Friday, February 29, 2008

More Saint Pete

Other sites have been asking readers for their spine tingling musical moments.
Read the following list of song titles and you'll see several of mine.
Those and Joan Baez putting down her guitar and singing a capella to an audience of half a million and Jimi Hendricks' playing the only honest version of our national anthem to a morning in America.

And I only saw the movie.

Those things and the deliverance of the final lines of Pagliacci at the Seattle Opera's recent performance.

Ross, you turkey, how can you possibly call it the voice of the 20th century and leave out the only voice that made any difference whatever?

Pete looked to himself and said "I like to sing, I like to feel that I am a part of this land and that I can overcome obstacles to better it and I bet others feel that way too. Maybe if we sing about a better world we will create a better world".

Now we have cleaner rivers, cleaner air, safer cars, etc.
Look who is running for president these days.

Beethoven said "we shall storm heaven's gates and demand our rights"
St. Pete said "look what God has already given us, let us worship that"

I could go on about the silliness and absurdity of 20th century "highbrow" music but Ross has already done that and I've got to go tune my banjo.

Here is Butch's comment on the earlier St. Pete post;

That Butch can be a pushy sum buck can't he? Actually your rant and narrative about Pete Seeger is well put, and relatively well thought out. In Martin Scorsese's documentary on Bob Dylan, NO DIRECTION HOME, which is great by the way if you have not seen it, he mentions the influence Pete Seeger had on the young Dylan of the 60's. Bob Dylan was aping Woody Guthrie, and Seeger was an original.

Peter Seeger (born May 3, 1919), better known as Pete Seeger, is a folk singer, political activist, and a key figure in the mid-20th century American folk music revival. As a member of the Weavers, he had a string of hits, including a 1949 recording of Leadbelly's "Goodnight Irene" that topped the charts for 13 weeks in 1950.[1] However, his career as a mainstream performer was seriously curtailed by the Second Red Scare: he came under severe attack as a former member of the Communist Party of the United States of America. Later, he re-emerged on the public scene as a pioneer of protest music in the late 1950s and the 1960s.

He is perhaps best known today as the author or co-author of the songs "Where Have All the Flowers Gone?", "If I Had a Hammer (The Hammer Song)", and "Turn, Turn, Turn!", which have been recorded by many artists both in and outside the folk revival movement and are still sung throughout the world. "Flowers" was a hit recording for The Kingston Trio (1962), Marlene Dietrich, who recorded it in English, German and French (1962), and Johnny Rivers (1965). "If I Had a Hammer" was a hit for Peter, Paul & Mary (1962) and Trini Lopez (1963), while The Byrds popularized "Turn, Turn, Turn!" in the mid-1960s. Seeger is also widely credited with popularizing the traditional song "We Shall Overcome", which was recorded by Joan Baez and many other singer-activists, and became the publicly perceived anthem of the 1960s American Civil Rights Movement soon after musicologist Guy Carawan introduced it at the founding meeting of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) in 1960.

Seeger lives in the hamlet of Dutchess Junction in the Town of Fishkill, NY and remains very politically active, as well as maintaining an active lifestyle in the Hudson Valley Region of New York, especially in the nearby City of Beacon, NY. He and Toshi purchased their land in 1949, and lived there first in a trailer, then in a log cabin they built themselves, and eventually in a larger house.[4] Seeger joined the Community Church (a church practicing Unitarian Universalism)[5] and often performs at functions for the Unitarian Universalist Association.[6][7]

An early advocate of Bob Dylan, Seeger was supposedly incensed over the distorted electric sound Dylan brought into the 1965 Newport Folk Festival, especially with the inability to clearly hear the lyrics. There are many conflicting versions of exactly what ensued,[10] some claiming that he actually tried to disconnect the equipment. He is often cited as one of the main opponents to Dylan at Newport 1965, but asked in 2001 about how he recalled his "objections" to the "electric" style, he said:

