Whew! Jet lag is a real thing I guess. I am still trying to get back into a cycle of sleeping and eating.
My head has been buzzing ever since my vacation.
During vacation, I read a play by Shakespeare (As you like it) and a novel by Somerset Maugham (The Razor’s Edge). I would like to say that I loafed around and did this reading. But in fact I did it on the plane rides.
I wonder if it’s usual return from restorative vacation with your head buzzing with new stuff to do. I am planning to majorly re-organize my house: put booksheles upstairs, change my present ridiculously crowded library into a Steve workroom with computer and keyboard. I also have some good ideas about where to take my job next fall. Tomorrow evening is the last rehearsal of the season and I want to do some chalk talk temperature taking and ferretting out new solutions to the problems of having a very small choir whose weekly rehearsal barely resembles its Sunday morning appearances. heh.
I spent a good hour yesterday rehearsing the Sortie from Messiaen’s “Pentecost Mass” for organ. I badly want to perform it Sunday. I am thinking of writing a little bulletin note about it explaining the fact that it far from dreary…. that Messiaen intended it to be an ecstatic utterance (good phrase that) of the wind of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost (“Le vent de l’Esprit”).
I also practiced my Greek during vacation. Came home and pulled out my texts and starting working on this again. I know it’s ironic, but due to recently being exposed to some brain science via John Medina’s “Brain Rules” and NPR, I have been encouraged to put my aging brain back in the language gear. These sources say that not only can an old brain learn a language, it’s actually good for it. Cool.
I bought a ton of books in England this time. We ended up bring home an extra suitcase full of them and a few other choice items.
Eileen bought a Roald Dahl Cookbook at the Roald Dahl Museum in the village where Sarah and Matthew live. This morning I made “Olivana” which Dahl describes as a “gorgeous, smooth, soft syrupy paste.” It’s simple, really. One just adds a drop or two of olive oil to mashed bananas. Mmmm good.
Both today and yesterday I got up and did my mile on the treadmill. This morning I listened to the first three movements of Vauhan Williams’ “Sea Symphony.” For some reason I have had a jones for Vaughan Williams recently. I liked to think this was intensified by wandering the sea shores in Cornwall. In this symphony Vaughan Williams sets adaptations of Whitman’s poems: “Song of the Exposition,” “Song for all Seas, all Ships,” “On the Beach at Night Alone,” “After the Sea-ship“, and “Passage to India.”
I also have been glancing at the score online (pdf).
This made great music to walk to. I also recommend the poems. Of course I like poetry.
I have been thinking quite a bit about my general attitude toward my work. I have about concluded that I am still basically the kid I was about music: a misfit/outsider who is attracted to music and poetry and struggling with his own need to appear more complex and talented than he is. I think I haved down the last part quite a bit. Oddly enough I think if I did do the “look at me and how much I know” thing I used to do as a kid that I would have better “success” with stuff like getting my music heard and successfully leading choirs. Heh.
Speaking of getting my music heard, another buzzing idea is that I am hoping to completely redesign my web site this summer. I am thinking of trying to build another URL from scratch using a fake “Dreamweaver” type software (hopefully shareware or cheap). On that site I will try to make my own music and poetry accessible to listeners and readers. I am planning to continue blogging on this WordPress site because I like the idea that random readers can leave comments. (This is despite some readers complaining they can’t get my comments section to work. Heh. Hi Cheryl!)
I continue to ponder the conundrum of being a composer whose music has such a narrow appeal to audiences. It does occur to me that my music is not that attractive to others. On the other hand, I believe in my work and understand that an important part of composing is airing out the pieces to breathing listeners. I am beginning to agree with Cory Doctorow who says that his problem is not people stealing his work but his own obscurity. Doctorow is a helluva lot less obscure than yours truly.
Anyway. My Mom just called and I have to get in the car and take her to Meijer’s because her ride didn’t work out.
One last thing about my “narrow” appeal to listeners. I think at best a small number of people like the music that I like and write. I do think I have a small audience. But living in such a provincial part of a country that focuses on the culture of celebrity to the expense of many of the kinds of musics and poetry and books I like underscores the fact that I am fishing in a small pond which is vastly understocked with people who can appreciate my work. Hence my interest in the Internet. In addition to building a web site around my work, I would then start doing some fishing for listeners on other music sharing web sites.
This is just part of the buzzing brain of jupe today. No time to add pics. Sorry. More later.