Tag Archives: music

‘Business in Great Waters’

I jotted on the fly several snatches of phraseology that resonated with me today as I watched Prince Philip’s live-streamed funeral service on the BBC. May what power that is deal graciously with those who mourn, and those who go … Continue reading

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‘Bad Boy’ Harpsichordist

Scott Ross moved to France when he was 12 years old. He studied harpsichord and organ at the Paris and Nice Conservatories, and in 1971 won the Bruges International Competition, in Belgium. Five years before dying of AIDS in 1982 … Continue reading

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Language and Music

“It takes a lifetime to learn shakuhachi. The earlier you start, the longer it takes.”(Japanese saying quoted by Zac Zinger on Adam Neely’s podcast. The shakuhachi is a bamboo flute.) I learned Spanish because I had to. From puberty forward … Continue reading

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Friday Morning

I’m struggling. My remote interlocutor in life of the mind is keeping me afloat insofar as having a rational dialog with someone. But that dialog is private. Of the muchness on my mind, I’m conflicted as to which of it … Continue reading

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Why Do Poets Ampersand?

The poem is “Sacrament I” by Robin Gow (Poetry, March 2020). Excerpt, first stanza: & all the faucets pour oil or milk.We fill father’s bottles, the brown and green;thick glass blood cells, a throat-slit pouring silk.When will the baptisms make … Continue reading

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The Opposite of Death

The sweetest, life-affirming eruption of ebullience I’ve encountered today comes from Jon Stewart. The subject is his learning to play drums in middle age. [Interviewer] Do you make sure to practice your rudiments and paradiddles? I have a teacher, and … Continue reading

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The Dome and the Well

Umm Kulthum died in 1975. I had a passing acquaintance with the singing of this venerated Egyptian artist, but knew nothing of her life. I learn from this article by Tom Faber that Umm Kulthum’s singing was admired by western … Continue reading

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Art Is God-Light

In my language, the one I recall now only by closing my eyes, the word for love is Yeu. And the word for weakness is Yếu.How you say what you mean changes what you say.Some call this prayer. I call … Continue reading

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Just a Closer Walk: Things Figured Out

Dark matters don’t lend themselves to nosegay piety. I sniff something of my allergy to vestments and gospels in Sonny Rollins’s tolerance, at 89, for honoring the elusive there where it lies. He has, by his words, shunned the laughing … Continue reading

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“Play Like You Don’t Know How”

“… Play like you don’t know how to play guitar.” That’s the instruction that John McLaughlin recalls Miles Davis giving him. It was on the occasion of his being pressed precipitately into service to collaborate in Davis’s milestone album “Bitches … Continue reading

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