grainy bits of jupe

snow 009

The snow falling in my neighborhood yesterday was very light and fluffy.  And it was accumulating, making a thick layer of snow so light you could practically blow it away, much less shovel it. When you looked up as you walked, there was a sheen of grainy bits of whiteness everywhere.

When you work six days a week (like I am doing now), Saturday begins to feel like a day off. I didn’t get moving until about noon but can’t quite account for what I was doing before that.  I made pretty lousy French toast for Eileen and me for breakfast.

It was probably lousy because I used diet bread and eggbeaters. Some things don’t substitute well, I guess. It was saved by excellent maple syrup (in Eileen’s case) and molasses (in mine).

Sweetener Comparisons: Honey, Agave, Molasses, Sugar, Maple Syrup

I also managed to do a bit of work on “Dead Man’s Pants.” I think it is a bit quixotic to even submit my eccentric work to a New York contest.  It’s due in the offices of the Manhattan New Music Project a week from tomorrow. I may have solved the biggest compositional problem adapting it poses yesterday. My original arrangement (and it was sort of an arrangement for the available musicians) was for string trio, two saxes, piano, bass, drums, banjo and vocals. The one I am submitting will be for string quartet, piano and drums.

This painting is by Georg Mayer-Marton, a Viennese artist who fled to Britain following Hitler’s Anschluss.

I had to cut one section. It’s called “Tiny Lies,” and is really just another droopy jupe type fake paul simon song. I of course quite like it. But it didn’t translate well into the required instrumentation for the contest.

I am however still asking all members of the ensemble to sing and play the last few measure of the piece. This is the way I envision the piece no matter what the arrangement. That all the players would suddenly start singing the notes they were playing with conviction:


I find these lyrics quite satisfying in this context.

I suppose it’s slimly possible that some fancy New Music New York person might like it.

Anyway, it’s a good goal for me. Another little compositional problem.

Quote for today on despair from the wonderful Adrienne Rich:

” [W]e see despair when social arrogance and indifference exist in the same person with the willingness to live at devastating levels of superficiality and self-trivialization.

We see despair in the self-hatred that clogs the lives of so many materially comfortable citizens.

We hear despair in the loss of vitality in our spoken language: “No problem,” we say, “that was a healing experience,” we say, “thank you for sharing that,” we say…

Despair, when not the response to absolute physical and moral defeat, is, like war, the failure of imagination.”

Adrienne Rich, “What would we create,” republished in What is Found There : Notebooks on Poetry and Politics, 1993

I did manage to read through yesterday’s links.  Here’s a couple I have read:

Saracen International Reportedly Has Blackwater Founder’s Support –

Erik Prince is from the city I live in now, Holland, Michigan. He is part of a local moneyed family. He founded a very odd and dangerous- looking organization of mercenary soldiers formerly known as Blackwater. They are still operating even though Prince I believe has decided to stay out of the USA for the time being. Their new name is Xe Services and they bear keeping an eye on.


A Night in Tunisia –

Not sure if I put this link on the blog, but it is a vivid rendering of the frightening life on the ground in Tunisia recently.


Here’s a few more on my list to read.

John Lomax with unidentified very cool guy

Book Review: Books About Alan Lomax –

I have been a fan of Alan Lomax and his dad for years. They both demonstrated an interest in non-academic music and made valuable recordings of all kinds of musics.


Got Dough? How Billionaires Rule Our Schools by Joanne Barken

from Looks interesting.


How novels came to terms with the internet by Laura Miller

from yesterday’s


Irony Is Good!

How Mao killed Chinese humor … and how the Internet is slowly bringing it back again.




and don’t forget

Alex Ross: The Rest Is Noise

Said the Gramophone - image by Danny Zabbal

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