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Category: musical thoughts

Thursday, January 24th

This I could listen to all day.

Morton Feldman (1926-1987, MCOTD Hall of Fame), Palais de Mari (1986); Blair McMillen (piano) and Ryan Olivier (video processing), live, Philadelphia, 2014

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lagniappe

musical thoughts

My obsession with surface is the subject of my music. In that sense, my compositions are really not ‘compositions’ at all. One might call them time canvases in which I more or less prime the canvas with an overall hue of the music.

—Morton Feldman, “Between Categories” (Give My Regards to Eighth Street)

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random sights

yesterday, Oak Park, Ill.

Wednesday, December 26th

more

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750), Well-Tempered Clavier, Book II; András Schiff (piano), live, London, 2018

 

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lagniappe

radio

WKCR’s Bach Festival continues through midnight New Year’s Eve.

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musical thoughts

If there is anyone who owes everything to Bach, it is God. Without Bach, God would be a third-rate character.

—Emil Cioran (1911-1995)

Monday, December 24th

never enough

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750), Cello Suite No. 5 in C minor; Hidemi Suzuki (cello), live, Netherlands (Amsterdam), 2017

 

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lagniappe

radio

One of my favorite musical events begins today: the annual Bach Festival on WKCR-FM (Columbia University), where it’ll be all Bach, all the time, until midnight New Year’s Eve.

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musical thoughts

It may well be that some composers do not believe in God. All of them, however, believe in Bach.

—Bela Bartok (1881-1945)

Saturday, October 6th

My kind of “genius.”

Vijay Gupta, violinist, educator, social-justice advocate, 2018 MacArthur Fellow, talking and playing

 

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lagniappe

musical thoughts

Filled with music, we’re free of all else.

Thursday, May 24th

3n
day three

Anton Webern (1883-1945), String Trio, Op. 20 (1927)
Goeyvaerts String Trio, live

Part 1

 

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Part 2

 

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lagniappe

musical thoughts

Difficult? Life is difficult. Not music.

*****

random sights

other night, Oak Park, Ill.

Thursday, April 12th

basement jukebox

Syl Johnson, “Take Me to the River” (Al Green, Mabon “Teenie” Hodges, writers; Willie Mitchell, producer), 1975

 

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lagniappe

musical thoughts

I am waiting, patiently, for the United States Postal Service to issue a Forever stamp honoring Willie Mitchell. Nobody—nobody—has produced better records.

Wednesday, March 28th

“The Past” (composition for film, accordion, soprano saxophone/electronics), Molly Jones (composition, soprano saxophone, electronics), Borey Shinn (accordion), Irvine, Calif., 2016

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lagniappe

musical thoughts

In the future multimedia performances will be so common that the term “multimedia” will fall out of use.

*****

random sights

yesterday, Oak Park, Ill.

Saturday, December 16th

3n

Hear In Now (Mazz Swift, violin; Tomeka Reid, cello; Silvia Bolognesi, bass), “Requiem for Charlie Haden” (S. Bolognesi), live, Italy (Basilica di San Silvestro, Trieste), 2015

 

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lagniappe

musical thoughts

Which is more important: what we listen to—or how?

*****

random sights

this morning, Oak Park, Ill.

Monday, October 2nd

Skip James (1902-1969), “Devil Got My Woman,” 1931

 

Sometimes I think this song defines the limits of what is humanly possible. Sometimes I think it exceeds them.

—Michael Robbins, Equipment for Living: On Poetry and Pop Music (2017)

Monday, August 21st

more

Anna Thorvaldsdottir (1977-), In the Light of Air (2013/2014); International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), live, New York, 2014

 

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lagniappe

musical thoughts

Suppose that, for the rest of your listening life, you had two options. One: You could only listen to things you’d never heard before. Two: You could never listen to anything new. Which would you choose?

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