finally a day off

Got up yesterday. Blogged. Made a nice breakfast for Eileen and me (Fruit Salad, softer breakfast burrito for Eileen, breakfast fried rice for me).  Then we walked to our precinct and voted in the millage and school board election. We were voters number 110 and 111. Not a big turnout.

In between I fingered the fifth variation of “Variations sur un noël” op. 20  by Marcel Dupré. When I was in grad school I :fingered all my pieces. This means writing a finger number on every note. Before that, my undergraduate teacher, Ray Ferguson, spoke of taking a portion of his summer vacation and fingering all the pieces he planned to perform in the coming year. Fingering is an arduous task. One has to plan the logic carefully utilizing both the logic of limiting hand movement as much as possible and also what seems logical to you as a unique performer.

I chose to finger this movement due to the fact that the right hand is a perpetual mobile kind of figure of quick notes. I could already play it pretty well at a slower tempo and realized that if I always used the same fingers it would speed up the process of learning this difficult variation. This took a good chunk of my morning.

I have figured out that my son, David, hits the road for his morning commute in California at 10:15 my time. This is a time he has time on his hands and a good time to call him to shoot the breeze.  In California, it is against the law to talk on a cell phone and drive. This is a good law, I think. What phone users are expected to do is use hands free devices when they drive.

David insists that talking to me on the phone using his hands free dealy is no more distracting than listening to the radio. The time difference makes it less easier for me to call him to chat after his work.

So yesterday I took advantage of this and called and chatted with David for a bit.

After that, filled the dishwasher, then helped Eileen move a bunch of compost from our driveway to where she is planning to raise vegetables. She usually does this work herself, but she is still recuperating from her fall and having some other back issues as well. I volunteered. Amazingly, I am not that sore today even though I rarely do manual labor.

Then I came in and made two pies, one blueberry for a welcome gift to the neighbors and one peach to take to today’s staff meeting potluck at church. While the blueberry was baking I went over to church and practiced Dupré.

OK. This is not really me at my church. This is me in England. Just sayin.
OK. This is not really me at my church. This is me in England. Just sayin.

I can play the theme and six of the variations of this piece. But not all of them are “ready for prime time.” I will choose the ones in best shape on Saturday to play on Sunday and probably continue working on them and the others until I learn the whole piece.

There are ten variations. The last one is quite involved. It begins with a fugue and ends with a toccata.  The sixth variation is a clever little three part canon. I quite like it and plan to end whatever group I come up with for this Sunday with it. The canons begin at the interval of a descending fifth. This is like singing “Row, row, row your boat” with each voice the round starting in a different key. The result is arresting to my ears.

After practicing, I came home and treadmilled. Then Eileen and I went out to eat. This was a good relaxing day off that I badly needed.

Today I have some tasks. Besides the staff meeting, I have a little jazz gig with the Barefoot Jazz Quartet around 5 PM. We are playing for a National Honor Society reception at the local high school. My bass player is graduating this year I think.  I suspect he is a member of this organization.

At any rate, this should be fun.


Analysis of Marcel Dupre’s Variations Sur un Noel, op. 20

Found this, this morning. Bookmarked to read later.


Buying Copyrights, Then Patrolling the Web for Infringement –

A week after On the Media reported on this, the New York Times follows suit. This whole deal drives me nuts. I think that consumers should boycott copyright holders who sue customers.


Hearts Beat as One During a Fire-Walking Ritual –

This is fun. Scientists find that a group of people watching an event turn out to sometimes have synchronized heart beats.


A Pakistani Student Reflects on Osama bin Laden’s Death | The Nation

And as I watch all-American, 20-something Caucasian males fist-pump and chest-bump one another outside the White House lawns in celebration, I hope and pray that we are on the road to changing this past decade’s master narrative of the “Global War on Terror.”

The Ghost of bin Laden | The Nation

“I suspect many people will also feel somewhat embarrassed that their reasonable emotions were manipulated by cheap propagandists into something dreadfully exaggerated and irrational. We have a right to resent some of the shameful things done in our name. We have an obligation to make sure they do not continue.”

I have been chagrined and embarrassed by watching unbridled jubilation at the death of Osama bin Laden and the weird anger of people I know towards our president. I share this writer’s idea that people are manipulated by cheap propaganda in the USA. I call it the “echo chamber” since so few people are critical of what they see, hear and read in their news sources. I think this has seriously damaged us as a country.

About admin

This information box about the author only appears if the author has biographical information. Otherwise there is not author box shown. Follow YOOtheme on Twitter or read the blog.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.