovers" book bag.
    I don't know if I'd call it love, but I do think of them a lot and am almost always in the presence of one or more.


    Saturday, June 02, 2007

    More about Mimi

    I woke up this morning to the sound of my cat murdering a small bird in my bedroom.
    By the time I creaked out of bed (due to a very amusing bout of lower back pain achieved by the tiling, demo, and construction work I've been doing on the kitchen, I do not move fast these days), the cat and the bird had disappeared.
    At least he took it out side.
    Anyway, in order to justify the previous whining, I felt the moral imperative to provide you with some kind of post today.
    So, tying in with the stuff about La Boheme, I looked up the bacteria that causes Tuberculosis on Adopt a Microbe.
    Here's what it said.

    Hello, I'm M. tuberculosis.
    I'm called an 'acid fast' bacteria because of my waxy cell walls.
    On a special stain called a Ziehl-Neelsen stain, I look red.
    I cause tuberculosis, infecting lots of people all over the world.

    I get inhaled into your lungs and cause primary TB, which most people don't even notice.
    Your immune system keeps me dormant so I wait for years until it gets weak.
    That's when I kick in!! I give you cough, weight loss, fever, night sweats, and tiredness.
    Your lungs become like a block of cheese, full of holes.

    From there I spread to the lymph nodes and infect all over your body.
    In the spine, I'm called Pott's disease.
    In miliary TB I send tiny bits out to infect lots and lots of organs.

    Well, I guess I should be glad I don't have that!


    Friday, June 01, 2007

    Intellectual voyagers

    While editing my bookmark list, I came across a site that I almost forgot.
    It's called Crumbs of the Mind,a potpourri of intellectual fragrances.
    I linked it.
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