I have just gotten up from my fifty dollar synth. I use it to play harpsichord literature. This morning was Bach suites. Also I page through the two volumes of the Fitzwilliam Virginal book and play pieces. This is a solitary delight. I think Bach imagined solitary players delving into his musical ideas and enjoying them. Possibly the virginalists composer did likewise even though their pieces often seem directed toward listeners and situations that clearly posit an audience to the music( “The King’s Hunt”).
There is an odd feeling of gentle consolation at playing through such wonderful music alone. It is a pleasure to know that no matter what, as long as I can move my fingers I will have this experience for myself.
Today I’m meeting Craig Cramer. He is on a day trip up from South Bend. He will look over the instrument, then he, Eileen and I will have lunch. I have a distinct feeling of being in over my head regarding tomorrow night’s upcoming concert. I am prepared as I can be given the limits of my ability and situation. I will continue practicing the music carefully in the few hours I have left for it.
But it feels very much like I am heading for a collision of worlds.
The crash will be silent and probably mostly if not only in my own head. I know the acquisition of the Pasi organ is significant, both for our church community and the organ community at large. I am pleased by its modesty and beauty of sound. At the same time, I wonder how I quite fit into all this elegance.
I am happy with my composition, “Mental Floss.” It says very much what I want to say. I can render it so that it can be heard. At the same time, it seems to languish a bit trivially in the ears of other trained musicians. I emailed it to my friend Nick, but no response. Rhonda was very helpful about it, taking it on its own terms, but I couldn’t quite tell what she thought of it as a composition. It is eccentric and a bit trivial, I guess, like its creator.
This morning I found myself reading Keats, Erica Jong, Richard Wilbur and the other usual suspects. These then are my companions (besides my lovely wife). Along with Bach, the English virginalists and others they hold me in conversation and thrall. But when in a room with others I find myself lost in a torrent of conflicting emotions and observations. Thus it has been my whole life, really. There just used to be more breathing alive people on my list of companions.
I know this is not unusual for older people. But the stereotype is that they have out lived friends. In my case, it’s more like my friends have left me in their past where they are more comfortable with me. A few people keep a bizarre notion of me in their heads which is not terribly informed by who I am now.
Eileen was so surprised when the hostess of our recent Sunday evening meal was so affectionate to us, treating us like old friends, hugging us as we arrived and being very charming and solicitous all evening. I pointed out to Eileen that she and I were probably a large presence in this person’s life, but one uninformed by actual contact with us.
After having recently listened to Jong read poetry by Updike and herself, I turned to my worn copies of her poems and read the ones marked as interesting. I was delighted to find this one also online.
This looks like a fun useful recipe.