even though his life is good, jupe has the blahs


Image result for the stranger painting

It’s kind of a dreary day in Holland, Michigan, but I don’t think that’s why I have the blahs. I met with my colleagues, Nick Palmer and Rhonda Edgington, for some food and chat. I managed to talk less than usual. I like Nick and Rhonda a great deal. I don’t think our conversation gave me the blahs. But I did feel more disconnected than usual.

I went to the library and dropped off some books. I finished reading Ursula K. Le Guin’s posthumous collection of poetry, So Far So Good.

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This is a poem in it I had marked because I liked it.

To the Rain
Mother rain, manifold, measureless,
falling on fallow, on field and forest,
on house-roof, low hovel, high tower,
downwelling waters all-washing, wider
than cities, softer than sisterhood, vaster
than countrysides, calming, recalling:
return to us, teaching our troubled
souls in your ceaseless descent
to fall, to be fellow, to feel to the root,
to sink in, to heal, to sweeten the sea.
It sort of fits my mood.
I have a funeral to play tomorrow. That seems to make the weekend longer. I spent a lot of time with Bartok on the piano yesterday. I was playing his music when I was an untrained musician. His music was enormously influential on me. I love his Music for Children.
Image result for bartok music for children
I played all the way through Vol. I yesterday. Volume one is settings of Hungarian folk songs, two is Slovakian. I don’t seem to have a copy of two in the house.
Image result for bartok mikrokosmos used sheet music
I also love his Mikrokosmos. Again, very influential on me. It feels almost nostalgic to play through his music. It certainly helps me keep in touch with my aesthetic.
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jupe rambles on


Wednesdays are proving to be the day of my heaviest work load. Some of this is I keep shoving all the tasks to that day. Yesterday, I finished picking choir music for the rest of the year and the June recital. There are some ambitious choices, but the choir seemed pumped last night. This group is as good as it ever has been under my direction and it is quite good.

We are singing a bit of an odd anthem Sunday. It’s Hosanna! Blessed is He! by Ralph E. Maryott. I found it in the extensive choral library at my church. This library extends back for generations. I have found that some of these older anthems are fun for the group and the composers know a thing or two about writing for voices.

This is a bit of a rambunctious piece for the second Sunday of Lent. However, the gospel ends with Jesus proclaiming ?And I tell you, you will not see me until the time comes when you say, ‘Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord.'” And most of this anthem is the phrase,”Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.” It can be done a Capella and this makes it sound a bit more Lenten.

The choir sounds great unaccompanied on this piece.

Laurie noticed that the opening hymn we rehearsed had “Alleluia” in it. Oops. I sent off a different suggestion this morning before Eileen and I went to the dermatologist.

I had an appointment for him to completely remove a spot on my back. He said today that the cancer I had was the most benign form of skin cancer.

Eileen and I had enough time to go out for breakfast before my trio rehearsal. The trio worked hard on the Clara Schumann piece we are playing at church a week from this Sunday. Despite being exhausted on Thursdays I enjoy working with these two very fine musicians, Amy and Dawn.

They have a slight tendency to let me lead which I resist. Usually I’m talkative due to fatigue, but I’m wary of stepping outside of my role as one of the trio since I’m convinced we need to meet in the music and all of us be equal in collaborating the final interp.

I fear some of the tendency is that simple fact that I am male. Anyway, the other two players are very good humored and gracious. At the same time they are fiercely good players. It’s a nice combo for all of us.

NYTimes: The Court and the Cross

Linda Greenhouse, always insightful.