Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Snow pictures. Music links

Here are the pictures I promised. It turns out that my computer is just too old to work with the new Blogger.
Guess I'll have to upgrade, my old diesel powered computer just cant cut it.
Also here's links to my music again.

Nightmare Prelude mp3
Sad Song mp3
Celebration mp3

Four shots from my porch looking across Lake Washington
Two in daylight, two at night.
One shot of the house from up the street.
I didn't think that the night ones would come out.

Labels: ,

Monday, January 29, 2007

More Religious Stuff

Have you ever actually tried to turneth away wrath with a soft word.
Remember Job?
You know, don't you, that random acts of beauty are often referred to as "grafitti'?
You know, don't you, that sensless acts of kindness are often called "harassment"?
God put you in the world because he wanted you in the world and he didn't invent the escapism of religion.
The bible is a human invention. All the gospels are titled "according to "prophet so-and-so"
The second commandment of every "religion" is "don't worship idols or graven images"
that is what the bible is.
Don't come to me when you find out that you've wasted your life waiting for "heaven"
Get it while you can.
This is my first post from a computer not my own. I am at the Seattle Library, where the handrails of the escalators go faster than the steps.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Golden rule; practical matters

I just read on one of my other favorite blogs a short bit about the golden rule.
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
Don't do anything to others that you wouldn't like yourself.
If you don't like it, why should anyone else?
Think before you act.
Consider other's feelings before you act.
Look both ways before crossing the street.
Watch where you're going.
Et cetera.
We all know that. We all agree that it is a good idea.
It describes an action. Someone wants to something to someone else, this initiates an INTERaction and implies further action. Will the complex of do-unto/done-unto have a positive outcome or a negative one?
Just what is it we are trying to accomplish here any way?
Let's turn it around, someone has done unto me and I don't like it.
Is someone trying to tell me something? Does someone want me to think that what was done to me is something that should be done to that someone? If so, How do I answer?
I don't think that what was done to me was appropriate behavior at all.

So what can I do? How do I get the message across without doing something to another which I don't think should have been done to me?
Or does someone actually consider what was done is an example of decent behavior?
Is this where "turning the other cheek" comes in?
We only have four of them and after a certain point in life they are all badly bruised and we begin to cry for some tolerance, for some understanding, at least for some explanation.
We live in a world awash with mean, ugly, dishonest, reprehensible things "done unto"
others every day.
The fact that "everybody" thinks this rule is "dulce et decorem" doesn't seem to have much effect.
Further considerations;
What was done; Was it deliberate? Was it done out of spite? Was it meant to harm?
Was it accidental? Was it the result of long repressed feelings? Was it done out of momentary loss of temper, not really meant to harm?
Like most metals, gold is pretty when polished. It does not tarnish. It can be hammered into very thin sheets (gold leaf) It is also too soft to be of much structural use. Most gold is alloyed with other metals to strengthen it.
Like it's namesake metal, the rule seems to glow with wisdom, but how do you make it work? What alloys do you add? Who can afford it? How much abuse is one expected to tolerate?
How much "I was abused as a child" must we absorb before we cry "but you are not a child now!"
I personally was not abused as a child. I still hold the (naive?) belief that, no matter what our differences (or similarities, they can be just as divisive), we can all find devices, mechanisms, or contracts that make possible a world in which we all live in harmony.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Inside the music; Being Ann Cummings