I couldn't understand the words. I wanted to hear the words. It was a great song, "Maggie's Farm," and the sound was distorted. I ran over to the guy at the controls and shouted, "Fix the sound so you can hear the words." He hollered back, "This is the way they want it." I said "Damn it, if I had an axe, I'd cut the cable right now." But I was at fault. I was the MC, and I could have said to the part of the crowd that booed Bob, "you didn't boo Howlin' Wolf yesterday. He was electric!" Though I still prefer to hear Dylan acoustic, some of his electric songs are absolutely great. Electric music is the vernacular of the second half of the twentieth century, to use my father's old term.[11]

On March 16, 2007, the 88-year old Pete Seeger performed with his siblings Mike and Peggy and other Seeger family members at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., where he had been employed as a folk song archivist 67 years earlier.

In April 2006, Bruce Springsteen released a collection of songs associated with Seeger or in Seeger's folk tradition, We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions. Springsteen performed a series of concerts based on those sessions, to sellout crowds. Springsteen had previously recorded one Seeger favorite, "We Shall Overcome," on the 1998 "Where Have All the Flowers Gone" tribute album

Pete Seeger said:

"I like to say I'm more conservative than Goldwater. He just wanted to turn the clock back to when there was no income tax. I want to turn the clock back to when people lived in small villages and took care of each other."
"My father, Charles Seeger, got me into the Communist movement. He backed out around '38. I drifted out in the '50s. I apologize [in his recent book] for following the party line so slavishly, for not seeing that Stalin was a supremely cruel misleader."
"I still call myself a communist, because communism is no more what Russia made of it than Christianity is what the churches make of it. But if by some freak of history communism had caught up with this country, I would have been one of the first people thrown in jail."
"Plagiarism is the basis of all culture." Seeger quoting his father.
"Any darn fool can make something complex; it takes a genius to make something simple."
"Some may find them [songs] merely diverting melodies. Others may find them incitements to Red revolution. And who will say if either or both is wrong? Not I."
"Technology will save us if it doesn't wipe us out first."

I am sorry that I missed the PBS Amercian Masters salute. As to TRIN, it sounds like it omits more than it extols. The "folk song movement" was very important to all of us during the ten terrible years of the Viet Nam War, just as Rap music is to us now during the ten terrible years of the Iraq War; not.

I am ass deep in my new review for THE DOUBLE LIFE OF VERONIQUE, and am off to see PERSEPOLIS tonight. MY LEFT FOOT is swelled up again, with my gout-like symptoms, even though I take meds for it now. Ain't life a bitch? Or is, ain't life grand? You pick. And get over your wrestling match with the latest Cold Bug.

And thank you for continuing to blog even though it sometimes feels like an empty and meaningless gesture, cuz it isn't. It is the breath of life for all of we FFTL'ites.



Thursday, February 28, 2008

This just in

I would like to take this opportunity to announce the birth of Wyatt Lee Eister-Hargrave, son of Wallace Hargrave and Leah Eister.
Wyatt joins his sister, Ruby Lucile, in the madcap and absurd folly known as life.
Long live 'em all!

Pictures soon to follow, I hope.


Saint Peter

Hope you all got a chance to see the the Pete Seeger show on PBS last night.
Whatta guy!

It occurs to me that all the hand wringing about Shostakovitch being suppressed by the evil Russkies and the NYPhil going to Korea and all, that the US's treatment of this true hero of American music is kind of being overlooked.
That's a stupid statement, isn't it? I just saw it on the TV.!
What I mean is (if I actually mean anything); TRIN has one mention of Pete and only as the son of a "classical" violinist, of whom you've never heard.
But Ross does mention Bob Dylan.
How do you even dare to mention Bob Dylan, how do you dare mention 20th century music and leave out the "folk song movement"

Like Bartok and many others Seeger "went to the people" but, Unlike B&o's he started there and he stayed there.
Didn't just record and steal like the "Great" "Classical" dufusses in order to make "real" music out of it. He brought "the people" along.
Made music of the people, by the people, and for the people.
The only example I know of music actually having a positive political effect.

