1 down, 4 to go; bach; and footnotes


Three more days of work ahead of me. I awoke this morning pretty fatigued already.

I hope I can rest along the way in order to function well.

Last night went easily. I was especially proud of my choir’s performance of “I give you a new commandment” by William Mundy. We do most of Maundy Thursday in the basement. It has low ceilings of course and there is absorbent material everywhere. It’s a typical hostile singing environment.

I invited whoever wanted to come to a 5:45 warm up. I was surprised that most of the choir arrived for this time. I think it helped our sound tremendously. The purity of the vowels were especially good last night. This is critical when singing so close to the listeners in a dead acoustic.

Today I am meeting with the curates (who are running the show while Rev Jen is recuperating from her successful surgery yesterday morning) at 1:30. They handled themselves well last night.

I continue to think a great deal about Bach’s “Art of Fugue.”

While I am reading through many of the movements, I am working hard on number 9. I need to learn more about the contemporary scholarship about the numbering but the one I mean is the one I first heard the Swingle singers do.

I still love this recording. And while not exactly trying to replicate their interpretation it is in the back of my mind while I am learning this piece, especially thinking about bringing out the original slow melody that is the theme of the entire work. Also, the idea of making Bach a bit jazzy has dogged me all my life. I think that he has some important basic commonalities with jazz like a steady driving beat and predominance of bass line. It helps me make the music a bit more alive when I factor that in.

On the reading front, I am enjoying dipping into McChesney and Nichols little book, Tragedy and Fear. I am reading the section on the 2004 election which I remember. They point out how CBS dropped the ball by choosing to repress the truth about Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq (there weren’t any) until after the November election.

In doing so, the authors maintain that they ceased to be a news organization. There are few of these left these days anyway.

And I’m still plowing through Blowing Off the Twenty First Century by McChesney. Using my Moon+ Reader to read this is a bit cumbersome.

The footnotes don’t work but I have learned how to get around this by simply constantly rebookmarking where I am reading and the notes in the back. It works, but I only go to a footnote when I am curious.

When i think of booknotes I think of my beloved grad teacher in liturgy, Neils Rassmusen, who killed himself because he knew when his diagnosis of AIDS became known his considerable reputation as a liturgical scholar would suffer. He said in his soft Swedish accent, “Do not neglect to read the footnotes.”

So usually if I’m reading a book, I look at every footnote, partially in homage to a gentle scholar I studied with.

Overreacting to Terrorism? – The New York Times

Rationality fades in the face of fear. Of course one is more likely to fall in the bathtub than be involved in a terrorist attack.

 I am glad to see this criticism of stifling of speech in the name of tolerance. It makes me crazy when I read about it.


2 thoughts on “1 down, 4 to go; bach; and footnotes

  1. I feel so grateful to have just barely missed the battle of “trigger warnings” that need to be issued before certain ideas or situations are discussed in an academic setting. Seems so plastic/fake to me.

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