In the movie "Being John Malkovich" one enters a small square tunnel and ends up in JM's head.
In Ann Cummings' latest performance-installation, one enters a box Approx 7'x7' and ends up in Ann's mind.
The box is in a large similarly shaped box, a warehouse like building.
Inside the smaller box Ann has placed several artworks, drawings and paintings.
The art itself is not profound, ranging from simple geometrical patterns through daubed paintings to some sophisticated portraits of her own hands.
When the lights are turned off, one enters the box and examines the art with a flashlight as a 20 minute program of music plays.
The overall theme of the piece is dichotomy, ways in which opposite seeming concepts are connected; light-dark, up-down, order-chaos, etc.
The music consists of two pieces by local composers which either illuminate the art or add to the confusion, another dichotomy.
The first image is a wall sized diptych of the pathways of the optic nerves from the eyes to the back of the brain. The left eye's nerves connect to the right side of the brain and vice-versa. Leftbrain-Rightbrain.
The drawing that inspired this blog was a portrait of the artist holding a camera. It was titled Me-You. Or, was it a mirror? Was it me BEING You? Is this what it is like to BE Ann Cummings?
At least I wasn't dropped from a dangerous height along the New Jersey freeway.
The genesis of the piece is/are the two short sentances; "Is doubt an honest question" and "Doubt is an honest question"
Neither one of these sentances parse as proper english to me.
However this enigmatical juxtaposition opens the door to the rest of the piece.
One is allowed-encouraged to buy the art, which will-wont be used in a future showing
if you want-don't want.
This is the second year for this annual project.
For more information;
Inside the Music

The music for "Is Doubt" is by Christopher DeLaurenti

The music for "Doubt is" is by Tom Baker
Tom Baker

From what I can tell, being Ann Cummings is a good thing.

Tonight, Saturday Jan 20 8;00 PM is the end of this year's run.

P.S. Mr. deLaurenti's piece was based on Ravel's "Bolero", a piece about which even Ravel had his doubts.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Hey Mr IlkkaTalvi!

I just read your blog about the inventor of lighter-than-airships. there have been many studies of the Hindenberg disaster. KCTS has run one. It seems that the fire was caused by static electricity and the culprit fuel was the aluminum based paint. The hydrogen burned, of course, but it was the paint that caused the red flames and the smoke. Hydrogen has a colorless flame as it's only product of combustion is water vapor.

Aspice Quod Felis Attraxit

That's the name of the composition I wrote.
It was my first public performance.
I have linked an mp3 of it.
Aspice mp3
And some others.
Nightmare Prelude mp3
Sad Song mp3
Celebration mp3

Check it out at my profile.
It is a set of piano variations as sung by a choir of cats. Amazingly enough, all parts are sung by the same cat! Her name was Heller. She sang under various pseudonyms, Felinious Monk, Catgang Mozart, Bela Barcat, and Pawpaw Haydn.
She is now deceased.
The music is based on a theme of Darius Meow. Catalog is Garfield listing 9L. The choir is the usual SATB; Siamese, Alley, Tabby, and Bengal. The Bengal voice is especially entertaining. The Siamese voice is so virtuosoistical you will be tempted to think it is a mouse, but it's not.
Actually, getting this voice requires a surgical process that has become obsolete for humans, but is actually recommended by the animal control people for your pets.
Heller is not the cat in the drainpipe drama, that one is Polalie. Polalie is as recovered he can be and is doing well enough.

The pictures for the snow blog can be found at;
My Space

I'll link more of my music as soon as I figure out how. It's not all silly cat singing.

Labels: ,

Monday, January 15, 2007

A Story

Once there was a little girl. A very beautiful little girl. She went walking in the forest. It was a beautiful day. The trees were bright and the sun was green and the flowers smiled ar her as she walked by. She was very happy and didn't have a care in the world.
Pretty soon she met a little boy, a very handsome little boy. He told her she was very beautiful and asked to walk with her. He told her he knew of a place where there was a big lake and a waterfall and that the fish all had peoples heads and sang the prettiest songs.
The girl thought this all sounded very nice and decided to walk with him.
But soon, as they were walking, the boy began to walk too fast and ther girl couldn't keep up. But, when she asked the boy to slow down, he just laughed at her and said, "What's the matter with you, that you can't keep up?"
Now our dear little girl had never thought that there was any thing wrong with her but she didn't want the boy to get angry with her so she walked a little faster.
Soon she was walking faster than the boy.
"That will show him there's nothing wrong with me" she thought.
But, thr boy just said "Now you're going too fast, can't you do anything right, are you stupid?"
The poor girl had never thought of herself as stupid, but she began to get confused. Maybe she didn't know how to walk right. Maybe she was stupid
She began to cry.
This just made the handsome little boy angry. "Why don't you be quiet?" he said. Why do girls have to cry about everything. You are going to spoil everything. Don't you want to see the lake and the waterfall and the singing fish?"
Well, of course she wanted to see all those wonderful things, so she just went along with the handsome boy and kept quiet (he WAS very handsome and had a beautiful voice)
She tried her best to keep up with him, but he kept changing pace so that she couldn't keep up.

