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Category: bassoon

Saturday, August 19th

mysterious, adj. Exciting wonder, curiosity, or surprise while baffling efforts to comprehend or identify. E.g., Anna Thorvaldsdottir’s Sequences.

Anna Thorvaldsdottir (1977-), Sequences (bass flute, bass clarinet, baritone saxophone, contrabassoon), 2016; International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), live, New York, 2016

 

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lagniappe

reading table

in the big rain
gushing down
little butterfly

—Kobayashi Issa, 1763-1827 (translated from Japanese by David G. Lanoue)

Monday, February 6th

not the same old stuff

Dana Jessen (bassoon), Points Against Fields (Sam Pluta), live, Chicago, 2016


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lagniappe

musical thoughts

So many sounds, made by so many people, we’ll never hear, no matter how much we listen.

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random sights

other day, Oak Park, Ill.

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Wednesday, January 14th

sounds of Chicago (day two)

Sometimes encountering a new piece of music can turn your whole day around, which is what happened to me the other day when I bumped into this.

Georg Friedrich Haas (1953-), In Vain (2000)
Ensemble Dal Niente, live, Chicago, 2013

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art beat: yesterday at the Art Institute of Chicago

Claude Monet (1840-1926), Cliff Walk at Pourville (1882)

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Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841-1919), Seascape (1879)

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random thoughts

Eyes taste paintings no less than mouths taste food.

Wednesday, October 2nd

love it or hate it

Anthony Braxton 12+1tet, Composition 355, live, Italy (Venice), 2012


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Anthony, a MacArthur “genius” award winner (1994) and professor at Wesleyan University, talks about this and that:


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lagniappe

musical thoughts

Music can take us places we’ve never been before, if we’re willing to listen to sounds we’ve never heard before.

Tuesday, April 30th

one thing after

another after another 

after another after another after . . . 

John Cage (1912-1992), Concert for Piano and Orchestra (1958); Variable Geometry (Jean-Phillippe Calvin, director), live, London, 2011

A performance like this can go wrong in so many ways. This one, to these ears, works wonderfully. Momentum, tautness, immediacy—it has them all.

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lagniappe

musical thoughts

Everything we do is music.

John Cage

Saturday, March 30th

The other night, as Mitsuko Uchida was performing two of Mozart’s piano concertos (17, 27) with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, there were moments so pure, so open, I would have liked nothing more than to disappear into one of the spaces between the notes and stay there.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Piano Concerto No. 20 in D minor, KV. 466; Mitsuko Uchida (piano and conducting), Camerata Salzburg, live, Germany (Salzburg), 2001

Saturday, 9/15/12

riveting

Anton Bruckner (1824-96), Symphony No. 5 in B flat major; Berlin Philharmonic (Wilhelm Furtwangler, cond.), live, Berlin, 1942

(Yeah, I realize this performance took place in Nazi Germany during World War II and, no, I don’t have anything profound, or even interesting, to say about how such beauty and such horror could coexist.)

Saturday, 9/8/12

Sometimes more is more.

Anton Bruckner (1824-96), Symphony No. 8 in C minor; Vienna Philharmonic (Herbert von Karajan, cond.), live, Austria (Abbey of St. Florian), 1979

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lagniappe

musical thoughts

Once upon a time, before the human attention span began to shrink, people could actually sit still and pay attention to something—a single thing—for over an hour.

Tuesday, 9/4/12

You don’t need to be asleep to be lost in a dream.

Maurice Ravel, Piano Concerto in G Major (1929-31); Martha Argerich, piano; Orchestre National de France (Charles Dutoit, cond.); live, Germany (Frankfurt), 1990

Tuesday, 7/24/12

George Lewis (1952-), “Will to Adorn” (2011)
International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), Chicago, 2012

[W]hen writing “The Will To Adorn,” Lewis was especially “interested in this idea of adornment—color, color, color everywhere.” The piece represents Lewis’ current musical goal to get “more color energy into the pieces.”

Joe Bucciero, Columbia Spectator, 11/10/11

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lagniappe

musical thoughts

In February, when I left this concert, which took place on a Sunday afternoon at Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art, I felt both exhilarated and wistful. This performance, which had been such a joy to hear, I would never be able to experience again. Or so I thought, until, just the other day, I discovered this recording online. Young people, many of them, anyway, would see nothing remarkable in being able, thanks to the ’net, to return to a musical experience whenever, and wherever, you want. To me it seems a small miracle.

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reading table

I was trying to assert myself as the man in the house, taking charge of things no one could control.

—Richard Ford, Canada (2012)

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