Anyway, lets look at the 20th Century music.

Compare Mahlers 8th "a symphony of a thousand" with a Pete Seeger concert a sing along of tens of thousands.
Minimalism; "We shall overcome" repeat...
Aleatory; You can make up your own words if you want.
Yada yada.....the intellectualization of music is a absurd, not to mention futile.
Screw Pete Seeger, He's not doing anything for me. I still have a cold.

All this garbage sounded good in my head last night when I was trying to get to sleep.
I'll apologize later.
Butch demands I write every day, so I'm posting it anyway.
I'm going downtown now.


Wednesday, February 27, 2008


What a wonderful couple weeks it has been.
The sun shone and the clouds parted.
I took a ride
I fell off the trail.
So wiped out the next day that
I forgot the Rainier Symphony p'formance Satterday
Then I got sick AGAIN!
So much for nice days!

Kryton was the robot in "Red Dwarf" whose circuits were altered so that Lister could go back in time to find Indian food.
The crew ended up having JFK assassinate himself from the grassy knoll.

In the immortal words of Lily von Schtup "I'm so fwiggen Tired"

She also said "I'm not a wabbit"

I'm going back to my TRIN, I am just about to the pictures.

I'm not going to answer the phone.

Mary had a littl........(the rest is silence)

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Tuesday, February 26, 2008


I just got, as a birthday present, a copy of Alex Ross's "The Rest Is Noise"
Is it just me, or does it seem like there are a lot of Alexes around?
I can't imagine what kind of plot this might signify, but I'll work on it.
Anyway, I'm up to Stravinsky, and not to be dissing the book or anything, so far
I've read biographies of all the composers mentioned.
The book does offer a kind of passacalia bottom for for my previous reading.
Some myths exposed (or maybe not, a lot of 'em could be true).
There is some little controversy as to what Alban Berg might have said to George Gershwin.
Or what Alex (there's that name again) says he did.
Is somebody covering up here?
Or maybe it wasn't Alban Berg at all.
Maybe it was an iceberg.
Iceberg, Albenberg, what's the difference?
All I know is that it wasn't me.
Or as Kryton once said "sometimes you've just got to say 'the laws of causality? Who gives a smeg?'"
I am very sorry that I can't seem to think up anything better than this.

But I can't.

Go see Think Denk, Omniscient Mussel, or Norman Lebrecht if you want something intelligent.
Lot's of stuff about good people (there's mythology for 'ya) and bad music.
Maybe it's the other way 'round.
The crux of the argument seems to be, and I paraphrase here, How could George Gershwin write good music while Southerners were still lynching negros?
Some Northerners too (let's have the courage to see the big picture).

There also seems to be some consternation the possibility of homosexual conduct in the arts sphere. (no offense to Thelonious, please)

I am going to take my box of tissues and my TRIN and go back to bed.


Monday, February 25, 2008

More on Pongyang

Check Omniscient Mussel for more words and more links about Loren Maazel's trip to North Korea.
I've got a 42 page score to try to get into some kind of readability by the 7th for entry in the Minnesota (contest? is it one of those?)... whatever.
I realize that, due to my lack of musical training, this is likely impossible.
Which is it's appeal, of course.
Many are called, many are culled.

Two years ago I tried to enter an oboe concerto (they don't accept concertos) by calling it a "tone poem". Actually I think that it it is a tone poem, in certain ways like Strausses Til Eulinwhatever. But I don't actually know what it takes to be a "concerto" so I'll have to take their word for it.

There is nothing that I actually have the learning, skill, physique, or psychology to take seriously.
Except auto mechanics, and I wasn't very good at that.
So, what the hell?
At least it's clean.

One of the names I considered when I was planning my shop was "Till Oilandfilter"
Probably should have used it.

