practicing practicing practicing

Began my day as I have been reading the poetry of William Carlos Williams. The more I read of his poetry the more I am convinced of his genius. I love his voice.  Here’s a good example from a previous morning.


If I when my wife is sleeping
and the baby and Kathleen
are sleeping
and the sun is a flame-white disc
in silken mists
above shining trees,—
if I in my north room
dance naked, grotesquely
before my mirror
waving my shirt round my head
and singing softly to myself:
“I am lonely, lonely.
I was born to be lonely,
I am best so!”
If I admire my arms, my face,
my shoulders, flanks, buttocks
against the yellow drawn shades,—

Who shall say I am not
the happy genius of my household?

It was soon after reading this that I found myself playing through the Russian composers, Tchaikovsky and Prokofiev (Russe = russian).

After reading more of WCW, it is obvious to me that the “happy genius” of this poem is the speaker of much of WCW’s poetry. He is solitary and in love with the pulse of life he finds in himself and his surroundings.

Now that’s joie de vivre.

I turned from poetry to the music of Distler this morning. I am madly trying to learn his toccata from his Partita on Wachet Auf (Op. 8 No. 2).  This morning I checked his metronome markings on this movement. I was happy to find that they are not as fast I thought they were. I think I might be able to learn this in time to perform it during Advent.

Also learning a couple more movements from Messiaen’s Nativity Suite. I have been studying and playing this music since the 80s. I love Messiaen’s mystical visions and how he achieves a beauty and freedom through strict compositional devices.

I worked on manual parts for Les Bergers (the Shepherds) and Le Verb (The Word) both yesterday and this morning. (This means I practice the keyboard parts only … it’s what I did with the Distler as well…. it is especially helpful to me to do this at this stage of learning) It looks like these will be ready in time to use. Les Bergers is, I think, supposed to be the reaction of the shepherds to having seen the Nativity. It starts as though they are stunned by the what they have seen with slow and shimmering chords. The music gathers strength and then goes into a haunting dance suggesting a bizarre shepherd’s piping his new found joy. The performance on the video I embedded recently seems to slow down as the dance gets more complicated. I am planning not to do that.  I think it should find itself caught up in an increasing dance of joy. So at the very least I plan not to slow down.


Britain’s GCHQ Uses Online Puzzle to Recruit Hackers –

This is cute. Both my daughter living in the U.K. and I posted this on Facebook. You have to be British to win a job as a spy, however.


Officers Punished for Supporting Eased Drug Laws –

It fascinates me when the one dimensional stereotypes of our public discussion are shattered. These are policemen who have intelligent and strong opinions that life would be less violent if drug laws eased. They’re probably even Republicans. But that does not save them from losing their livelihoods when they express this.


Profit-Taking Inside Congress –

Insider trading legal for politicians. Legal or illegal, it’s still unethical.


Newt’s War on Poor Children –

Charles Blow dismembers Newt over these statements (sounds a bit like a high school biology project, doesn’t it?)


J.F.K.’s Legacy, as Seen by His Grandson –

Another interesting letter in the New York Time’s letters to the editor.


How To Brew Coffee – National Coffee Association

Handy link my friend Nick Palmer put up on Facebook. Thanks, Nick!


The things one learns when one reads sci-fi!!! This is a bombadeer beetle. It manages to create a little explosion of hot gas when it is threatened. Very cool.

Ran across mention of it in MetaGame by Sam Landstrom an ebook I bought recently as a daily Kindle deal for 99 cents.

BTW I am enjoying this little sci-fi future game romp quite a bit, reading when I am treadmilling and run of online articles to read.

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