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Category: harp

Monday, May 15th

Why not begin the week with something beautiful?

John Luther Adams (1953-), Dream in White on White (1992); Virtuoso String Orchestra (Joaquin Valdepeñas, cond.) with Sanya Eng (harp), live, Toronto, 2014

 

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lagniappe

art beat: other day, Art Institute of Chicago

Utagawa Hiroshige (1797-1858), Bush warbler on plum branch, 1840s

Friday, April 7th

This, I just found, has more than 21 million views. (Where have I been?)

Florence and the Machine, “Cosmic Love”
Live (studio performance), Seattle, 2010


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lagniappe

reading table

I had been happy, happy enough, but now I often found myself uttering a spontaneous prayer that went, simply: She is here, still here.

—George Saunders, Lincoln in the Bardo

Tuesday, December 22nd

The only thing hard about listening to this is letting go of everything else.

John Luther Adams (1953-), Dream in White on White (1992); Virtuoso String Orchestra (Joaquin Valdepenas, cond.), Sanya Eng (harp), live, Toronto, 2014


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lagniappe

reading table

Barn’s burnt down—
now
I can see the moon.

—Mizuta Masahide, 1657-1723 (translated from Japanese by Lucien Stryk and Takashi Ikemoto)

Friday, December 11th

what’s new

Joanna Newsom, “Leaving the City,” live (TV show), 12/8/15

Friday, November 27th

sounds of Chicago

Some things last. Nearly forty years ago, I co-produced this track, while working at Alligator Records. It remains one of my favorites. The hour was late. The lights had been turned down. But the tape kept rolling.

Carey Bell’s Blues Harp Band, “Woman In Trouble”
Living Chicago Blues, Vol. 1, 1978

*****

Here’s more of Carey, years later (2000, Switzerland [Bern]).


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lagniappe

random sights

yesterday, Chicago (Columbus Park)

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Wednesday, September 9th

serendipity

When this came on the radio the other day (WKCR, Columbia University), background became foreground.

Luciano Berio (1925-2003), Differences (1959)

Saturday, June 20th

sounds of Chicago

Here, set to music, is a poem by Dorothy Parker (1893-1967).

Katie Ernst, “Bric-a-Brac” (music by K. Ernst), live (studio performance), Chicago, 2015

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Little things that no one needs—
Little things to joke about—
Little landscapes, done in beads.
Little morals, woven out,
Little wreaths of gilded grass,
Little brigs of whittled oak
Bottled painfully in glass;
These are made by lonely folk.

Lonely folk have lines of days
Long and faltering and thin;
Therefore—little wax bouquets,
Prayers cut upon a pin,
Little maps of pinkish lands,
Little charts of curly seas,
Little plats of linen strands,
Little verses, such as these.

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langiappe

random sights and sounds

Last night, while riding my bike in Chicago’s Columbus Park, I bumped into this—a performance by Isabelle Olivier (harp), Larry Gray (bass), and Paul Wertico (drums).

And, too, this great blue heron.

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Friday, April 19th

Chicago: 1970s

Junior Wells (vocals, harmonica), Buddy Guy (guitar), et al., live, Theresa’s, 48th & Indiana, Chicago, 1970s

Wednesday, 1/16/13

Toru Takemitsu (1930-1996), And then I knew ’twas wind (1992)
Aureole Trio, New Hampshire (Monadnock Music), 2011

My life sometimes seems to consist of a series of trips, back and forth, between the sublime and the wretched. Yesterday afternoon, for instance, I stumbled upon this—a piece I’d never heard before—during a break from work. What was I working on? An oral argument I’ll be presenting this morning before a three-judge panel of the federal court of appeals in Chicago, on behalf of a guy, now in his mid-50s, who spends each day, as he has for decades, in a cell about 45 miles southwest of the city, where he’s serving a sentence of “natural life.”

Tuesday, 9/18/12

Kaija Saariaho, Fall (1991, from the ballet Maa); Nuiko Wadden (harp), Ryan Streber (electronics); Mount Holyoke College (South Hadley, Mass.), 2010

One of the joys of having grown children is going out with them to hear live music, as I did the other night, meeting my older son Alex after work at a Chicago art gallery (Corbett vs. Dempsey) for a solo performance by this harpist.

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