Thursday, October 29, 2009

Went and got a flu shot Monday, or Tuesday.
Had some strange reactions.
First of all, I'm running a bit of a fever and my left arm fell off temporarily.
But the funniest thing was that my eyes sucked back into my head and switched sides so now my right eye is hooked up to the right side of my brain and my left eye is hooked up to the left side of my brain.
This sort of thing can give one a whole new outlook on life.

Today I took the video file of the salon performance to GT recording to get it processed onto a DVD.

I had to take David's recording because, once again, my recorder failed to bring home the file I know was on it when I left the show.
That's three times the little bugger has let me down.
400 bucks worth of fancy-schmancy equipment and it never works when I want to record something important.
It worked here, I recorded some trash noises, wind, rain, chainsaws and the like.
I combined tracks, I let it sit around for months and when I went to transfer it to my computer, it was there and worked fine.
But whenever I have something on it that means something, something that is the reason I bought it, it disappears on the way home.

It's a Fostex MR-8. I know people who have the same equipment. It works for them.
The "Sad Song" is recorded on that very type of machine.

But it don't work for me.

If it wasn't the story of my life, I'd get pissed.
Maybe I am.
But as it is I'm always pissed anyway so am unlikely to ever notice the difference.

Yesterday after lunch at Queen Anne, I ran into a couple of old friends on the street and had a nice conversation ("nice" meaning it was mostly about me and my pathetic triumphs).
Managed to get rid of a couple of CDs of my works in progress.
Still have a couple hundred left.

Should probably toss 'em.

Then I went to the local book store and bought Sherman Alexi's "War Dances"

The Sam Jones score showed up.

Ophelia is still in her nunnery.

Anyway, I don't feel much like blogging today, I'm still trying to get used to the eye thing.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Music, Maestro

Been talking about Sam Jones' tuba concerto so I ordered a CD. It arrived yesterday and I listened to it so I could get a direct comparison between this work and my bass concerto.
Hoping to get some kind of insight into the reason why some composers seem to be successful and some may or may not be "discovered" long after they have "shuffled off to Buffalo" so to speak, and are not capable any more of acknowledging the plaudits of an admiring audience with a shy and humble demeanor and an embarrassed, winsome grin.


The sound coming from my computer is a drum machine powered collection of digitally generated beeps and borts.

Whereas the other is professionally recorded sounds from a collection of world class musicians led by a conductor with a furrowed brow and a slightly bemused and worried look on his face as if he were wondering whether he should go back and see if the pedestrian he might have hit is all right.

So I have learned not much.

But if I extrapolate, and contemplate the difference between the works of mine that I have heard live and their cyber-counterparts and export that difference to the works that I haven't I might be able to take a guess as to the real performance value of the gibbous junk I write.

Side note to anyone I have met in person, I think in sentences like the immediate preceding.
Which is why I make so little sense when I talk.
And why I try to pretend that I am trying to be funny.

It's all really kind of pathetic.

I mean "gibbous" refers to a phase of the moon.
I can't imagine what it has to do with musical architecture.
I suppose I could go look up which phase of the moon.
Maybe it is a clever and insightful adjective or metaphor or something.

BUT redux

I am unlikely to ever know until my mortal coil has been unwound and that will be too late.

In the meantime I can luxuriate in the realities of my mortality.
I gotta roof
I get to eat
I have met a handful of truly worthy fellow travelers who make it all worthwhile.
Especially against the negative image of the pullulating mass of mindless proofs that Darwin's theories do not apply to all who walk upright and wear clothes.

I would like to add here that they know who they are, but they don't, do they?

BUT again

I have found that a nice back beat boogie bottom is a crowd pleaser.


No, I'm not fooling, go push the "become a fan button" next to my head on the widget

But Wait there's more

I also ordered the score, so, theoretically, I could punch it into my computer and measure that difference also.
Gotta keep up with the competition.

