My trio had a phenomenal rehearsal yesterday. They are a shining light in my musical life. I am pretty much working in isolation these days. I know no other church musicians with whom I am in regular contact or conversation. Same of course goes for composers, organists, pianists, and guitarists.
But the trio is definitely a collegiate experience. Yesterday we worked on an arrangement of a Gershwin piano prelude. Gregory Stone took the original Gershwin piano work (link to recording) and adapted it very nicely for our instrumentation. Stone’s arrangement (which I purchased for fifty cents in a library sale recently) gives the opening theme to the cello in the first section and to the violin in the return of this section. Stone has added his own touches (I think… I haven’t seen the score to the original yet but am planning to try to get hold of one). There are some interesting piano licks and violin licks that seem to be his idea.
In the rehearsal of both this and the Mozart trio we are learning (link to MP3 of “Musicians from Marlboro” Festival players performance of the Mozart), first we played, then talked about the music, then rehearsed sections some more, talked some more about the music, played some more. Very gratifying to hear the music taking shape alongside our conversations.
I’m still fighting my garden variety depression. Poor me. Still no checks in the mail of the money people owe me. Having disturbing dreams in which I murder my (deceased) father whose personality seemed to be somehow divided into sections. Murder is a form of grief I guess. I wrote a poem years ago about murdering my own doppelganger. I don’t know if I could put my hands on this old poem. It’s probably somewhere in one of my not yet discarded files from the past. Fun stuff.
I thought this report was cool: How Many Stars? Three Times as Many as We Thought, Report Says – NYTimes.com
I have been messing a bit more with podcasts since I have a new (better, cheaper) MP3 player. I emailed Lapham’s Quarterly when it seemed they only had podcasts through I-tunes (I despise the proprietary approach of companies like Apple and Creative, the maker of my old expensive crappyM MP3 player, that do not provide for ease of access and sharing). They sent me this link: Lapham’s Quarterly which has the MP3s of their podcasts. Cool. It is accessible from their index link if you click on “Audio and Video.” Silly me.
Another good online source of interesting articles is the Utne Reader. Here’s a link to their Dec music sampler of complete free MP3s from Independent Labels. You can stream the entire list by clicking on the first one and/or download any MP3 that strikes your fancy.
Finally, each month U of Chicago gives away a free ebook. Link to this month’s selection, the first volume of Dance to the Music of Time by Anthony Powell.