Yeah, that and "Duke of Oil"

I sponsored a baseball team by buying t-shirts that said "I've been greased by the Duke of Oil"
Some of the girls refused to wear them. Girls have such dirty minds.

I have been getting some interesting insights into the game of chess from Composer Bastard.
Seems to be an intelligent lad, I wonder why he uses the derogatory as his blog title.

I use mine because I like to deal with things that I don't know and that I'm most likely to be wrong about.
Sometimes, however, I do try to be funny.
Probably not the things you laugh at.

It's one step up from being a bad example.

My 66 years has shown me that serious is a loser, and belief is like Little Eva's trip across the Chattamagoochi river.
See what I mean about the relationship between ignorance and humor?
I never read the book, one of the few to meet that criterion.

Hester has some nice things to say about "Ulysses", by the way. Her site is linked, look for "Hester" over there on your right.


Sunday, February 24, 2008

Here in the provinces

The news of the NYPhil's trek to Pyongyang has finally appeared in the local paper.
You read it here first.
I read it somewhere else first.
You don't suppose Kim Ping Pong is planning on kidnapping them, do you?
Just to keep us free worlders on our toes?

A whole orchestraful of new job opportunities for poor beleaguered performance Phd's

The SSO has got three extra concertmasters NY could use.
There were some in this Emerald Eden who thought when we heard that the big "G" wanted to have four rotating concertmasters that it was an idea whose time should not have come.
What could they have been thinking of?
It couldn't be that in doing so the job became a part time one and therefore a job without reasonable pay or benefits?
Like the noble workers at Soundbridge?
Could it?

But, never fear, Gerry "knows what he wants to do about it"

Isn't there somewhere where one can just purchase musicians and own them without all this human rights hassle?

Or maybe this "Las Vegas" concern who is helping out with the financial
end of things can send somebody to "talk sense" to this annoying "union" entity.


From Paris;
Two metal tubs containing rare recordings of great operatic performances from 1907 have been discovered in the underground of the Palais Garnier.
You remember this place as the strange and almost unbelievable setting for Gaston Larue's "Phantom of the Opera"
Enrico Caruso, Adelina Patti, and Emma Calve are on their way to digitization and a CD outlet near you.
The story is in the March 2008 issue of Smithsonian and titled "A Record Find; How the Phantom of the Opera led me to a long lost treasure"
by Michael Walsh.

In the same issue.
Ouincy Jones turns 75 this month.
I don't think he actually does it in the issue.
Probably does it in the privacy of his own fabulous home.

Or to be making fun of an old friend who can't beat me up anymore;

The Same Issue

Quincy Jones turns
This month.

I don't think
He does it in the issue -

Probably does it in -
The privacy
of his own -


Saturday, February 23, 2008

I'll live

I should'a done a few warm up rides before I tried the 30.
I shouldn'ta forgot about the caffeine withdrawal thingy and had more coffee before I left or at least had some when we got to Redmond 12 miles out.
I mighta slept better last night if I hadda cuppa joe after I got home.
All headache under the bridge by now, however.

Miles - 28.4
Time - 2:49:37
Average speed - 10.0
Top speed - 20.1
Miles since I got the "compteur" - 276
Recommended training miles before trying the STP - 500

I did hit the wall @ 26 miles.
Sent my riding partner/trainer/trailboss on ahead (she has a job and all)
But with my head back in service due to this morning's brew, I am stumbling a bit because aforementioned "tete" keeps expecting "moi" to do little things that my musculature is not quite ready for.
However, "avanti" and all that, you know.

Over on FFTR, Alex's words have garnered this praise from "Monster Paperbag"

"The palette shifts
on the slant
of the sea
and the mood
of the clouds."

i love this part :).

February 21, 2008 9:19 PM

Oh yeah, I had a beer and a good conversation with one of my musical colleagues
at the Triple Door last Friday eve.
Obtained some good gossip that I don't know what to do with other than to enjoy it for it's intrinsic value. Knowing what's going on always helps.