Thursday, October 22, 2009


Wow, 64 widget hits! Should'a tried this 'long time ago.

The "Sad Song" is the favorite.
Originally it was a piece for accordion.
I've never heard that version.
If there's an accordionist out there who could use a tiny recording gig, lemme know.

Watch (and listened to, of course) to the premier of the Gustavo Dudamel version of the Los Angeles orchestra on Public telly last night.

Great show.

The Mahler warhorse first symphony was vital and energetic, truly a portrait of the victory of the soul.

Or something.

Argued with M. about the theme of the second mvt.
I say Frere Jaques, she says Three blind Mice.

The premier of the John Adams' new piece "L.A. Noir" (sic) left me wishing that big shot orchestrae would play more Zappa.

It seems that for the last fifty years or so the work of the composer has been to take the music out of music.

Maybe it's a sucker's game, but I want to put it back in!

Wish I had the necessary talent and skills.

I intend to persevere nontheless.

If my strength is incompetence, I'll just have to go with it.

Now for a completely different P.S.

Writing a 5 minute presto for full orchestra is a lot of work,
Especially when it's to accompany a solo string bass.

A lot of notes need to be "aligned"

I'm going to go do that now.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


Even if you don't have earphones, you can still push the "Become a fan button"

It's just to the right of my face on the widget.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Ah, so that's what a widget is

Notice the new addition.
Play my music right from here.
No need to chase after a link.

Intricate tapestry

Soooo....I was right about being wrong about Shostakovich.
On second hearing the fifth symphony lit up in all it's fall and winter colors.
An intricate tapestry, a millefiori window into the psyche of the repressed Stalin era musical genius.
A portrait as complex as James Joyce's portrayal of L. or M. Bloom
But without the lilting and insouciant Irish humor.
Each of the four movements a virtual symphony of it's own.

So there you have it, first impressions are not to be trusted.

Same thing happened to me with Sam Jones' tuba concerto.
Second hearing even with the harassment from SSO thugs was a revelation.

Comparisons may or may not be odious, but they are a very good way to define and understand.

F'r instance, after the concert yesterday, Keth and I went to Maya's for take out and on the trip back the anticipatory opening punches of Beethoven's seventh symphony leaked out of the Prius's speakers.
Listening to that during the consumption of my arroz con pollo seemed to shed some new light on both the B'oven and the D-Shosh.

One cannot truly know God until one becomes an atheist.

It's a negative space thing.

Artists understand.

Meredith is once again doing important work for the Dow Constantine campaign.

  • Dow Constantine

  • and is gone for the day.
    So I can make noise trying to learn to play my clarinet.
    Maybe I should try out my flute too...and the oboe.

    Ooh! Ooh! The bassoon, M don't like my bassoon, doesn't think it a wise purchase.

    ...all the string instruments...the t-bone and the trumpets.

    Yaaah! I'm goin' back to bed.

    I'll just get back to the computer and work on the bass concerto.

    I could try out some of the parts on my bass, I suppose...are the double stops playable?

    I wonder what's on the T.V.?

    Anyway, here's a pint to yer health.

    And to Ophelia, where(or who or what)ever she may be.

    And stain for the mandora.

    What has Ophelia done for me lately?

    Sunday, October 18, 2009

    Rain, Rainier, Rainiest

    Driving on through the pouring rain, I dropped M off at her brother's house so she could aid and abet the inventorying of a relative's house relative to an age related change of said aunt's domicile.
    I proceeded on through the drearying downpour to the Greenwood library to the fifth birthday party of Ruby (of whom I have spoken in previous posts) and friends
    There was a piñata, a tough, fibrous piñata that resisted efforts to disgorge it's contents.

    After many futile blows it was finally torn to shreds by the mommy of the group.

    Later on that excessively hydrous day we sloshed on down to Renton for the opening concert of the Rainier Symphony.
    They played Stravinsky's 1919 "Firebird suite", charming and mysterious music
    Well played.