After a long, long while, they finally came to a pond, it wasn't a lake, there was no waterfall, and there were no singing fish.
"Here we are" said the handsome boy, as he pointed to the pond.
"But" the girl said, "where is the waterfall, where are the fish?"
"I never said there was a waterfall" the boy yelled at her "and the fish probably ran away because you are so ugly"
When she heard this, the girl began to cry.
"I'm not ugly" she said.
"You are too" the boy yelled "you are stupid and ugly and you are a liar" then he pushed her into the pond where she got all wet and covered with mud.
But the handsome boy...You know? I don't want to call him handsome any more. He may be good looking and have a nice clothes and a sweet voice and everything, but I'm beginning to think that kind of ugly inside, but perhaps I shouldn't judge.
Anyway, when the boy saw our poor girl all covered with mud and dripping wet, he began to laugh at her and thet made her cry even more.
Just then the boy spied a small cabin at the edge of the pond and that gave him another ugly idea.
"Oh,come on" he said to the wet girl "can't you take a joke? Here, I'll help you out of the water" and he offered her his hand and pulled her out of the water.
"You really look funny all wet and muddy, it's very funny" He laughed so much that the girl started to laugh too, but just a little bit.
"Let me take you to that cabin, you can get dry and maybe there's some food we can eat. So he took her by the arm and led her to the cabin, but, as soon as they got there, he pushed her inside and slammed the door and locked it. He began to laugh and laugh. "So long, stupid ugly muddy funny girl, this is where you belong, locked up, because you are no good"
The girl listened to his laughter as he walked away and soon she was all alone.
She began to get frightened.
She tried to open the door but the lock was too strong.
she tried to climb out of the window but the window was too small.
All she could do was look out at the window at the pond, so she just sat and tried to think of a way to get out. It seemed impossible and all she could do was cry.
"Maybe I am stupid" she thought "maybe I am ugly. I certainly am wet and muddy, so maybe the other things are true too. Maybe I deserve to be locked up. Maybe I am no good."
(I'm feeling sad too. This poor lovely girl certainly doesn't deserve to be locked up crying in the dark. I hope she finds a way to be beautiful and smart again, not to mention dry and clean.)
Well, after a cold and scary night, the sun came up and the girl looked out of the little window and she began to cry again.
"No" she said to herself "I musn't cry. At least I have the pond to look at and the pretty trees, maybe that's all I deserve. I will just stay here and do the best I can." But she was still lonely and afraid and she began to cry very softly to herself.

