Category Archives: music

glass

The real Glass—Philip Glass.  I’m listening to the second movement of his first violin concerto, while walking to the bus through a light snowfall on Capitol Hill.  It feels transcendent.  For a few minutes there’s nothing else at all. The … Continue reading


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invention

Before the five Equalizing pieces, I made an invention in d minor to begin experimenting with counterpoint: Invention in d minor This was the first thing I recorded on the little personal recording device.  It’s a bit of a mess, … Continue reading


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equalizing

So I’ll now take a deep breath and post the first edible fruit of my labor.  The performance is of course imperfect, since I’m not an actual pianist, and the piece should also be considered a draft, as there are … Continue reading


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piano

A couple of months ago I began playing with our new digital* piano.  What a lovely thing a keyboard instrument is!  You just push a button, and out comes a perfect note— hard if you hit it hard, soft if … Continue reading


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testi espliciti

A recent episode of the Planet Money podcast about the troubled Italian economy opened with some rather sticky hiphop, which on investigation turned out to be the wildly popular (in Italy) and as far as I can tell unknown (in … Continue reading


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violin

The violin is in some ways a problematic instrument.  I’ve always had mixed feelings about its popularity, the way it displaced its noble and diverse predecessors, the viols, its grasshoppery diva nature, its demand for virtuosity.  I give the violin … Continue reading


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unbarred preludes

One of my favorite unbarred preludes for baroque lute, by Sylvius Leopold Weiss: This particular one in d minor—actually it styles itself a fantasia— is so idiomatic and easy to play, it just rolls out from under the fingers, and … Continue reading


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ween

Adrienne and I, and our good friends Nancy and Barak, went to see Ween at the Paramount last Wednesday night.  Apprehension was running high, as the night before they had put on an illstarred show in Vancouver and Aaron Freeman … Continue reading


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death letter

Maybe it’s the recent demise of the great Captain Beefheart, which is a reminder of the way music, 30 years ago still a medium for revolution, no longer has a past or a future, but has congealed into a timelessly … Continue reading


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on the beat

I found my heart quickening in exhilaration today as I listened to the White Stripes’ “Cannon” on the bus, from their first album.  It’s Son House’s rendition of “John the Revelator”, piped through the dark metal of Zep.  These guys … Continue reading


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