school almost out and talking to the dead

Copy (2) of happysteve***************************************************

Hot diggety damn! My Thursday ballet class just canceled. This means my last college day will be today with two classes this afternoon. Rocknroll! I like this work but I am ready for a mental and physical break.


I have been practicing William Bolcom’s setting of “What a friend we have in Jesus.”

It’s starting to come together a little bit. He writes lush difficult jazz chords for the organ in it.

As well moving from very very soft to full out fortissimo. The only way to accomplish this is to constantly be changing the stops. And of course there is lots of double pedal parts (one note in each foot). He uses the pedal sort of like a rhythm section: Bass, piano and drums. I like it. But it takes some rehearsal.

I also have been practicing some Gigout. Gigout was a Frenchman man who lived from 1844 – 1925 and wrote in the French romantic organ style.  I learned his Toccata while studying with Ray Ferguson. Later I picked up a volume of his works. This week I have gone through the Toccata again and also read through several of his other pieces.

Eugene Gigout

I’m not a fan of this style. But it is an important organ school of composition and thought. Once in a while I return to it.

While playing through Gigout, I had a thought that often occurs to me. Namely, what a miracle transmission of musical ideas on paper is. Here I am sitting in a little town in 21st century America, pulling musical ideas off a piece of paper and making them into sounds. It’s truly a message in a bottle from the past. Never ceases to amaze me. And it never ceases to make me feel in a small but real sense like I am with the people who made up the music. One is not alone when one is playing someone else’s music.

Finished Dialogues with the Archipelago by Suzanne Gardinier this morning.

I think she is an excellent poet. Rooted in clarity and revolutionary politics as well as classical Western mythology and concepts, she dashes off lovely pieces in this work. She surprises me with her words. Draws me in. Who could ask for more from a poet?


Infographic: Get More Out Of Google | HackCollege

About Google Scholar

Common Knowledge: Beware of the “You Loop”

fifty seven signals Google uses when you search

Poking around this morning, I found several very interesting and informative articles about using the Internet for research and understanding. I admit I had never heard of Hack College. The first link has some very clear instructions on how to use Google well.  I also haven’t used Google Scholar. I have a feeling it’s probably not too helpful with out some sort of college access. When I played with it this morning I found myself logging on as Hope Staff in order to read the stuff it found (I searched for Suzanne Gardinier for kicks and found an scholarly article by her.)

The third link above is from the Hope College library blog. It draws on the work of Eli Pariser (the fourth link is to a specific paragraph in his book: The Filter Bubble: what the Internet is hiding from you on Google Books). I am aware of his books and ideas, but I find it particularly gratifying that a college library is trying to raise awareness of the pitfalls of using Google.


Bo Xilai’s Relatives’ Wealth Is Under Scrutiny –

China Revs Up Propaganda Machine to Disgrace Bo Xilai – NYTimes.comFlash Fiction – Woody Harrington Design

This story just keeps on coming.


Gorbachev and Other Nobel Laureates Visit Chicago Schools –

Looking up in a Chicago classroom to see Gorbachev answering questions through an interpreter. Cool beans.


In Hungary, the Usual Scapegoats –

Frank Bruni continues to expand my knowledge of the world and what’s happening.


How Exercise Could Lead to a Better Brain –

I totally hope this is true. It’s one of the main reasons I began treadmilling.


Flash Fiction – Woody Harrington Design

Lou Beach, author of 420 Characters, “shared” this link on Facebook. It’s an art piece that uses his short writings. The artist, Woody Harrington, made little flip match books with Beach’s word pieces in them. They are cool and it is very cool that Beach promoted them instead of suing the artist for copyright violation. Beach is himself a visual artist as well as writer.


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