composing thoughts, villa lobos

So. A couple of days without ballet classes. I suppose they will invite me back next semester, but one really never knows. The chair usually emails me when she starts thinking about the schedule. It is a relief not to have to do a class every day of the week, Monday through Friday.

Yesterday instead of toddling off to do my usual Friday 8:30 AM, I made Eileen and me breakfast. I miss cooking so it was fun. She had the day off as well.

I wonder if improvising daily does anything to my impulse to compose. I haven’t written anything in a while. I’m usually inspired to write for specific musicians. I keep eyeing my piano trio and thinking it would be fun to write for us. Even though the musicians don’t really like “contemporary” classical music they have both played my compositions and arrangements in the past and seemed to enjoy them.

It’s been a few years since I have been invited to play at the local coffee shop. I can only wonder why. I think that the owner’s insistence that he man the sound system for gigs sabotaged me last time. The sound people were musicians from another band, much younger of course. They seemed unfriendly. They also did a very poor job.

I keep fantasizing if I were to do something like that again in public I would insist on good sound reproduction. Listeners expect a smooth mixed balance.

I also keep thinking of an interview I saw of a famous studio bass player. She said she had quit playing in public because no one really wanted to see an old grandmother up there playing. She may be on to something.

I do realize that much of music performance these days is about perception not sound. People often fall in love with the celebrities more than the music. So it seems.

I do find music continues to be more and more satisfying to me. I have to face the fact that I have blocked myself in, venue wise. I have deliberately continued to be that boy who sat in his father’s empty church in love with the sounds he found under his hands from the piano.

Eileen and I were talking yesterday about my need for solitude, my need to be alone with my music. It is something than anchors me, that’s for sure.

I do know that one cannot do music only alone.

Music demands to be heard by listeners. It demands to be done by groups of people. At this point, it seems that church is serving for me in this way.  It is my only venue really. That and the internet, I guess.

Yesterday I did listen to the music of the musicians in the article I linked: “Chucho Valdés and Gonzalo Rubalcaba from Cuba, Danilo Pérez from Panama and Egberto Gismonti from Brazil.” I found myself seeking live recordings of their work.

In the Spotify mini-bio of Egberto Gismonti, it mentioned that he was influenced by Villa-Lobos.

I pulled out my little Dover piano collection of his work and played through several pieces. They were beautiful and if my piano sounded better I might have made a YouTube video of some of them. Maybe I’ll do that today.


Alan Moore’s Neonomicon censored by US library | Books |

Never head of this. Instantly interlibrary loaned it.


GOP, Koch Brothers Sneak Attack Guts Labor Rights in Michigan | The Nation

 Very frustrating.

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