An indeterminate amount of time had passed (she had no watch) when another boy came tripping (literally) along the path that led to the pond. This little boy wasn't handsome, but he wasn't ugly, either. He was just a nice decent little boy.
There was nothing wrong with him except for a few bruises on his arms and legs and on his head because he was a little bit clumsy. Tripping along usually means a kind of happy, carefree walking, but with him, it meant a lot of happy, carefree falling down, which was the first thing he did when he saw the pond and the cabin. "Gosh" he said to himself "at least I didn't hurt myself this time." As he picked himself up was brushing off the leaves and twigs from his clothes, he thought he heard someone sobbing and it sounded so sad and lonely that it made him sad and lonely too.
So he went toward the sobbing and, sure enough, it was coming from the cabin. He went to the window and looked in. He saw the girl sitting on the floor all covered with dried up mud, but he could see that she was still a very lovely little girl.
"Hello" he said to her "why are you sitting all alone in there when it's such a nice day out here?"
"Go away" she said "I'm ugly and stupid and no good and I am supposed to be locked up in here."
"Oh" the boy said "if it'a supposed to be that way, I guess I'd better go away." and he started to walk on.
But then he heard her crying again and it sounded so sad and lonely that he couldn't leave her there so he turned back to the cabin and, as he did so, he tripped on a branch and fell down again. He picked himself up and want to the cabin door and said "I don't care if it's supposed to be, I'm going to let you out" But when he unlocked the door and tried to push it open, the girl shouted "NO" and pushed it closed again.
"Dear little girl" he said "I have unlocked the door and I will go away, but I still think you are too nice not to come out into this sunny day."
So the boy walked away.
But, when he was on the other side of the pond, he stopped where he could still see the cabin and he sat down and watched.
After what seemed like a very long time, he saw the door open a little bit. A little while after that, the girls head appeared in the doorway.
Well, our boy was a bit clumsy in other ways too, and as soon as he saw the girl's head, he jumped up and ran toward the cabin and shouted "Come out, it's a beautiful day."
But the girl didn't come out. No, she slammed the door and want back in. The boy, realizing that he had made a mistake, promptly tripped on a rock and fell down. "No harm done" he said to himself "at least the door is still unlocked." He did feel foolish, however.
He went back to his watchpost and waited.
After another long time, he saw the door open again. This time, he stayed quiet.
Soon the girl looked out again.
The boy stayed where he was.
After a while the girl stood in the doorway.
The boy stood up so the girl could see him.
The girl stopped and looked at the boy.
The boy smiled.
The girl looked back over her shoulder into the cabin.
The boy stayed where he was.
The girl took a step outside.
The boy took a step toward the girl.
Then they each took another.
Soon they were facing each other across the pond.
"Dear pretty girl" the boy said "don't be afraid of me, I will be your friend."
He reached out his hand and took a step toward the girl, tripped on a stone and fell right into the water. This frightened the girl and she turned back toward the cabin,
But the boy said "don't go, look, I'm a fish." and he began swimming around and spurting water out of his mouth.
The girl started to laugh, but then she remembered what it felt like to be laughed at and that made her start to cry.
"Don't cry, sweet girl" said the boy "I'll sing you a song" and he started to sing. Well, to be perfectly frank, he wasn't a very good singer, but that didn't matter because he looked so funny that the girl couldn't help but laugh, Then she offered her hand and helped him out of the water and they became friends.

Stories used to have morals and I think this one should too.
Life is not always fair or pleasant, but with a little bit of courage and patience, it can be worth the trouble.

Copyright 2007 Doug Palmer


Sunday, January 14, 2007

Complaint, apology

I can't load pictures because the upload button on the upload picture page doesn't load. I know I promised pictures but It's NOT MY FAULT.
I know how to get around the log in button not working, but not this, so I guess there's no more pictures.


Thursday, January 11, 2007

Scrunchy, Smunchy Snow

Wow! Four inches of snow fell here last night. I've got some pictures.
I've been doing a lot of walking in it.
I missed one event because of it, but found another at the bottom of the hill where we live, trying to help people get their cars going straight,but basically to no avail.
As Ken Kesey once said, your car either goes up the hill or it stays down the hill.
This afternoon's walk showed all last night's stalled cars gone but some new ones sitting crosswise in the road. Kind of reminded me of my Alaska Army days.
Anyway, last nights walk was fun, listening to the different kind of crunching sounds footsteps make depending whether I was on the new fallen untrodden upon stuff or on the broken up ice bits.
The shadows of the falling flakes under the street lights made the surface of the snow look like they were teeming with crazed insects.
I love walking in the cold air and looking at the white blanket that covers all.
The snow on the trees creates a lacy fringe framing the lake and the sight of Mercer Island on the other side.

Also,it's nice and quiet, which is a blessing, living just above a main arterial and in between two airports.
The wind has been doing it's duty too, our two wind chimes are getting a nice workout
I recorded them for some reason.
I took pictures too, I'll post them one of these days.
For some reason, I don't have the desire for the usual snow related violence this time, no snowballs, just walking and breathing in the refreshing air.

Luckily for you, I got no poetic, philosopical, or psychological inspirations from the experience.

