little update from the old guy


Today’s streamcast of church went much better than last week’s. I scheduled music by Anne Krentz Organ and Alice Jordan. We sang (or I played as people either sang along at home, read the words, or played with their phone) “Seek ye first” by Karen Lafferty. I almost wrote in my music note about the fact that all the music was by women today. But then i reconsidered. I wouldn’t have done so if all the music had been by men. Maybe it would be better to let stuff speak for itself. The piece by Anne Krentz Organ was based on a Kenyan song and was lots of fun. I sweated a little bit over a registration change but it seemed to go okay today.

I have misgivings about using copyrighted material in this streamcasts. But I gave up and played music this week that might I might possibly need permission to add to a streamcast. Lafferty’s piece is not covered by Rite Song even though it’s in the Hymnal 1982. I messaged her on Facebook asking how to get permission to use her words, but haven’t heard back. She’s probably pretty elderly by now.

Anyway, since I’ve given up on only using out of copyright organ music, I am learning a very cool piece by Carson Cooman,  Organ Symphony #3, Portals. I’m preparing two movements to pair soon in an upcoming streamcast: mov 3 “Humble yourself” and mov 5 “Sing Joyfully.” I keep finding myself attracted to Cooman’s writing. Also, I think he liberates me a bit as a composer for organ in the way he mixes up musical languages and usually does so successfully.

I am trying to keep my trumpet organ piece on the front burner. Saturday afternoon I worked several hours on the last movement. Haven’t started the second movement but I have some notes on the first.

I finished two books this afternoon. The Age of Illusions: How America Squandered Its Cold War Victory by Andrew Bacevich and Stoney The Road: Reconstruction, White Supremacy, and The Rise of Jim Crow by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

They were worthwhile reads.

Speaking of reading, both of my daughters right now are reading or listening to books I recommended. Sarah is listening to Sodom and Gommroah, Volume 4 of Proust’s In Search of Lost Time. Elizabeth’s finished reading the preface to Ibram X. Kendi’s How to be an Antiracist.

It makes an old man happy.

Well, that’s all I have time for today. Time to go read and practice. Martini at 5. My life is good.


my country goes insane


These times are strange and getting stranger. Unidentified people in uniforms descending on Portland in the name of Trump. These people from the Department of Home security look to be a first, overt wave of actions. The DHS itself has been ransacked, it’s leadership unconfirmed by the gutless Congress.

Between this unfolding madness, the current awakening of discussion around racism in the USA,  the pandemic, and oh yes, did I mention the world is quickly getting past the tipping point of global warming, between all this, I feel stuck in the pages of a not very good and overly ambitious sci fi novel.

There. That’s off my chest.

Yesterday Eileen and I attended a cyber conference of the Lakeshore Ethnic Diversity Alliance (LEDA). There were the usual technical glitches of Zoom and other interfaces. There were two keynotes which were pretty lame and several break out sessions to choose from. One of these was quite good. It was titled: “Engaging in Anti Racism: Work through White Consciousness Raising.”

It was led by Marlene Kowalski-Braun and Deanna Rolffs. Kowalski-Braun works at Grand Valley State U and Rolffs is a consultant. Mostly I madly googled resources they mentioned while they were presenting.

Here’s my list of links

Phases Racial and Cultural Identity Model and White Racial Identity Model link

Stages of Racial and Cultural identity link to pdf

National Equity Project The Lense of Systemic Oppresson 

White privilege by Peggy  Mcintosh (1988) link to pdf

The Costs of Racism to White People by Paul Kivel link to pdf 

White Fragility author Robin D’Angelo has done synoptic 11 rules pdf

I have to go do the dishes but I wanted to share that I found a National Theater Production of Peter Schaeffer’s Amadeus which is brilliant and probably only available for a week.