little update…


Eileen is off getting her hair done this morning. This is a special kind of self pampering that I thoroughly approve of and support and encourage. I have already been up to the lab to have a blood draw for my Thursday check up. I am listening to the St. Matthew’s Passion by Bach. I continue reading in Peter Williams’ J. S. Bach: A Life in Music. That’s why I’m listening to this piece.  In the famous Bach obit penned by his son and another man, it says that Bach wrote and performed five passions. (Passion = passio, suffering).

Williams sorts this out. One of the five is most certainly an anonymous one he inherited with his Leipzig gig and rewrote. Of the other four I think only three are certain: John, Matthew, and some of a Lucan one.

Anyway, Williams always inspires me to listen to and/or play through the music.

I was bogged down in the book because I couldn’t figure out what a citation meant. In two places in the book I found a parenthetical reference  pointing to FN 4. What could it mean? I scoured abbreviation lists,  bibliographies, and the like to no avail.

After googling and chatting with Eileen about it (who saw it as another puzzle to think about), I messaged Greg Crowell and put up a query on an Organist Facebroken Page.

It didn’t take Greg too long to inform me that it was referring in both cases to a nearby footnotes. FN = footnote. One of them was not on the page of the reference but a few pages over. Oh! Good to know.

This weekend I used my harpsichord in public for the first time in several years. As I mentioned here, we played the Bach Violin Sonata in B minor mov 1 and the choir performed “Flocks may safely graze.” It all sounded pretty good. Actually the violinist was spectacular.

Last night Rev Jen and I gave an AGO talk about clergy-musicianship relationships. She and I prepared coherently. We started off with a couple of anecdotes (one each) then interviewed each other alternating between four prepared questions for each other. Q and A started up right away. After we were done, Jen said we should do it sometime for the parish. I told her that now she had a program up her sleeve and she could schedule it at leisure.

Of course my anecdote was about jinxing a good thing by talking about it. David Farr wrote a pamphlet pompously entitled “The Working Relationship Between Principal Priest and Chief Musician.” He presented a session about it at a Chilton Powell Institute (an Detroit Episcopalian conference that used to occur from time to time).

After the conference, he flew home and was fired.

Hopefully if Jen and I open ourselves up to the community about how we work together so well, we don’t jinx it.


Robert Reich has a BaseFook video about the Universal Basic Income. Back in 2016 I first learned about the imminent approach of the loss of most if not all jobs: The book was People Get Ready: The Fight Against a Jobless Economy and a Citizenless Democracy by  Robert W. McChesney and John Nichols.

The book is about possible futures which concluded that the work ethic will go away in the face of robots doing everything. We have two alternatives: either we become slaves to the economic masters or we reevaluate the whole work ethic thing and provide a universal basic income to all so that we can continue to work on being good humans.

Interestingly, in order to find this exact book reference I had to do some searching in old blog posts since it didn’t appear on my current list of books I have read. In doing so I kept running across other references to the Universal Basic Income. Cool.

NYTimes: We Don’t Need No Education

Krugman explains lowering taxes has destroyed important infrastructure.

NYTimes: Ai Weiwei’s Little Blue Book on the Refugee Crisis

I’m a fan. He has a book out. Here’s a short interview about it.

NYTimes: 10 Treasures, Unearthed From the New York Philharmonic’s Archives

Some very cool stuff in the archives. Check it out.

NYTimes: Holstering the K-Pop, South Korea Silences Propaganda at the DMZ

Music as weapon. Nice.

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