harpischord and the usual self absorbed musings of jupe

Spent a good deal of yesterday working on the harpsichord. I took my time and sanded as smooth as possible the parts I needed to reglue. Then I made a little brace for the  nailing and regluing of the lower  support guide.

Then I inserted tongues into the jacks. One of a few steps necessary to assemble them.  That’s done.

I put up photos on Facebook. Here’s a link to the whole album.

I took a hiatus from working on composition and think too much about what music I will play on Aug 5th. I did come up with the idea of doing an arrangement of “Tombstone Blues” by Bob Dylan. I do like that tune.

Mama’s in the fact’ry She ain’t got no shoes Daddy’s in the alley He’s lookin’ for the fuse I’m in the streets With the tombstone blues

I called my Mom a couple of times and offered to get her out of the apartment. She declined. She seems in good spirits and no sign of a return of her clinical depression.

I grabbed a bunch of fruit and veggies from the farmers market.

Eileen and I have been regularly walking up and having our Wednesday supper at the local faux Irish pub. It’s kind of expensive for our pocketbooks, but it’s a nice weekly time together and I get to have a martini or two.

I decided yesterday to greet Eileen with a BLT, fresh green beans, fresh small new potatoes, and peaches and ice cream last night. That was just as festive.

I have heard back from only one of the five people I asked to look at my Samba like Holy I am writing for my congregation.

My colleagues tend to be a tad conservative so I’m afraid my feeble attempts at integrating a fresh pop style in this piece will put them so far off they won’t know quite how to respond. Hence the silence.

"Uh.... it's very nice, Steve."

My one friend, Michelle Rego, living and working actively in an RC church in Florida, did her best to keep me encouraged as she observed the piece is “jumpy” and too hard for her to teach to her choir due to the non-lyrical skips in the melody. She did, however, like the rhythm and the chord progression. I’m not sure about rewriting at this stage. I would dearly like some other feed back, but people are busy, I know.

In the midst of this I have been playing lots of Haydn and Mozart on the piano. I am thinking about what the authors of Elements of Sonata Theory: Norms, Types, and Deformations in the late 18th c. say about how this music is put together and was heard by its creators and contemporary listeners. They go so far as to say that their study has “defamliarized” this music for them.

I like that quite a bit. I have always thought that the way Sontata Allegro form was taught was artificial. I do like the way Hepokoski and Darcy talk and think about it. And I do see how their ideas lead to hearing the music differently and better.

I found time to pick out organ music for a week from Sunday yesterday. I chose two pieces by the composer, Andrew Clarke. He’s a trained church musician working in Florida. I quite admire his compositions. They show creativity and intelligence in a field where there is so much hum drum writing. Also they aren’t that easy to play.

Andrew Clarke, church composer, At 68 he's still going!

I chose his “Fantasy on an Irish Ballad” for the prelude since we are singing the tune it is based on (SLANE) as the opening hymn that Sunday. And just to be perverse I scheduled his “Pastoral dance on MORNING HAS BROKEN” for the postlude. It’s nice stuff but I brought it home to practice the manual parts even though I have two weeks to learn it.

Today all I have scheduled is a rehearsal with my piano trio. Hopefully we can work in a run through of “Dead Man’s Pants..” I will take a banjo. The section entitled, “Tiny Lies,” is mostly banjo and strings. That will be fun to run through.

I am trying to downplay this performance in my mind. The big hurtle for me was getting “Dead Man’s Pants” completed. Now that that’s done, I want to make the rest of the prep for this gig pretty painless. We’ll see. I haven’t quite given up on doing a cover of  “Fade to Black” by Secret Dakota Ring. This will require some thoughtful arranging and diligent  rehearsal. I’m afraid once again I might be asking too much of volunteer musicians. Sigh.

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