Thursday, January 31, 2008

By any other name

The anonymous commenter on Classical Seattle used the phrase "Seattle Symphony sucks"
This puts to mind an anonymous Seattle Stranger comment from abt. 2 years ago that was titled "Our Sucky Conductor"

I wonder if it's the same member of our underground resistance cameradie?

Would be interesting if it was, e-mail me, mon ami.

.......................................................L'ane Savant

Arrevederci Roman

Josh Roman has decided to quit the SSO for a solo career.
Good luck to him.
Read his goodbye letter on Classical Seattle.
There was one comment;

Anonymous said...

He's leaving because it sucks at the Seattle Symphony.
I think he is right to focus on the advancement of his craft because the Symphony is obviously not interested in advancement of its craft.
Bravo star on the rise.

I am not that Anonymous....

I remember predicting this somewhere based on his performance at town hall.
Maybe in my dreams (see previous post)

So, anyway, I'm off for my usual Thursday peregrinations. See ya later

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Donax, dont tell

Like the partial vacuum that follows a blast of pressure down an exhaust pipe when the valve of an internal combustion engine snaps shut or the reed of an oboe closes, I find myself at a bit of a loss since last Friday.
I seem emotionally and psychologically depleted.
I've even seem to be sleeping nights.
Something must be done.

What good is a nights sleep to an artist?

The whole point to creation is to capture the odd connections and permutations that the subconscious sends us in our dreams.
Most of which are unfathomable.
Almost all of which are unsaleable.
Maybe not all but close enough to all are embarrassing.

Ah, but the pulse will soon reach the end of the tube and a fresh breeze will soon be traveling my way, popping back up to open the valve, to part the Arundonian lips of the reed to reiterate the whole process once again.

Yes, I know reiterate once again is redundant, but, in a greater sense, aren't we all?
In a completely different greater sense, though, the redundancy is purely literary. Reiterations can happen again and again and again.
Four hundred and forty times a second just to get the band tuned up.

Speaking of embarrassment I'm working on a concerto for wooden train whistle and strings right hand (no fingerboard work, just bowing)
The Whistle has four notes at thirds B,D,F,A (treble clef)
The violin has four; G,D,A,E (treble clef)
The Cello has four; C,G,D,A (bass clef)
I've written four "movements" so far, and, guess what?, the whole thing is a bit monotonous.

I erased the first accidentally.

Or was it a "Freudian slip"?


Monday, January 28, 2008

Tatto liberamente da ridere

Pagliacci was terrific! On the edge of the seat thrilling. The "dream sequence" segue to the second act added another dimension to the psychological impact.
Bravo Seattle Opera and Speight Jenkins.

In a somewhat related story;

According to the P.I. 30 members of the Symphony showed up in court to support Peter Kaman in his recently tossed out lawsuit.

The court has found an excuse to once again support big money against mere civility.

Apparently, if the harassment has eased up in the past few years, there is no legal recourse.
The Green River killer could have used a defense like that.

Thirty first violins show up as proof of the hostile work environment at the SSO

The infamous survey that needed to be legally suppressed.

My spies in the house report many complaints by musicians who are afraid to be quoted.
Roger Downey also mentioned to me two years ago that many musicians are afraid to speak out.

My own amusingly recondite expulsion from the SSO, Benaroya Hall and even the streets around that debased spot of real estate.

Sounds real healthy, doesn't it?

And according to Times, Gerry says this all adds up to a healthy and productive work environment.

So here we are;
Speight Jenkins treats his people like human beings and
The Seattle opera is a world class operation, a destination show.

Gerard Schwarz treats the same people like cattle and the SSO is a third rate band
in a town known for its intellectual and artistic vigor.

I believe I sense a subtle pattern.

Who is the madman with the knife in this picture?


Saturday, January 26, 2008

Thursdays blog is a tardy child

What's there to say about Thursday that you haven't heard before?
Bus, Ladro, library, no show at city hall. Seattle Central, David Mesler, the violin concerto, et al

Friday, however, ah yes Friday.
Bus, Ladro (croissant instead of peanut butter cookie) city hall for the lunch time concert.

A few of the inmates of the Gulag Arpeggio managed to climb over the fence and escape the frigid atmosphere of the moral vacuum at Second and University to play an hour of Mozart for the huddled masses.

It was good to hear Little Joe's very first symphony, written when he was eight, and be able to compare it with his penultimate, the fortieth.
Some consider comparisons odious, but I find them to be revealing. Hearing the first symphony by itself, one is likely to merely enjoy it more or less unquestioningly.
Same with the fortieth.
Together, however they demonstrate the meaning of words like depth, sophistication,
and a lot of other words I can't seem to come up with right at the moment.

