All posts by jupiterj

jupe’s social life and current reading


My Sunday after vacation went fine. It was good to see everyone. One of my insights I am bringing back from vacation is that my work is a primary source of my own social interaction. As I age, I am more aware of the statistics that associate living longer with rubbing shoulders with other people. I’m a bit of introvert and haven’t exactly managed to cultivate much of a social life. So,  as I return to my work at church I am thankful that it, at least, provides me with some social outlet.

Having said that, I am aware that this “rubbing” from yesterday did leave my introverted self with his head spinning a bit as usual. This is part of the work and I can handle it.

I had some time before church yesterday, so I went up to the choir room and grabbed some organ music. I managed to choose a prelude and postlude for next Sunday. I am doing reentry conscious of continuing to shape my job to fit my own life style. This means being careful what music I choose regularly to perform. The two pieces I am playing next week come out of Volume 5 England 1730-1930 Wayne Leupold book.

I have been enjoying many of the Leupold Historical Organ Techniques and Repertoire books. They have a lot of information about the music and the musical style of the composers they include.  I’m playing one voluntary by Francis Linley (1770/71-1800) and a quick section of a voluntary by Jonas Blewitt (d. 1805).  I have never heard of either person, but the music is pleasant enough

Linley Practical Intruduction to Organ Playing Title Page

I couldn’t find a picture of Linley but I believe this is an organ book he wrote. No pictures of Blewitt either.

Yesterday late afternoon I had an email from Rev Jen requesting the piano trio for a big funeral we have scheduled Wednesday. Due to this funeral I think I’m going to delay planning this week because even though I will get paid an extra fee for it, I still count the prep time as part of my weekly church work.

I texted the other players in the trio and checked for their responses this morning. It’s a go. I am planning to make this as easy as I can for the three of us and still meet the expectations of the community and the boss. We will get together tomorrow.

I have been watching a documentary on James Joyce on YouTube the last few mornings while I do my stretches and exercise. I have Stephen Hero and Pound’s letters to him on my daily reading stack. Today I decided to pull out Finnegans Wake and add this to the stack. When I began looking at my Joyce books, I discovered that I have quite a few source books that I purchased after I had finished reading Finnegans Wake.

Image result for a word in your ear rosenbloom

A Word in Your Ear: How & Why to Read James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake is clearly written and is a good place for me to get back on the merry-go-round of this particular work.

Image result for finnegans wake oxford world classics

At some point I purchased a nice, new, clean copy of Finnegans Wake. So far this Oxford edition is the one whose pagination ryhmes with all my nice new unread resource books.

I figure if I can spend an hour or so a day with Greek, some daily time with Finnegans Wake is doable.

I am being drawn back into Eliot, Pound, and Joyce, partly out an enduring love of their work. But also by the fact that I have to look hard for anything else that approaches the satisfaction I get from reading them over and over.

Eliot quote from today’s reading:

“Shakespeare gives the greatest width of human passions; Dante the greatest altitude and depth.”

T. S. Eliot, Dante (1929) in Selected Essays, 226

Image result for shakespeare dante


in the grips of unreasonable optimism


I seem to still be able to play organ. Eileen and I went over to church midday. Eileen posted hymns while I prepared for tomorrow. All systems go.

I’m feeling unreasonably optimistic today. Some of it is the weather here is lovely. Plus I am in a late summer mood. I have been listening to Purcell’s Faerie Queen (link to excellent Youtube rendition).  I didn’t like what was on Spotify. I did find the missing record of my two record recording of this by the Deller consort and have been listening to side one over and over on my record player.

Image result for fairy queen deller consort

I didn’t realize this piece is based on Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream. Very loosely.  The liner notes (remember those?) on my record say that it was written about 100 years after Shakespeare’s play and was “updated.” It’s actually barely recognizable. However, Purcell captures the mood I’m in. This makes me want to listen to Mendellsohn’s music for the play as well. It all has a very summery feel and I’m lovin’ it.

I was talking to Eileen about something I have learned about myself on this vacation. Namely, that while music is still central to who I am, given a completely open choice I don’t always choose to do music. On this vacation, instead I have pursued a lot of poetry, history, and current event reading. Not to mention Odysseus in the original Greek.

I haven’t completely neglected music, sitting down almost every day to do some, but it’s an interesting thing to know about myself.

I can do my church job well and still not spend a great amount of time on it.  However, I often get my intellectual curiosity aroused by coming into contact with music. I am expecting this to lead me back to studying the life of Bach and other composers, not to mention hymnody and choral music.

I am already being led back to music via my other intellectual pursuits. Apparently, T. S. Eliot had the late Beethoven string quartets in mind when he was writing Four Quartets. So of course I had to play through some Beethoven piano sonatas.

Speaking of T. S. Eliot, a while back I decided I wanted to read an essay of his on Dante. Dante was very important to Eliot and he loved The Divine Comedy.

Image result for selected essays t s eliot new edition

I ordered a collection of his essays this summer and I’m almost finished reading the Dante essay.

One thing I have learned is that with an interlinear translation, I am often able to understand much of Dante’s poem in the original Italian.  I don’t think Eliot read Dante only in the original. In fact, I suspect that he had little training in Italian. But he did know Greek and Latin and was very, very well educated. My mind is not in his league, but reading his essay which has a lot of the original Italian in it has convinced me that it would be fun to revisit Dante in an interlinear version.

I have interlibrary loaned one of the Paradiso to examine.

Image result for The Paradiso of Dante Alighieri, Temple Classics

I have looked at some interlinear Dante online and think I would like to have my own copy of a real book of this sort to use. So I’m hoping that looking at real copy of the above book I will be able to determine which edition to purchase.

If today is technically the last day of my lengthy summer vacation from church work, I am in an excellent space regarding both return to work and continuing my current studies of Toni Morrison, T. S. Eliot, Dante, and other stuff.

I have missed very few days of exercising and have a sneaking suspicion that it is helping me. I plan to continue daily stretches and physical exercise indefinitely at this point.