one person’s drek is another’s passion


I had an insight yesterday that was helpful. I was quite depressed after spending time with the wonderful organ builder and his side kick who came to Holland to talk to our Organ Committee.

My church is in the process of purchasing a pipe organ. I should be ecstatic. Instead I feel weirdly skeptical about the ultimate outcome expecting roadblocks or something I guess.

I am 100 % behind the idea of installing a superb instrument (world class) in the church where I work.

I think that my own technique might become more apparent to listeners, certainly the music I learn and perform will be much better served by a decent instrument.

I think I might surprise some people who tend to see me as a third rate hack largely I suspect due to my demeanor and appearance.


Or not.


The insight comes from the depression. It depresses me to be reminded how poor the instrument is that I perform on. Having people around me (the builder and his side kick) who have such passion about excellence in this area can leave me deflated as I persist with my  inferior instrument.

I did try to explain to the young side kick that the timbres of sound have never been as important to me as the actual structures of the composition.

This probably made no sense to him. But later I was thinking that my own passion for beautifully made music is as strong and real as the admirable passion of the two men I spent Tuesday with, namely the construction of quality instruments.

This hit home to me as I reflected  on the actual repertoire we discussed as a threesome. Some of it was clearly not to my own taste. I would even go so far as to say it was probably pretty poor music that I would not choose to perform or listen to.

So I am a bit of musical snob in my own way. Beauty, playfulness, honesty, and my own simple attraction to music draws me into a wide variety of music styles. I recall the conversation I had with a now dead concert pianist years ago when he referred to certain styles of  music as “drek.” This lead to my own eventual composition of a tune called “drek” after realizing that what this fine musician was talking about was music that I valued.

This amused my (now) son-in-law who comes from a Jewish background and knew the yiddish term. He enjoyed the idea that two goy musicians were tossing around a yiddishism.

I had a gig last night. I and my violinist, Amy Piersma, performed for an anniversary celebration of a local church. It was held in the former study hall of a refurbished school building here in Holland.

I was provided with an electric keyboard (which I guess this church uses in its worship). The sound was pretty bad (pace to all who use these instruments). But Amy and I performed a wide variety of baroque sonatas and jazz tunes for about an hour.

It was fun. Hopefully she will drop off my check for $75 today.

1. Online Library of Liberty

Found this link this morning. Historical books that you can down load in Kindle format.

2. Seven Books You Should Read This Summer | Village Voice

Lots of Nixon books coming out.

3. Depressed, but Not Ashamed –

High School editors get censored. But they get published in the NYT.

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