Also, they played the third violin concerto with Quinton Morris.

I probably shouldn't (why is there an "L" in shouldn't) have to mention this, but they opened with Eine kleine Nachtmusik.

Of course they did.

E.K.N has the artistic staying power of a sunrise.

Then I went home fooled around a bit on my next concerto for wooden train whistle and strings right hand.

Then went to the salon, where Matthew Weiss and Alan Sharp did a superb job playing my violin duet. "Far.Cry.Blue."
Even listening as critically and as sensitively as I could, anticipating disaster at every moment, I enjoyed it both as composer and as audience.

I screwed up my intro joke, another missed opportunity to start a career as stand up comic.
Here it is.

You can view "America's music" as Dvorak copied out by Nadia Boulanger students.
Or you can say it's Steven Foster to slave chant to blues to jazz to Rock.
The latter of which actually makes money (not always for the right people)
I believe I have achieved a synthesis in this piece inasmuch as it is American music
and it is unlikely to make any money.

I actually got a few knowing chuckles out of it.

Tom has promised a recording which I will post asap.

Tonight it's Pagliacci


Monday, January 21, 2008

Speaking of laws that actually work

The big time offenders

Hint to the mayor and the police;
I've seen many children in the lobby of the Seattle Symphony, where alcoholic beverages are served.
I've never been carded nor have I ever seen anyone else carded.
Don't be afraid to "do your duty" as Brigham Young once said.
Now that I think about it, liquor control violations aside, surely that noise they pump out to the street is a noise control violation.
Do they Have a busking license?

Do we have laws around here, or does social position conquer all?

Note to whoever or whatever makes decisions at the SSO;
Instead of pandering to video gamers to increase "the youth market", why not try playing music that has the kind of energy that appeals to "the youth market"
Giant TV screens have nothing to do with "serious" music
Music can be intelligent, deep, emotionally satisfying, relevant to today's world and still be exciting.

Too bad you are on my shit list or I could condescend to let you use some of mine.

Or is this harassment of nightclubs just a slimy way to try to cut out the competition and increase Gerry's paycheck?


Sunday, January 20, 2008

Seems a century ago

There was a picture of Bill Clinton in the paper this morning.
Every time I see that face, I think of sunshine pouring in the end of a tunnel.
I see a balanced budget.
I see surplus.
I see the first bombers of the towers caught.
I see dead American soldiers counted in the hundreds rather than thousands.
I don't see torture condoned as accepted policy.
I see the obligatory sex "scandals" at least being hetero.
I see when Canadian money was worth less than ours.
I see a time when lying was something to be ashamed of, not official policy to be bragged about.

Ah, well.

There's a poem that expresses my feelings about the state of the union today;

Ode to Helwithit.
Ike Witt.


Thursday, January 17, 2008

Violin concerto

O.K. Here it is.
The violin concerto.
Just click on the mp3 links.
I think I have them in the right order.

I got a call from David this morning cancelling my class, but I went downtown anyway.
You know about the coffee.
Listened to Gamalan Pacifica at city hall, then came here.

More about the disgusting Seattle Symphony in the latest issue of the Weekly.

Nice humane piece by Mark Fefer.

Same story but I enjoy a chance to offer my pathetic moral support to anyone else suffering that sick organization.


Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Three stages

One, The Blank Page;
A few lines of inane nonsense.
A desire to give it up.
Cutting and pasting.
Tossing rhythms and harmonies carelessly around with no specific plan in mind.

Two, Discovery
Wait a minute, that sounds alright.
What if I try....?
Wow this is great!
That stupid tune I started with really comes alive on the horns.
I bet oboes would work here.

Et cetera

Three, The Wall;
Damn, I've rewritten the solos six times and nothing seems different.
It's almost there.
The whole piece is starting to sound stupid.
I'm getting tired of this.

I'll call it done.

The violin concerto is "done" I'll post for your annoyance soon.

Monday, January 14, 2008

RE; Little Joe

Lotta Mozart yesterday.
Johannes Chrisostomus Wolfgangus Gottleib Mozart, that is, not Leo.

Octava Chamber Orchestra at The Chapel played Symphony No 25, Sinfonia Concertante KV 364, and "Andante on a Mozart fragment" by Hans Ueckert.
In precisely the opposite order.
I've always had problems with little Joe's music.Personally I'm more of a Tinaturner/Mahlerite.
That is to say every piece of music should contain a world and should never never be "nice and easy".
Mozart always seems nice and easy.
And a little empty.
Mozart always seems glib and facile to me, as if he learned that entertainment equals survival before he had to grow up. (A theory supported by history)
Maybe if he had survived his fatal illness...

