I was thinking about and practicing some Chopin nocturnes yesterday. I recently had an insight that I am largely a self taught pianist. This is good to remember. I have found Chopin’s use of quick scale gestures over a steady rhythm confusing. For example in the B flat minor nocturne he does 22 quick notes over 12 eight notes. This is means 11s over 6s.
Fortunately there is a great deal discussion of this online. I came to the conclusion that (surprise, surprise) Chopin means exactly what he has written. This is the way recordings are usually done as well. This means working on polyrhythms with a vengeance if I ever want to play some of my favorite music well at the piano. There are lots of self help videos on this online and I garnered some good ideas yesterday.
I found someone who has also read Finnegans Wake.
Unfortunately she is a fictional character in Rushdie’s Satanic Verses.
She went icy. ‘Chamcha, listen up. I’ll discuss this with you one time because behind all your bullshit you do maybe care for me a little. So comprehend, please, that I am an intelligent female. I have read Finnegans Wake and am conversant with post-modernist critques of the West, e. g. that we have here a society capable of only a “flattened” world.” The Satanic Verses, 261
Organ committee meeting
I walked to church yesterday for a meeting. My boss, Jen, asked me to meet with the architect who is redesigning the back of the church to fit the specs of the new organ. There was also a parishioner at this meeting.
Jen assured me afterwards I had been helpful. I know she was right, but I wasn’t happy with my contribution. Neither was she entirely. I think (and hope) it was due to a combination of fatigue and bouncing back from illness. As they discussed the particulars, I resisted putting up a barrier between the player and the church area to protect him for safety. However later I said it didn’t really matter to me.
Jen said it was confusing to determine what was important to me. I told her it was simple to me. The physical adaptations of the area and the room to provide better acoustics for our worship are much more important to me.
At first the architect proposed extending the platform into the church area. Later I realized that he had not entirely recalled our particular situation. I (along with Jen) explained to him that we didn’t have room for that kind of expansion no matter how minimal.
When we moved our discussion to the church, the architect recalled his original ideas which were exactly what I had talked about in our meeting. This was comforting. I also brought up the hardening of the walls. Apparently this is still going to happen. I guess I’m a bit antsy since in my last church renovation hardening of surfaces was part of the plan which was ultimately abandoned (accidentally?).
Also I mentioned the air conditioning and repeated John Boody’s wise words that “prayer deserves quiet.” (I love a good constructive quote)
Being part of a project like this that takes so long and so much discussion and so many meetings leads me to wonder exactly what the outcome will be. I hope we can put in a good instrument, improve the area in the back of the church and improve the singing acoustics. This would satisfy me.
I liked it that the architect focused on where we were planning to put the piano. After some discussion he came up with a brilliant idea. We have four areas in the church for people in wheelchairs where we have shortened pews. Since we don’t feel comfortable removing pews because our community is growing, he proposed swapping one of these areas out with a pew in the back of the church. We would need a bit shorter pew to accommodate a spinet piano such as we have.
But the upshot is that there would be more room for the piano and we would only lose about one person’s worth of pew and one of four areas for wheelchair people. That’s cool.
The next step for the organ committee is for the architect to consult with our accoustician and for Jen to find out from our builder what kind of wood he is using and what his color scheme of staining it is to help the architect think about some acoustical panels he is planning to put in.
Step by Step on a Desperate Trek by Migrants Through Mexico – The New York Times
An amazing look at the trek across Mexico on the ground with real people.
Dan Hicks, of the Hot Licks, Dies at 74; Countered the ’60s Sound – The New York Times
I don’t remember the sound of this band, but I always love its name: Dan Hicks and his Hot Licks.
Obama’s Lofty Plans on Gun Violence Amount to Little Action – The New York Times
A discouraging realistic look at what’s possible. The discussion around this topic is so distorted. The one comment that the NYT recommends seems to incorrectly indicate that the Gallup poll has found that the American public is not concerned about this. I checked. The commenter is wrong I think.
Guns | Gallup Historical Trends