poetry, peformances and podcasts


I recently finished Ron Padgett’s collection of poetry called Alone and Not Alone. It came out this year. It’s pretty good. I’m not as excited about his poetry as I am about Cynthia MacDonald’s.

My copy of her first book of poetry, Amputations, arrived in the mail yesterday. I find her very witty and acerbic, a nice antidote to living in Holland, Michigan and even the USA of today.


I have been contacting churches near where Mark my brother is currently living in the middle of Michigan near Ann Arbor. Eileen and I planning to go over to see him and Leigh next Thursday, Friday and Saturday. The main purpose of the trip is so that Eileen can help Mark get started with some weaving. Eileen is also planning to purchase more stuff to weave with.

These people were extremely nice to me on the phone and were on the brink of looking into arranging for me to practice at their church when the secretary remembered the organ was in pieces and being moved.

I have contacted three or four churches including St. Barnabas Episcopal church and St. Paul United C of C. I am hopeful that one of these last two will respond and allow me to practice on their instruments while visiting. But they are long shots at this point.


I would like to practice because I have organ music by Distler and Pepping scheduled the following Sunday. Also the anthem is one that I plan to accompany at the organ and it could use some practice as well (“Tarry no Longer” by William H. Harris from the Oxford Easy Anthem Book).

But if I don’t hear from one of these churches I think it’ll be alright. I can probably get some rehearsal in on Thursday morning before we leave and Saturday evening after we get back.

It’s getting cooler in Holland Michigan. These cool fall days are perfect days for long walks. Eileen and I walked over to my Mom’s nursing home yesterday as we have been doing almost every day (Skipped Wednesday due to my strenuous schedule on that day).

We also stopped by the building where I work so that Eileen could look at the pool and exercise rooms she now has access to. Then we went to Hope’s ticket office and bought tickets for the Oct 29 Great Performance Series. We couldn’t afford season tickets this year but are planning on going to a few of these.

Barbara Furtuna

I found it interesting that my Julie my ballet instructor confessed that she didn’t like Stravinsky.

We were having a discussion about time signatures that were not in four or three. I was rehearsing Sunday’s prelude (Toccata in Seven by Rutter) on the piano and Julie asked me about it. This led to a discussion of interesting meters.

Then Julie said that she didn’t like Stravinsky which I found amusing. She of course has danced his music. I can see where a dancer might not be enamored of Rite of Spring or Petrushka. But I told Julie that not all of Stravinsky’s music is like his ballets.


I have been exploring pod casts on my tablet recently. This morning I listened to one on the French conductor Pierre Monteux (1875-1964) I didn’t know the name, but apparently he knew Brahms well enough to have played in a string quartet with him. One of the recordings the panel played and discussed was of Petrushka. Apparently Monteux knew and was a champion of Stravinsky. His recordings are early enough that they exhibit the learning curve of orchestras with music that was new to them.

I listened to a recording of a Brahms symphony movement before I turned it off and did my morning reading.

I’m interested in podcasts. They are a good way to have some interesting listening while cooking or cleaning.


I subscribed to On The Media this morning which I listen to regularly but it was a repeat show.

In case you don’t recognize these people, they are the moderators of On The Media, Bob Garfield and Brooke Gladstone.

The Most Important Thing, and It’s Almost a Secret – The New York Times

The “thing” is world wide improvement in stuff like poverty, education and standard of living. Not great but getting better.

8 thoughts on “poetry, peformances and podcasts

  1. The small Episcopal Church in nearby Dexter (a little further away than Chelsea but not much) has a 19th century Organ by Henry Erben that was purchased from the Organ Clearing House and restored by Dana Hull and parishioners in 1988. It’s a small, single manual with only one complete rank of pipes plus three partial ranks. from what I read on their website.


    You might enjoy stopping by and checking it out. I was told yesterday by the diocesan Transition Minister that I should stop in sometime and meet the rector there. It’s a congregation that has a history of being conservative that is now trying to reach out to the LGBT community. That’s pretty much all I know about it…

  2. Oh yeah… Also, I had lunch with Lew Towler yesterday, a retired priest from Ann Arbor. (Actually I had lunch with a BUNCH of retired priests yesterday at the annual retirees luncheon. It’s just that sitting with Lew was a high point. He’s a very interesting guy. Musician. Used to own his own harpsichord but got tired of tuning it every two weeks.) Lew told me that he has been taking organ lessons and that St. Andrew’s, A2, is letting him use the organ in their chapel to practice. I don’t know the organist there (Tom Strode is, I believe, long gone). But I can try to get hold of Lew if that interests you.

    1. I’m looking to establish some sort of relationship with a church near your home so that when I visit I can pop over and practice. Ann Arbor is an eventual possibility but I’m interested first in seeing if I can get something a bit closer.

      1. You know that there’s a little country Presbyterian church just down the road from us, right? I’ve never been in there and know nothing about it.

  3. I wonder what your dance friend might think of Stravinsky’s Oediupus Rex as choreographed by Julie Taymor…

    1. You’re right. This would probably blow her mind. Also I pointed out to her that “Symphony of Psalms” is very different musically from Sacre du Printemps.

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