Anyway it sounded very nice.

I went to this performance to meet with Matthew Weiss, who will be playing, along with Alan Sharp, my violin duet at the same venue on 25 Jan 2008, 8:00pm.
I have mentioned this before and I will undoubtedly mention it again.
If you can't make it, listen to it here click "violin duet mp3"

Remind me to call my sister (they don't believe in computers) and invite her and Mack to drive their horse and buggy to the show.

Afterward, I rushed to my book group meeting where Jon Krakauer's "Under Banner of Heaven" was discussed.
The book is about God's dependence on cold blooded murders his will to be done.

Not my God, by the way.

The discussion included the famous "Mountain Meadow Massacre" Americas premier terrorist attack before the Oklahoma bombing. Both now trumped by 9-11.

Do not, whatever else you do, do not vote for Mitt Romney.
If you must vote for a Republican closet queen, make it McCain.


Friday, January 11, 2008

Imaginary music

"Invention for soloist and five conductors";
Five audience members are chosen to be conductors to "conduct" while the soloist trys to follow.

"Cage for a golden bird";
For prepared piano narrator and dancer.
Narrator announces the piece then apologizes for the lateness in arrival of the piano
Narrator describes the modifications made to the piano which start as simply as deadened strings and tacks on the hammers and escalate to the bizzare and impossible,
The "dancer" is waiting by the entrance to the stage waiting for the piano to arrive.
Narrator looks querulously several times at dancer as if wondering where the piano is. Dancer shrugs.
Finally, dancer smiles and mimes pushing piano on stage.
Narrator and dancer sit and audience listens to this piano of our minds.

"Fuga Petrum";
A fugue especially designed for stone hall made of several sub-halls of varying lengths tuned for specific echo delays so that one need only play the first subject on the organ and the various halls will echo in at the proper intervals and create not only the answering counterpoint but even create new subjects.
Grants are being sought as we speak.

Thursday, January 10, 2008


Bus, coffee, library, (presentation by the Seattle Opera of the upcoming showing of Pagliaci)
On to school, David likes the Violin concerto. I'll post it soon.
I gotta go to a Josh Roman concert,
Good by

Wednesday, January 09, 2008


We've been watching a Canadian TV show (on DVD we got for Christmas) called
"Slings and Arrows" about a theater company who can do nothing right but Shakespeare.
Terrific show with nuances that I am incapable of expressing.
TV actors playing theater actors playing Shakespeare.
Competent actors playing incompetent actors.
A laff riot, with very moving sequences when Will is being performed.

Also the channel nine Great Performances appearance of Gustavo Dudamel's Venezuelan orchestra.

Gus is definitely a 21st century great.

So, we are apparently having a good time here.


Sunday, January 06, 2008


I dunno, I just don't feel like writing these days.
Subconscious sympathy for the writers strike?
A lot of 'em make four times what I ever did.
Make that eight times.
According to a SNL bit, their's make two hundred grand.
Never did belong to a union myself.
Paid my own health insurance, saved for my own retirement.
Just an irrational desire for independence, I guess.
Would have been up the creek right now if it wasn't for Meredith who has the kind of personality to survive a corporate job at Boeing.
She believes in unions.
Just another link in the chain of social dependence far as I can see.
Schools, government, jobs, religion, unions, etc.
Mob rule behavior, the false impression of security.

Face it, a turkey who can't survive a volunteer job isn't made to make a hundred grand in an office cubicle.
So, thanks for that.

I don't have the personality for any of those monkey pile dog eat dog type of jobs.
I got Darwined out before I got sprung from high school.
Grade school really.
Sort of slowly flunked out over a period of about five years or so.
Which made it kind of confusing when the Rhodes people said I had this enormous I.Q and volunteered to help fund my "Graduate studies"
I still have no idea what that might mean.
If I am some kind of smart, smart is of negligible value.
Better to be morally flexible and insensitive to anything but one's own internal vanities.
For which I don't seem to have the proper talent.
I like to think that everyone has their own genius and that it is to be honored even if not understood.

So I continue to be a low class bum in the eyes of the "official" world.
And just another misunderstood genius in my personal fantasy world.
A legend in my own mind.

I'm alright.

Face it, we are all in this alone.
Ourselves and our imaginings of what others are.
Our knowledge of others is only an extension of our own vanity.
Trying to find what there is to respect in others even though one cannot possibly know others is why it feels good to try to practice that respect.
It is, after all, just a matter of vanity, ego, and self indulgence.
We all star in a play which we make up as we go along, assigning others roles as suits our own imagining.

I imagine you finding worth in this maudlin drivel
I imagine you finding all this ludicrous.