I've got to go now and help search the wilderness for additions to our kitchen project (tile for the countertops)
Book group is meeting here in March
It would be nice to have something finished.


Friday, February 22, 2008


Off on a 30 miler, see ya later.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Ho-Hum, another rant

So, now what?
Do I enter into the New York to Pyongyang debate?
You know my feelings about governments and politics.
The first word is still the last and that word is Thucydides.
The world he described thousands of years ago still remains.
Fat idiots expelling their fetid gas to mask their rattling,urine-stained knees.

That and Groucho's portrayal of a typical world leader in "Duck Soup" pretty much define the mental level of all who fall for that stupid drug.

Loren Maazel has the NY orchestra in North Korea (shudder), and you and I can still fill up the landscape with cheap plastic junk.

Put it together and whattaya got.

I can't answer that question directly due to the oppressive nature of the Walt Disney lawyers, but I'll give you a hint, it starts with "bibbity"

Ah, but you and I, babe, we'll always have Guantanamo.

For a more rational example of "lunacy", see Alex's latest picture.
Looks a lot like one of those "modern" John Cagey scores to me.

No, seriously, someone should try to play it.

I mean it.

Really, it's a very musical picture.


Oboes, strings and brass, tubas
No wait, not oboes, english horns,
english horns, tubas and strings,
english horns, tubas, violas, and basses,
with maybe some flutter tongue flute.

I will go downtown now.
Check with you later from the library.


Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Past Eve and Adam's

Too lazy to think up anything of my own, I stoled this from Omniscient Mussel.

"On Friday evening at the River Run, the Kitchener Waterloo Symphony with the help of violinist Gilles Apap tried to solve (the argument) by presenting a program that asked “What if it was just all music?” Removing qualifiers like classical, folk etc, requires evaluation of each piece on its own merits rather than by its category. It’s more work for the listener, but ultimately, more rewarding as new discoveries are made and new perspectives formed."

Nice sentiment, but there's the old "What if" that proves the "Not yet"
I suppose I could work on that sentence to make it more profound, but, what if I did?
What's in it for me? (see the word "lazy" earlier in this post)

I've got to get a new toner cartridge before Thursday.
The tension is almost keeping me awake.
The problem is that I must decide whether to drive my cold rattly VW van with the Ferrari painted on the side to the store of take Fidelio the Peugeot.
The Pooj would be the more healthy, but the VeeWee would be faster.
But the van is less "green"
Do you see what I "mean"
And to further complicate this nonsense, which store?
Fry's mega store?
Office Depot?
OMG, it's only 5 miles, I could walk!

My brain hurts, I think I'll just go back to bed.


Monday, February 18, 2008


Back from the weekend getaway, tooth all fixed up, nice sunny day, holiday for some,
and every day for me, fa, la, is a holiday tee hee.
(Imagine little semiquavers dancing)

I put some work in on the cello duet this morning,
I put in three changes and then I took them out again.

Must be done.

Back to the concerto project, I guess.

On our way back from the coast, we took the road out of Raymond to I-5 at Centralia.
This road follows the route of the Chehalis river.
We had planned on stopping at a park (can't remember the name) to stretch legs and use the facilities.
The park, being across the river from the road, is (used to be) accessed by a nice solid bridge steel beamed and cable anchored.
The hefty granite and masonry anchors shattered, steel beams bent and the whole thing gone.
You remember when I-5 was closed due to flooding?
This was the river that did it.

Ripped out trees, fields knee deep in mud.
Farmers with 'dozers and back hoes digging out their driveways.
I hope for their sake that the free delivery was good rich topsoil.
Floods and farmers usually have a good relationship.

Anyway the next rest stop was way north of Centralia.

We almost had a couple floods of our own.

Remind me to get a new cartridge for my printer before next Thurzdee.

