warning: poetry and philosphy as well as pictures today

Street Anatomy obsessively covers the use of human anatomy in medicine, art, and design.”

This web site has a very cool point of view and finds very interesting stuff including an origami skeleton:

and Human Candles (casts of the artists lit for the exhibit)!


My March New Yorker came in the mail yesterday. Excellent short story by A. M. Homes, “Brother on Sunday.” bad poem by Leonard Cohen (I’m a fan of his but I didn’t like this poem) and the following poem which I quite like…..



While he was in kindergarten, everybody wanted to play
the tomtoms when it came time for that. You had to
run in order to get there first, and he would not.
So he always had a triangle. He does not remember
how they played the tomtoms, but he sees clearly
their Chinese look. Red with dragons front and back
and gold studs around that held the drumhead tight.
If you had a triangle, you didn’t really make music.
You mostly waited while the tambourines and tomtoms
went on a long time. Until there was a signal for all
triangle people to hit them the right way. Usually once.
Then it was tomtoms and waiting some more. But what
he remembers is the sound of the triangle. A perfect,
shimmering sound that has lasted all his long life.
Fading out and coming again after a while. Getting lost
and the waiting for it to come again. Waiting meaning
without things. Meaning love sometimes dying out,
sometimes being taken away. Meaning that often he lives
silent in the middle of the world’s music. Waiting
for the best to come again. Beginning to hear the silence
as he waits. Beginning to like the silence maybe too much.

by Jack Gilbert in The New Yorker, 3/2/09 issue

Earth 911.com is a useful site. Just insert item and zip code and get info on all the local places you recycle stuff. It worked for Holland Michigan. Thanks to Pauldave for pointing me to this one. Good site

I’ve had a couple of very satisfying phone conversations with old church music colleagues in the last couple of days. I have a short list of people I know that I respect and admire AND are still accessible to me in the church music field. These include two men living in west Michigan named Nick and Peter. Both men are incredible talented and gentle good human beings (such rare combination of qualities). Peter mentioned the fact that he told one group of trained symphony chorus singers who were a bit disgruntled at his inclusive musical philosophy that “It’s music that makes people as much as people that make music.” Heh.

Jonathan and I also had our first rehearsal for the March 13th LemonJellos gig with drummer Kevin Dupree. I actually played with Kevin a few years back in a Holland High School musical pit orchestra. This is where I met my colleague,  Jordan VanHemert (whose sax recital was last night. woo hoo! Hope it went well Jordan! Kevin is looking forward to reuniting with you musically as am I!) Anyway, Jonathan brought Kevin into the picture and I didn’t remember him until I saw him yesterday. I instantly relaxed because I remembered he was a musician who could not only play but listen. So yesterday was a pleasure. 

I am still reading in Henry Alford’s witty and wise book, “How to Live: A Search for Wisdom from Old People (while they are still on this earth). Last night this quote from Eric Neumann impressed me:

Neumann writing about the late quartets of Beethoven, the late self-portraits of Rembrandt, the late plays of Shakespeare, and the late paintings of Titian says “In these works of man a numinous world is manifested in which the polarity of outward and inward–nature and art–seems to be resolved… This art no longer relates either consciously or unconsciously to any historical time; the solitary monologue of these ‘extreme’ works is spoken, as it were, into the void…. It is no longer oriented toward the world or man… instead  the creative act which mysteriously creates form and life in nature as in the human psyche seems to have perceived itself and to shine forth with its own incandescence.” 

I know. I know. A bit heavy and word for these days of images and sped up mind functioning. But I still was struck by it. It reminded me of Denis Dutton’s lecture on evolutionary origins of aesthetic tastes on Edge 275. Dutton emphasizes the idea of pleasure in the arts in a way that makes sense.  One of Dutton’s credits is that he founded a web site I have had bookmarked literally for years: Arts and Letters Daily.

Plus another quote I really liked shows the range and balance of Alford’s interest in his topic:

In Edward Albee’s play, “Three Tall Women,” “Albee has claimed in interviews [that it is the middle woman who] is the wise one of the three because she has given up her illusions and is able to see into the past and future [represented by the other two characters in the play who are younger and older than her]. Or as she explains in the play, “Enough shit gone through to have a sense of the shit that’s ahead, but way past sitting and playing in it.”



I also watched and listened to the Denis Dutton lecture (mentioned and linked above) yesterday as I prepared scores for my afternoon rehearsal with Jonathan and Kevin. It seemed like the video was incomplete, but there is a transcription on the site as well which I plan to read. Recommended.

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