Thursday, January 03, 2008

Thursday is the new Wednesday

I have gotten so much bed time this last few weeks, I'm getting to be an expert at sleeping.
Anyway, my composition class is now on Thursday, which explains the title of this blog
It is also an excuse for not only not being funny, but for not even being the least bit interesting.
I'm down town I've had coffee and cookie at Caffe Ladro and I've walked around, yawning and stumbling, not getting inspired at all.

Yawning my way in a half sleep-half awake stupor in which dream and reality mingle which would be nice if the dream part was pleasant in some way or another.
My last memorable dream had to do with my stupid cat having it's head off and me realizing that this time there was nothing I could do to fix it.

I even walked by B'roya hall and didn't feel any animosity.
That's the scary part, I don't mind apathy, I revel in it, I find it exciting, but I do feel it a duty to slam, slander, and snipe at that meaningless wart on the fungal toe of Seattle's musical foot known as the Seattle Symphony.

These sort of things are important for the maintenance of a healthy society.
It's not a right, in other words, to criticise the Gov't, It's your DUTY.

Your choice is either be anti-government or to be anti-American.

Religion is supposed to be controversial, isn't it? I mean the three big noise Rels spend all their time promoting hatred and bloodshed or at least a form of suicide known as "not being in the world"
So how come my favorite (only) religious blogsite never shows any comments in it's comment section?
That site is, by the way,
Why don't we get together and ask that question on their site and see what happens?
Just cut'n'paste this paragraph and post it on their blogsite.

What will happen is nothing, of course, religious people talk TO you, not WITH you.
As if nobody else has ever studied the subject or read the bible or gone to church or is simply older and more experienced at life.

I guess they think they know it all already.

I guess they already know more than God.

Don't think I'm a non-believer.
I believe everything. I believe, for instance, that God can make a stone so heavy that he cannot lift it. And, of course, I believe that he can lift it.
I believe that for every drop of rain that falls, something gets wet.
It's as easy as believing in division by zero, something my computer is incapable of.

I also believe I shall shut up

Happy and prosperous New Year to you all, Especially to you, Ophelia, whoever you may be.


Tuesday, January 01, 2008


Awright how 'bout a little review of the important happenings of the year past.
Important to this blog anyway.
I assume you've all got newspapers and stuff to check out the year end lists of what was good, bad, and pretty in the real world of '07

Last year was, as I remember when Butch joined the FFTL family of fine philosophers, poets and musicians.
It was also the year of the amusing Davis Wright Tremain/ Seattle Symphony cross purpose letters that could probably be considered some kind of criminal action if one were a picker of nits.

Last year was, or at least should have been when I challenged the Seattle Symphony to a duel.

Which they chickened out on.
Probably realizing that they were not of my social quality.

Year ago I posted some pictures of the snowfall we had about this time of the calendar.
And the Wyoming and Quinault trip pictures.

Maybe not or it could be that '07 was the year that Emily Dickinsen and I started our torrid love affair.

Joshua Bell earned 32 dollars busking.

An amazing leap forward for sub-atomic physics (my discovery of the "God" particle that no-one seems to care about.)

Plus similar earth shaking discoveries on the health front (Dan's arm)

A couple hundred miles of bicycle riding on Fidelio, my 42 year old Peugeot.

Polalie the cat's annual life threatening health event.

A cute little kid's story I wrote was posted last year.

The usual snarky infantile futile SSO drolleries

I quit going to Plymouth church. I dunno I guess I'm just not part of "Humanity" that those kind of people consider worth the tolerance, love and understanding.
Perhaps I haven't killed my quota of non-believers.


I wrote about Ann Cummings' "Inside the music" music and art installation which may happen again so keep your ears peeled.

A poem written by a dog.

Do you remember when I heard that wonderful rendition of the "Queen of the night" aria in the Union street Caffe Ladro? That was somthin'

Seattle Art Museum reopened.
Vastly improved.

I showed you all the cars I built.

Trombone and Tuba concertos were born under your ever watchful eyes.
Not to mention the Tuba and violin duets.
And some of the violin concerto.

Tom Bakers Composers Salon moved from the inadequate soundbridge venue to the magnificent Chapel at Good Shepard Center so now I can participate in that again.
In fact I have gotten confirmation that my violin duet will be on the bill of the next Salon on Jan. 25th
Don't miss it unless you can think of an excuse.

Anyway all the wonders of the new year are contingent opon the good lord being willin', the creeks maintaining optimum flow and, I suppose, sea level not rising too much.

Oh yeah, it's also an election year, so we can all look forward to some new excuses why the world continues to be fueled by screw-ups, why the rich continue to get richer and the poor get shoveled into the social dumpster, and how important military might is to world democracy.


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