OMG! I,like, got this humongous book at Longbeach it's all about this funny looking dude named "Winston Churchill"
No rilly that's his name!
I guess he had somthin to do with the swivel war...... whatever.

Off the edge of the world once again.


Friday, February 15, 2008

Road trip

We are going away for a coupla days. I'll fix the new mp3 links asap.
I think the problem is at my SCI site.
That is not Minnesota, that's a sample of the Tuba concerto, I think.


Thursday, February 14, 2008

New new new

O.K. Here's the Cello duet (almost finished)

And the orchestral piece with the working title "Minnesota mittens, how musicians can stay warm in the arctic gelidity of a middle American winter"

I tried to repost "Aspice Quod Felis Attraxit" but it turned out I didn't send it to my flash, so I couldn't upload it at the library.
I'll load it as soon as I'm through here.

Caveat; I do intend to load it soon, however, it's my most popular piece, so beware!
Alex got a kick out of "nightmare prelude" so she should like this one, too.
Or maybe she has better sense.

It was basically not an unusual day, with the exception of the poppyseed muffin at Tully's whilst waiting for the #9 bus to take me home after class.

Well, that and Ladro's being out of peanut butter cookies again.

Butch has, once again, made poetry out of my inane persiflage.
Check it out at Feel Free to Read.

My step kid had a fit about my red-haired Celtic put on.
Said it was undignified or some damn thing.
Last person I knew who was that uptight is now pissing away whats left of his brief
stint in this Eden known as life at a monastary.

He needs to take Kochansky's advice.

Must be the result of another "upgrade" but I can no longer access this site's spell check or the "add image" feature.


I am tempted to refer Butch to Jeremy Denk's poetry postings but that would be a cruel thing to do to both of 'em so I won't.

You can tell I'm running out of ideas, can't you?

I still feel like talking, however, maybe I can think of something crude to embarrass junior.
This would do it if anyone in my family ever read this thing.


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Wednesday, February 13, 2008


Composer Bastard has me linked as;
"Doug Palmer: Seattle's last hope for musical spirit".

Someone who understands!

I'd use the word "attitude" i.e. "Composer with attitude"

We make the stuff!
Why should the money go to architects, lawyers, consultants, uninspired and uninspiring conductors, and other social flotsam?
Who needs some fantastic half-filled concert hall when small venues provide better variety, art, and better audience experience?

There is a great line in the movie "Putney Swope";

"The thing to do is not to rock the boat, the thing to do is to sink the boat"

When you consider that the only truly fresh and provocative music of the 20th century
was created by guys in a garage with electric guitars, maybe it's time to abandon cademia altogether, forget gigantic publishing companies, and ossified "classical"

Forget music that was.

Music is life, don't watch someone else's, live your own!

And.......well it's something to think about isn't it?


Chew on this

Well, that was fun, I love the way she grabs my tongue and sticks her fingers in my mouth and scrapes around there with her little tools.
Then when she uses the little grinder with the mint flavored rubbing compound and runs her string through my teeth it's just this side of ecstasy.
And she says I'm doing a bang up job maintaining the little enamel and plastic buggers.
AND, I've got another date Monday to have some maintainence on my #7!
I can hardly wait.

After that, I stopped at the Victrola coffee house on 16th, near Group Health Hospital that my step-uncle Lyle Mercer helped found.

Tall drip and a pumpkin muffin.


The weather is looking better for a bike trip I am getting restless for a little exercise.

You know? I've never posted a picture of Fidelio.
Maybe I'll take one and do that.
For the pathologically curious;
It's got two big wire wheels with skinny tires and a gear in between with levers on it and pedals on the levers and a chain going back to some more gears. Just over the front edge of the back wheel there's a sigmoidoscopical thing to sit on and over the front wheel there's a handle that you can hold on to that gives you a somewhat justified feeling of control.

In short, it looks like a bicycle.

One of the truly useful products of the nineteenth century industrial revolution.
A work of art of that iron mongering age.