    After a short intermission during which I once again failed to win the drawing, Shostakovich's 5th symphony popped up.

    His 5th is something that Dmitri had to write to get back into the good graces of uncle Joe Stalin.
    Not that those graces were all that great.
    But they were better than the alternative.
    Communism is not graceful at it's best.
    And ol' Joe wasn't even that.

    Thank God politics plays no part in the music scene here in the Good Ol', eh?

    Personally I think that one of the first two movements could be cut out completely.
    They both seemed stretched and a bit lethargic.
    And, once again my own personal, Moderato, Allegerto, Largo, and Allegro basically adds up to slow and slower.
    I like some presto, some prestissimo.

    In the words of my composition God, P.D. Q. Bach,
    "Fast is good, loud is better, fast and loud is best".

    I spent the first two movements in composer mode, editing and making cuts as it strolled along.

    Later, when it got big and noisy, I actually listened to the music.
    So, now, I'm not so sure about the first part.

    Also, since almost all the music I listen to anymore is my own while writing, I am probably becoming lost in my own world of fantasy about of what real music is.

    And, as I have learned from the forty grit sandpaper of experience, what goes on in my head is best left in my head.

    Vote no on Susan Hutchinson.
    She's not the one who tossed me out of SSO's headquarters but she associates with them and she's a girl and that's enough for me.

    Besides, M is working for Bob.

    So at last we come to the end of this dead end street where the drain has once again filled itself sick with the effluvia of nature and regurgitates the slimy, soiled water is is supposed to pass.

    The cadre of hard working city employees who are in charge of these things are on their way with a cure for what ails and perhaps an inoculation to prevent further infections, although I imagine they have more important things on their mind at the moment.

    Other drains.

    After all, it does rain on the just and the unjust alike.

    Our basement floor is all wet.

    The sun is brightening my window as we speak and I am contemplating a trip to Tukwila where the aforementioned
    Rainier Symphony
    will be repeating last night's show.

    I'll give Shosty another shot at comprehension. Perhaps I shall learn something.

    I have a lot to.

    Friday, October 16, 2009

    Mandora project

    The mandora project has been idle for a month or so while I obsessed over the design of the bridge.
    You can see by this picture how complicated the thing is.

    Two hunks of wood and a section of fret wire.

    Anyway, this is what it looks like "in the white" before the staining and varnishing.

    I will obsess over that for awhile too.

    Loads of rain falling right at the moment.
    A peek out the window shows a drain reasonably free from impediment, so I've no need to remove my fur lined slippers and don shoes or boots that require tedious lacing.
    Thank God for that little blessing, eh?

    It seems to me that several mildly interesting things have happened in the last few days, but for the life of me I can't remember any.
    Well, I did order some recording equipment online.
    Since my digital recorder finally worked, I decided to buy another microphone.
    Stereo device should have two.
    So, thanks to a special 3fer, I now have four!
    Also because the two violin concerto performance got recorded short 'cause of the flash card being only 128mb, I bought a 1gb card.
    Lotta trouble for a performance a year.
    But, I may actually get on with some of the home recording projects that constantly pop up in my head about every twenty two seconds or so.

    The Bass Concerto is actually turning out rather well.
    I'm getting some nice lyrical lines and some full bodied beauty out of the instrument.
    To be more precise, the computer's version of that instrument.

    The real thing certainly ought to sound better than that!

    As should the orchestra.

    As so should I

    And in a greater sense, so should we all.

    As so should Miss Ophelia, wherever she may be.

    Tuesday, October 13, 2009


    Found a few new links you might be interested in;

    "Being Miss" A blog by an English English teacher, author and humorist.

    "Good Noise" a (mostly) musical site.


    "Odd Instruments"

    My favorite on Odd Instruments is "Score for hole in the ground".