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

You're it

Jeremy Denk got "tagged"
The challenge is this, grab the nearest book,go to page 123, 5th sentance print out the next three sentances then name the book and author and send it to 3 others
O.K. here we go,

1; On the CREATE menu, go into the Grace-note menu and click Acciaccatura or Apoggiatura
(or type the shortcuts . or /, which depict a tiny notehead and a line through the stem respectivley)
2; Click where the grace note is to go
3; The grace note will appear as an eighth note (quaver).
Page 123, sentance 5 of my Sibelius user guide; Ben Finn.

I'm not going to bother other people with that. I feel silly enough as it is.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Gershwin and Gershwin. Nothing about the Seattle Symphony

Trashing out my abandoned rental house
I managed to salvage a record of Gershwin hit songs.

One in particular affected me

I have decided to take out the lyrics to this song because I am afraid of lawyers.
Besides Ira was a much better writer than I
It's a song about lonliness or fear of abandonment
The singer ask to be remembered even though separated, either by physical distance or emotional distance

Memory has an odd effect on old people like me
When I hear this song I do remember, must be hundreds of people I've known, many more who I would have liked to have known.
Some are gone
My family, for instance, except for my sister, her lovable husband, her two sons and the one's wife and daughter, are all gone.
O.K. there is an ex-wife (still friends, she sometimes reads my blogs) and an ex husband in the mix.
Makes friends all the more valuable.
I can remember lots of them.
They seem to come and go
Some stay longer and some never get to be known at all.
Some, there must be millions, are just latent, theoretical friends,
strangers I havn't met yet.
But that's not memory.
I guess that the song is more about a specific kind of lonliness, a romantic desire for the feeling of human contact without the awkwardness, discomfort, or commitment of the face to face.
An unfulfillable yearning.
But, the face to face, even with with it's dangers, is still where the real rewards are to be found.
Still, It is reassuring to think of someone off at a distance somewhere, remembering me, as I remember that someone, those someones, all the cats I've known before.
I guess the only thing funny about this post is the turgid prose.
Contrast and compare, Gershwin and Palmer.
I will now stray off.
Do please remember me.


Friends, a caveat

I read in the Seattle Weekly today that all the Seattle Symphony brouhaha is still going on.
There is much ado about those who are "friends" of the company.
I remember when Ilkka Talvi was a "friend"
I remember when Paul Meecham was a "friend"
I remember when I was a "friend", basking in the praise.
I would advise the Symphoney's "friends to make sure that thier rear view mirrors are clean and properly adjusted, because the Seattle Symphony has an odd way of rewarding thier "friends"
SSO has no concertmaster, and no executive director, do you think they actually intend to be loyal to you?


Tuesday, January 02, 2007

New Year

And a happy 2007 to you all!
Time for resolutions again. I'm going to try a new approach this year.
I resolve to be a complete loser and fail at every thing I try.
Couldn't be much worse.
Actually I haven't ever had much luck trying to accomplish things. My usual strategy is to just do stuff without any specific goal and see what happens.
It seems to me that any attempt to plan or accomplish stuff just confuses the matter, like struggling in quicksand.
It's the emotional involvement of taking things "seriously" that causes the problems, I guess.
But, I did have luck with my music last year, two performances, so who knows?
I am going to keep working on my concerto project (all the usual instruments of the orchestra from flute on down) I am presently at trumpet and a little bit leery of competing with Sam Jones' fine tuba concerto.
Actually This project started two(?) years ago or so. Several people liked the flute one, one of the people died shortly thereafter, and one person filed a harassment complaint because of it. I still think of it as a bad luck work.
Go figure.
It was partially based on that tripartite stone artwork in Myrtle Edwards park.
It has three movements, called, Cleft, Schizm, and Chasm. It's about the process of withdrawal into one's imagination as a response to social rejection.
Or some damn thing.
The first composition I ever presented was a set of variations on an origional theme that I recorded with a patch of my cat's voice (Heller, now deceased)
It was funny, and several people since then have requested copies.
Today, I finally managed to upload the mp3 on my Society of composers site.(
If I ever figure out how to link it, I'll let you know.

I failed at my goal of getting 1000 on my counter last year. Alas!

Labels: , , ,

Web Counter
My worth as a human being