Peugeot made, in it's early days, Napoleon's time, wire for hoop skirts.
Those days people weren't so interested in the true shape of their women, go figger, eh?
Anyway, when the bicycle fad took off, they were in shape to make wheels and did so.
Along with a few Bohemian and Irish breweries, Peugeot is one of the oldest companies in existence.
If they are still in existence.
I haven't seen any new Pooges recently.
Vive La France!

That's it for today, I guess.
It's time to get back to wrangling my staff.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Don't know why I say hello

I've got a date with a lovely red haired Celtic girl, see ya later.


Monday, February 11, 2008

A weekend of music

Alright, you know about Thursday.

Friday I attended "A Concert of New Music" at Christ Episcopal Church in the University district (47th & Brooklyn) thanks to an invite from my SCI comrade Greg Bartholomew (we also share David Mesler)
Greg had three pieces on the program; "Beneath the Apple Tree" a sweet love duet for viola da gamba and recorder, "String Trio for George Crumb" vln, vla, & vcl, and "Voyageur Suite"for brass quintet.
Other pieces included a charming piano solo written by 15 year old Lauren Geertsen, Gloria Wilson Swisher (apparently the chief honcho of The Seattle Composers Seminar, who were the instigators of this shindig), Bernard Super, and Georgia Lockwood.
David and I left right after Greg's brass quintet, the weather was inclement, the roads were infested with political traffic, and I live at the other end of town.
So I missed the reception following and a chance to talk with the composers.
The only problem I have with new music is that one generally gets to hear it only once and can't form any opinion other than "I like to listen to the stuff"

Then on Sunday it was Philharmonia Northwest who played Wagners "Flying Dutchman Overture" Wagner's music is BIG music and Saint Steven's Episcopal Church is a moderately sized one.
Felt like we were sitting inside one of the tubas.
A visceral thrill not unlike sitting at a traffic light next to a full throttle boom box bass rattling your windows.
Pretty exciting.
Also they played Roupen Shakarian's violin concerto, which was played magnificently by Victoria Parker (standing ovation)
Being a composer myself and entering the phase wherein I must start advertising, I must comment.
The piece sounded nice but there was little variation between the movements, either in tempo or dramatic content.
There was a Strauss wind band piece which I didn't like, and the finale was Tchaikovsky's Romeo and Juliet Fantasy Overture which the intimate space of the church amplified and clarified magnificently.
It was like I had never heard it before.
A very enjoyable afternoon.

Then it was off to my book group meeting where we discussed the movies "Sullivan's Travels" and "Born Yesterday"
The seldom seen Jonathan was there. Good seeing you Jonathan.
(I gave him my card, so maybe he's reading this).

Now the important part.

Here's the only way to save our great country from perdition;
We must elect Barack Obama president and Hillary Clinton vice president.
That way we will have Barack to end the war, Hillary to get us health care, and Bill to balance the budget and catch the guys who knocked down the towers.

So hop to it America.

I've got the recording of the salon version of the violin duet and I'll post it as soon as I get to a fast enough connection. Maybe I'll post all three versions; the computer simulation, the rehearsal and the salon performance.
And maybe I won't.

Very soon, however I'll be posting "Minnesota Mittens", a hot-rod romp for full orchestra and a sure fire mega-hit if there ever was one.

Undoubtedly destined to outshine Frank Zappa's "Movin' to Montana"


Friday, February 08, 2008

Gung hay fat choy!!

Yesterday was the usual until noon, when I went to City Hall and listened to
the U.S. China Music Ensemble.
Wonderful stuff.

They played Drums, DiZi, YangQin, Gu-zheng, and Er-hu.

Solos and ensemble.

If I remember right, DiZi is a bamboo flute, YangQin is a hammered dulcimer,
Gu-Zheng is like the Japanese Koto, Er-hu is a two string violin, and Drums are a lot like ummm...Drums.

Hitting things with sticks is a universal language.