    Links are over there to your right under "Blog party revelers"

    Sunday, October 11, 2009


    We had tickets for a Philharmonia Northwest concert today, but I wasted the day obsessing about computer games, silly blog posts, and an argument on Facebook about racism in the good 'ol U.S.A.

    As in all arguments, I am left with absolutely no idea of what the point might have been.

    So that, at least, was worthwhile.

    But I missed the concert.

    So, tough!


    Lookin' out my back door

    Eagles in our tree.

    They make a lot of noise and they fish illegally.

    They are homeless bums.

    Something should be done.

    They don't pay rent.

    I wonder if these two gangster hooligans are the ones who ate our cat.

    Friday, October 09, 2009

    Peace prize

    This is the blog for today.
    I have nothing to say.

    I'm not interested in

    Language is the way people talk.

    Writing it down

    Who cares

    "Classical" whatever


    Wednesday, October 07, 2009

    Dogfight in the moonlight

    View from the dinner table

    A few minutes later two ufos got into a dogfight over the lake.
    I managed to get a good picture, but when I went to load it on the site, it had mysteriously disappeared.

    I'm going to school today to continue work on the bass concerto, which is starting to turn into a reasonable piece of music.
    However I'm still hoping to finish this whole concerto project and move on to...


    Whatever... more symphonies perhaps.

    Trying to avoid writing a piano concerto.

    Or percussion.

    Although now that I mention it, a piano concerto sounds like an interesting project.

    A lot of things sound like that.

    Anyway the season is starting for our favorite orchestras, the Rainier and Philharmonia Northwest.

    I've been promising myself that I would submit scores to them, and others for years but I still have trouble taking myself seriously as a musician due to my abject inability to play an instrument, read music, dance or sing.

    At least it's not illegal yet.

    Of course it doesn't need to be illegal for THEM to do it to ME

    C'est la vie.

    Quod fiat, fiat.

    And quod prius, prius.

    So long neighbors and friends.

    And so long to Ophelia, wherever you may be.

    Tuesday, October 06, 2009


    Teenage gang violence.
    Tragic drug related death.
    Violence in the streets.
    Shady enabling behavior from the church.
    Pretty much what you get from the daily paper.

    All acted out in mime and dance.

    Romeo and Juliet.

    The Prokofiev one, not Tchaikovsky.

    The one we saw last Fri eve.
    It was O.K. but there was too much mime and gesture.
    I actually prefer the classical style where you don't know what the heck is going on and can concentrate on the dancing.

    We've got another ballet to go to soon in Bothell.
    The Nutcracker.
    We've seen the PNB one a few times.

    Saturday I was awaken early to go to Issaquah for the Salmon Festival.
    The Salmon Festival is the local celebration of the aforementioned fish returning to the headwaters.
    Meredith was there to help promote a candidate for King county assessor's office
    Bob Rosenberger.

    She is also working for Dow Constantine, who is running for something else.

    Is was fun, saw a parade for the first time in many many years.
    Lot's of cute school kids playing their music and doing their acrobatics and their dancing.

    Book group meeting on Sunday.
    We discussed Harper Lee's "To Kill a Mockingbird" and related subjects.

    Then, all of a sudden, it was now.

    Friday, October 02, 2009

    Rain, Drain, Ballet

    PNB Ballet tonight.
    Meredith is treating a sister in law to Chike's Romi & Julie tonight.
    I'm going along for the yuks.
    Great music, Pete's

    Thundering downpour a little while ago.
    The drain at the end of the street gets clogged with arboreal detritus, so
    I had to go out and shovel it out so the dihydrogenated oxygen could continue its quest for it's own level.

    Which is all one can ask of it, I guess.

    Now the sun is out and now the clouds cover and now the rain drives like Stirling Moss in a 300SLR doing centi at the Mille and now it just sits there for awhile and now the sun is back for half a 'sec and is gone again like Tara and then there was rain and then...and then
    Along came Jones.

    And there goes Lane
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