harpsichord days

Wow.  For some reason my online buds Cheryl and George made very nice comments to the last two posts. Cool. To Cheryl: Thank you so much for your kind words. I wish you lived a bit closer. We definitely would have to get together and shoot the shit in person.  Though I like online stuff, I find nothing is like face to face.  To George: I do miss checking your blog. But this sort of thing can be time consuming and people come and go in the strangest ways. If you write it, I will come. And I don’t get the need for you to behave yourself. But maybe that’s because I don’t behave myself that well online. Heh.

I have been considering what to do with my electronic connections such as internet, phone and cable.

I have just about come to the conclusion I should get cable back for my lovely wife. The other night she was watching her beloved NCIS on our desktop as she treadmilled. The damn thing kept stopping. She patiently explained that if she paused it, sometimes (SOMETIMES) it would load for a few minutes. Oy. I told her we should definitely think about putting cable in the bundle we eventually get.

I’m disappointed that the tech isn’t better for stupid tv and movies. Almost every time I stream, I have stutters and  glitches. This includes Youtube, by the way. It’s probably my aging equipment plus my dsl connection.

I have been talking with my very connected daughter Elizabeth regarding this stuff. She said I would be very disappointed with a wireless only connection to the internet with Verizon. That’s what she has been using. She has two connections, one at work and one for home. This wireless connection is sort of new for her, I think. She finds herself going over the limit of the combined allowance of these two connections (10 G, 5 G each).

She mentioned that since I say I live in the cloud, that wouldn’t be enough.

This has caused me to think about the way I use the internet some more.  Last week I installed a bandwidth meter on all three of the computers Eileen and I use. On my netbook (which I am using to write this entry) so far I have only used 810.32 Megabytes.  I think this is about 6 days usage. This means that I am only approaching 1 Kilobyte Gigabyte with one week’s worth of usage on one of my machines. Since a Kilobyte is 1024 Megabytes, a Megabyte is 1024 Kilobytes,  it doesn’t look(s) like I’m going to average (around or maybe a bit) more than 5 Gigabytes per month. (Thank you to Elizabeth for correcting me!)

But on the other hand, Elizabeth points out that streaming is a problem.

I figured out that I mostly read the internet. I use it as a great big old reference library instantly fact checking stuff or finding out exactly what a word or reference means. Also the usual text stuff: email, blog, news, books, articles. And then there’s purchasing. Ahem.

I also stream audio much more than video. But having said that, I’m embedding this video:

I mentioned to my boss recently that I feel a bit like Lurch since I play my harpsichord so much.

She thanked me and said that now she was going to think of that when I played in church. Sweet. (That word has a nice resonance since rewatching the opening to the Addams fam tv show


[in Lurch’s voice:] Neat…… sweet….. petite….. )

This was brought home yesterday when I was rehearsing harpsichord at church and glanced up and saw a good size bat swooping around. Cool.

I am thinking the Lurch self image is about right for me in Holland Michigan. Hardly a day goes by that someone is rude to me or stares (unconsciously) at me. I don’t think it’s just the hair and beard. I think I am like other people in their lives. Also that they are a bit frightened of me. Not everyone mind you and not even a majority of people I run into. Just enough to be amusing.

Or maybe they do see me more like this:

Another good self image for Jupe.

Anyway. Harpischord. I have had an exhausting week but have still managed to find a lot of time for music on the harpsichord. Yesterday I broke something else on my aging instrument. The plectrum on one of the jacks snapped off.

Oops. When I stole a jack from one of the extremely high notes, I noticed that it was about the fourth one I had stolen from that range. I have stolen them from the outer notes to the point that my range on my instrument is considerably diminished on both ends. This is not too much of a problem because much of the literature was written and played on small instruments with not so much range.

When I chatted with the Zuckerman guy this week on the phone, I pointed out what an important influence building a harpsichord had been on my life. He said that it wasn’t unusual that it was a life changing event for people who did it. For me, this is true in a sort of gradual way.

When I and my cohorts (I was living in a basement with another high school student and all of friends would drop in and assist us in putting together the harpsichord kit) put my harpsichord together,

I wasn’t much a musician really. I played trumpet, guitar and piano but had no real facility at anything but pop music and Churchagod music. (Churchagod being my fam of origin’s denomination of choice).

Since then, I have actually studied harpsichord and acquired some facility at the repertoire. Enough facility that it is extremely fun to rehearsing and perform it.

In the handbook of the original kit, it suggested that builders should not only play their instrument but purchase Dover editions of Bach and the Fitzwilliam Virginal book. This I dutifully did at the time.

Since then I have used these books extensively, even purchasing a second copy of the Bach due to wear.

Now I keep a one copy of the Bach Dover (suites, inventions, Goldberg) at church and one at home.

Yesterday when I was chatting with the janitor at work, talking to him about my love and history with the harpsichord, I realized that I had just spent the previous hour practicing music from the Fitzwillian Virginal book and that volume one lay spread open on my creaky aging harpsichord.

I find this very satisfying.

I also have recently had a rewakened connection to the music of Couperin and the English Virginalists (in the Fitzwillian Viriginal book).

I remember when I quit college the first time. I told the counselor I was going to compose and possibly study harpsichord. Who would have thunk that I would have actually done those things in my life? But there you have it.

Consolation for living in the future (“Living in the future is a lot like having bees live in your head”… possibly inaccurate recollection of a quote from Fireside Theater).

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