easy on the water

Once again I popped out of bed early this morning and began working on “Easy on the Water,” the trio for trumpet, sax and bass I am writing. I would dearly love to have it done by tomorrow. I am expecting the Barefoot Jazz Quartet to have a rehearsal tomorrow afternoon. I’m hoping to have a read through of the trio as well if there’s time.

This morning I adjusted the main theme to be a bit more interesting.

I’m happy with the structure and development of this piece. I was surprised at how easy it was to go back and change the basic initial motivic melodic idea and not only NOT do violence to the unfolding of ideas in the piece, but actually to connect them better.

This kind of composing combines intellect with intuition. Often I write something intuitively and then afterwards intellectually see the rationale or coherence. I find that a bit reassuring.

I performed two organ pieces by Healey Willan yesterday as well as his choir/organ setting of “God has Gone Up with a Shout.”

Healey Willan (1880-1968)

Willan crafts his music carefully. I remember my late teacher, Ray Ferguson, wasn’t enamored of all of Willan’s writing. Curiously I can’t remember if Ray disapproved of the choral and liked the organ compositions or the reverse.

At any rate, I have decided that I like both Willan’s organ writing and choral writing.

Yesterday even as I performed his pieces I noticed little coherent connections that are more apparent to my mind than my ear. In this he is like Bach, working out musical ideas with such care. I find that satisfying.


Finally getting around to putting a few links in my daily blog. I recommend the following link.

The Death Sentence That Defined My Life – NYTimes.com

Mark Trautwain, the author of this article, has been living with HIV/AIDS for thirty or more buy valium philippines years. But that’s not the thing that impressed me about his article. I liked the idea that he found a more clear and wonderful reason for living not despite his “death sentence” but because it made him more aware of life as a temporary gift. Very cool.

“On that day I walked from the hospital knowing I had “it,” I was given a great gift: the realization that we all dangle from that most delicate of threads and that the only way to live a life is to love it.”


Our Fantasy Nation? – NYTimes.com

By examining other countries like Pakistan, Kristoff asks if education, health care, security and even electricity should be public or private goods.


In Book Circles, a Taming of the Feud – NYTimes.com

Jennifer Schuessler discusses literary feuds.


Lyle Lovett on Theaters With Magic – NYTimes.com

Interesting to read Lovett’s comments about rooms he has played in.


Ray Bryant, Jazz Pianist, Dies at 79 – NYTimes.com

This obit intrigued me so much that I purchased MP3s of his first album. Good player.


Abramson Named Executive Editor at The Times – NYTimes.com

Abramson along with present Editor, Keller, are interviewed in this week’s On the Media.


U.S. Questions Europe’s Using Antibiotics Against E. Coli – NYTimes.com

“This bug has been seen before,” said Dr. Robert Tauxe, deputy director of the division of food-borne, bacterial and mycotic diseases at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. That the strain may have genetic material that makes it resistant to antibiotics, however, is intriguing, he said.”


Poland – Auschwitz Sign to Hang Indoors – NYTimes.com

What’s real? What’s not? The famous sign that reads “Arbeit Macht Frei,” or Work Sets You Free, now hangs indoors, while a replica hangs in its place. I recently attended a funeral where a recording was played of a woman singing who sat silently in the front row while it played. What’s real? What’s not?


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