I’m waiting for Eileen’s shower to finish so that I may shower after treadmilling. One of the joys of having an old house is the plumbing which dictates that one can only shower upstairs if there is no water running any where else in the house. This includes the washing machine which I have just shut off…..
I am notorious for starting books but not for finishing them. Last night I started a very entertaining and interesting read:
The Recording Angel: Music, Records and Culture from Aristotle to Zappa, Second Edition by Evan Eisenberg is lots of fun, even if it can’t help being dated.
The first chapter is called “Clarence” and is about an eccentric who has been collecting records for years in NYC. His house has no heat. He smells bad. His collection is unbelievable. His anecdotes about various famous people he has known and received autographs and interesting stuff from is mind boggling.
The second chapter (which is the one that really caught my attention) is called “Music becomes a thing.” He not only charmingly rants about how music goes from being something you do (okay that’s my phrase) to something you can have and collect, he lists off five needs humans satisfy by collecting cultural objects:
1. The need to make beauty and pleasure permanent.
2. The need to comprehend beauty.
3. The need to distinguish oneself as a consumer.
4. The need to belong.
5. The need to impress others, or onself.
This guy is my kind of thinker. He ranges wide, humorously and with lots of knowledge. Here’s a link to his current website which is not as impressive as this book: link to Evan Eisenberg’s web site
I spent a good deal of time yesterday writing the program for the four people who will attend my recital Sunday. Actually I’m planning on publishing 25 to 30 copies which is incredibly optimistic I think.
I experimented around with ways of practicing yesterday. I have been doing a lot of slow practice for weeks, but realize that I need to practice up to tempo as well. This is especially true of the new pieces I am planning to perform.
Anyway, the day before the recital it all becomes a bit more moot, although the words of my dead teacher keep ringing in my ears: “sometimes you have to practice something right up until the performance.”
I know that I am attempting quite a bit tomorrow afternoon. Fifty minutes of recital material is quite a bit for someone like me who usually practices two hours a day. The majority of the program is in good shape, but I continue to learn about myself as a performer and practicer.
Also I am aging. This year I had some pain in my left hand presumably arthritic. It has affected me. But “toujour gai, archy, toujour gai, there’s some life in the old gal yet.”