Speaks to me.

The spokesman for the group was Warren Chang, who wished us all Happy new year.
In English.
I was reminded of the East meets West scene in a lot of movies where Western businessman extends his hand in greeting while East bows, then West bows as East extends hand then they both laugh.

Any way;

Nuovo anno cinese felice
Ano Nuevo chino feliz
Nouvelle annee chinoise heureuse
Glückliches chinesisches neues Jahr

It's the year of the Rat.

We've all been waiting for this election.

Haven't we?


Thursday, February 07, 2008

The Quote

The quote on the Feb 1 post is from "Mein Kampf" written by Adolf Hitler.
So what, you say?
What about people today who tell you such things?

Slick promises mean nothing.
Results are the thing to watch.

I have no idea what that might mean to today's political situation.
Do you?


I'm on my way downtown again.
For some reason I find these jaunts exciting.
Even though I don't do much but walk around and look at stuff.
I guess it's that it seems to have more promise of adventure.
Not that I'd actually want what most adventures bring, i.e. trouble to be overcome.
But sometime pleasant things happen.
Running into people I know.
Just ordering coffee.
Watching folks rummaging the streets looking for the solutions to their woes.
Catching odd bits of conversation.

Stuff like that.

Some exercise.

Out of the stuffy house.

Gazing at the strange empty space between 2nd and 3rd / University and Union.

Looks like a good spot for a parking garage.


Wednesday, February 06, 2008


Whew! Last time I was logged on here my computer got all huffy on me and wouldn't let me start up Windows.
My in-house computer maven just sorted it out and I'm back
This seems to be a pattern in my life, to get thrown out of odd places and inanimate objects.
Anyway, here I am again, once again, with little of any great import to say.

The Cello duet is nearing completion, another surprisingly profound work.
I fantasize about getting Walter Gray and Joshua Roman to play it.

Also I'm preparing an orchestral piece for the ACF's Minnesota Orchestra Composers Institute whachacallit.

This piece is a barn burner.
Guaranteed to keep those Minnesota musicians warm during their frosty, clangingly frozen winters.
It's working title is "Minnesota Mittens; how to stay warm in winter"
It is a heart warming, crowd pleasing orchestral frolic.

By golly, if you were to program this one last, your audience would even stay through an evening of twelve tone academia.

Jeremy Denk would love this piece.

You wanna appeal to the "youth market"?


Here ya go.

Ticket sales lagging? (SSO only filling 60% these days, but they can't have it, can they?)

You'll be selling out SRO's.

They'll pay to stand in the street outside the hall!

No foolin'

Get 'em while they're hot!

Supplies are limited!!

But wait....there's more!!!

Ummm.........No I guess there's not.


Friday, February 01, 2008

Ligeti split

Omniscient Mussel just finished a contest involving identifying a piece of music.

It was by Ligeti.

Therefore in a somewhat abrupt branching, I have my own challenge.
Who said this and where?

"In the long run, government systems are not maintained by the pressure of violence, but by faith in their soundness and in the truthfulness in which they represent and advance the interest of the people".

If you don't know at least say whether you agree.

There is no prize offered.


New post "New Music Box" check it out.

Also check out the following wisdom from Jeremy Denk;

  • J Denk wisdom

  • Oh, and don't I agree with him.
    Too bad I'm not a young composer,
    Someone my age should have accomplished more.
    I did manage to go out and by bread for the family already today, that should count as an accomplishment.
    I suppose.

    My SSO spies report that Josh was not in his seat last night hmmmmm...?
    But Jeff Bergler was!
    What's going on here?
    And what has Mr. Green to do with it all?

    If anything.

    I'm starting to feel like Lenny Bruce's Lone Ranger.
    "Has the thank you masked man man been by today?"
    I'm beginning to get hooked on the praise and the applause.

    Probably should be on the other computer, composing.
    But that requires effort.

    Stop me if you've heard this one before........


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