guitar, piano, organ

 

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Yesterday for the the first time in several years, I picked up my guitar and practiced for about a half hour or so. I used my classic so the nylon strings wouldn’t be too hard on my soft fingers. The goal would be to build up enough callouses on my left hand that I could comfortably perform. Yesterday I mostly played easy classic guitar music and a couple of my own compositions. The fingers remembered everything, but they are a bit stiffer with age.  I also have an urge to pick up the banjo, but I’m going to wait until my callouses are starting to form.

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I think I might have been inspired when we were cleaning out the front porch yesterday. I found a collection of music for Bach arranged for the guitar that I purchased right about the time I quit playing guitar. Also, I have been thinking about how much fun it would be to do different music styles in recitals at church. It would be nice to have my guitar/banjo chops back in shape so if I had an idea about using the instruments they would be easy to schedule.

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I’m still thinking about possible names for my series at Grace.

grace mix
graceful mix
grace notes (Eileen thought of this one. I wonder if it’s already being used somewhere at church)
live in the back
sanctuary music

As you can see I’m kicking around ideas. Suggestions welcome!

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I decided yesterday that I will perform two of Phillip Glass’s etudes for piano Sunday.

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The anthem Sunday is by a living composer, so it would be nice to have a prelude and postlude that sort of match that.  The postlude etude, No. 11, timed in at over 8 minutes yesterday. That’s kind of long for a postlude but what the fuck.

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Eileen and I talked to people at Mom’s nursing home yesterday about furniture. I had the idea that they might have a chair for Mom to sit in instead of climbing over her non-functional recliner. The woman I talked to said she would instantly look into providing Mom with a temporary solution. Later in the day, she called to say that they had found one and already put it Mom’s room. Cool.

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After practicing guitar and piano, I did manage another hour on organ yesterday. This time I worked only on Bach. I’m going to learn the famous Toccata and Fugue in D minor since two parishioners have said that they would like to hear me play it on the new organ. I take requests when they’re any where near the kind of music I want to play. So I practiced that yesterday. I have been practicing the famous rubato beginning to this piece in strict time. This was a suggestion in the historical edition I recently purchased edited by Quentin Faulkner. It turns out to not to be all that great an edition. It contains the Orgelbüchlein and a few pieces one of which is that piece.

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I ordered a hundred dollars worth of used music yesterday from my former teacher, Craig Cramer. It included a piece for violin, cello, and organ by William Boyce with parts included. Woo hoo!

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I seem to have broken the trunk latch on Mom’s car yesterday.  I took a load of junk from the porch to Bibles for Mexico and couldn’t it to latch. We have an appointment to have it looked at today.

The fun never stops.

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High-Ranking Syrian Officials Could Face Reckoning in Landmark Spain Case – The New York Times

The USA has passed the torch of caring about humanity to Europe. Even though this action described in this article is probably futile, it’s good to see the charges made.

Republicans for Single-Payer Health Care – The New York Times

Insurance is such a stupid way to approach health care.

no place like home

 

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The music went really well yesterday. The piano trio played two movements by CPE Bach. We know these very well but prepared them carefully. This was probably a good thing, since after church the violinist told me that she really had to work at CPE that day which she found unusual. I responded that she played very well and that the pieces came off well so it was a good thing that she worked so hard. I suspect she is missing worshiping with her home community. Next week she will be able to since we are moving back upstairs and she had only committed herself to helping out while we were downstairs.

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Edward Bairstow

We did the famous Bairstow setting of “The King of Love” yesterday for an anthem. This piece relies on the organ accompaniment. You can see how Bairstow was thinking of pairing a good choral sound with a typical romantic organ. I, however, accompanied it on piano. It became a slightly different piece that way. I think it was cool and even improved a little bit this way, dragging this stuffy English piece into the 21st century arena, praying in the basement of a liberal little church in a hostile land.

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After resting up a bit and making the daily visit to my Mom with Eileen, I set off to get some badly needed organ practice. I’m afraid I’ve been neglecting organ. I managed a couple of good solid hours yesterday, mostly with Bach.

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This morning I listened to part of a “Between the Covers” podcast of a February interview with Ursula K. Leguin (some I read and admire).

Here’s an link.

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I found myself pondering words she read from an essay in her new book, Words Are My Matter: Writings About Life and Books, 2000-2016.

The essay was called “The Operating Instructions.”

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Her ideas about “home” struck me. Here’s an excerpt.

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This, of course, is how I see it. My home is the conversation I experience as I play music, make it up, read books, and simply sit and think. The voices in the books, music, and ideas are my home.

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So spending two hours with Bach at the organ is spending time; privileged, lucky time; with the musical ideas of his mind.

This morning I continued my reading of poetry. I  have less than seventy pages to read of Amiri Barak’s 528 page, SOS: Poems 1961-2013.

I laughed out loud when I read this couplet this morning:

“The Father The Son and The Holy Ghost is a Joke
What happened to the Mother, Fools!”

From the poem, “Why it’s quiet in some churches.”

or these lines

Just Buy! Sell! Completely Free (shudder when you hear
them say that word) Free! to squander our lives for their
gain. Paying no taxes, new mix-match Himmlers like Tom
Ass Clarence and his criminal wife praying to their non existent
God which they count as they step through the blood giggling
“Citizens United” the scalding song of vampires mumbling
all over the world as they come to evict us from our homes
and our schools, public education is on their hit list as well.

from the poem, “What’s that? Who is this in them old Nazi clothes? Nazi’s dead!”

Baraka died in 2014, but this poem could have been written now. And I do love: “Tom Ass Clarence.”