music clip of the day


Tag: Toru Takemitsu

Tuesday, February 16th

sounds of Paris

Toru Takemitsu (1930-1996), And then I knew ’twas Wind (1992); Ensemble Intercontemporain, live, Paris, 2017




random sights

this morning, Oak Park, Ill.


reading table

Like Rain it sounded till it curved
And then we knew “twas Wind –
It walked as wet as any Wave
But swept as dry as Sand –

—Emily Dickinson (1830-1886), from 276 (Franklin)

Saturday, February 15th


Toru Takemitsu (1930-1996), Air for solo flute (1995); John McMurtery (flute), live, 2007




random sights

other day, Oak Park, Ill.

Saturday, February 8th


Peter Serkin, pianist, January 24, 1947-February 1, 2020

Live, Tokyo, 2003: Toru Takemitsu (1930-1996), Rain Tree Sketch (1982)



Live, New Jersey (Ridgewood), 2017: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791), Adagio in B minor, K. 540




random sights

yesterday, Chicago, Ill.



reading table

Even in Kyoto—
hearing the cuckoo’s cry—
I long for Kyoto.

—Matsuo Basho (1644-1694), translated from Japanese by Robert Hass

Wednesday, November 9th


Toru Takemitsu (1930-1996), Rain Tree Sketch II (1992); Hélène Grimaud (piano), live, Water, 2016



art beat: other day, Art Institute of Chicago

Vasily Kandinsky (1866-1944), Landscape with Two Poplars, 1912


Monday, November 7th

Why not begin the week with something beautiful?

Toru Takemitsu (1930-1996), Rain Tree Sketch (1982); Peter Serkin (piano), live, Tokyo, 2003



random sights

yesterday, Glencoe, Ill. (Chicago Botanic Garden)



random thoughts

Time change—all the pleasures of jet lag without ever leaving home.

Saturday, November 5th

This I could listen to all day.

Toru Takemitsu (1930-1996), Rain Tree (1981); Bard Percussion (Amy Garapic, vibraphone; Petra Elek, marimba; Zihan Yi, marimba), live, Annandale-on-Hudson (Bard College), New York, 2012



random sights

yesterday, Chicago (Columbus Park)



reading table

We see with memory. My memory is different from yours, so if we’re both standing in the same place we’re not quite seeing the same thing. Different individuals have different memories, therefore other elements are playing a part. Whether you have been in a place before will affect you, and how well you know it. There’s no objective vision ever—ever.

—David Hockney (1937-), A Bigger Message: Conversations with David Hockney (Martin Grayford)

Saturday, August 20th

Close your eyes.

Listen—just listen.

If you don’t have time for this, what do you have time for?

Toru Takemitsu (1930-1996), From me flows what you call Time (1990); La Jolla Symphony (Steven Schick, cond.), live, San Diego, 2008




reading table

Come, see
real flowers
of this painful world.

—Matsuo Basho (1644-1694), translated from Japanese by Lucien Stryk and Takashi Ikemoto

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.”

Sunday, 8/5/12

Who wouldn’t want to go to such a heaven?

Soul Stirrers (feat. Jimmy Outler), “Listen to the Angels Sing,” TV show, early 1960s



listening room: (some of) what’s playing

• The Dirtbombs, Ultraglide in Black (In the Red)

• Robert Glasper Experiment, Black Radio (Blue Note)

• Shabazz Palaces, Black Up (Sub Pop)

Terrie Ex, Paal Nilssen-Love, Hurgu! (PNL Records)

• Anthony Braxton Quintet (Basel) 1977 (hatOLOGY)

• Miles Davis, Live in Europe 1967 (Sony Legacy)

• ICP Orchestra Performs Herbie Nichols & Thelonious Monk (ICP)

• George Lewis & The NOW Orchestra, The Shadowgraph Series: Compositions for Creative Orchestra (Spool)

• Misha Mengelberg, Steve Lacy, Goerge Lewis, Harjen Gorter, Han Bennink, Change of Season (Soul Note)

• Pharaoh Sanders, Karma (Impulse!)

• Charles “Bobo” Shaw & Lester Bowie, Bugle Boy Bop (Muse)

• Reverend Claude Jeter, Yesterday and Today (Shanachie)

 This May Be My Last Time Singing: Raw African-American Gospel On 45 RPM (1957-1982) (Tompkins Square)

• J. Berg’s A Cappella Archives (Vol. 3)Royal Rarities (Vol. 3) (Rare Gospel)

Congotronics 2: Buzz ’n’ Rumble in the Urb n’ Jungle (Crammed Discs)

• Pandit Pran Nath, Midnight: Raga Malkauns (Just Dreams)

• Nikhil Banerjee, Afternoon Ragas  (Bhimpalasri, Multani) (Raga Records)

• John Luther Adams, Songbird Songs (Mode Records)

• John Luther Adams, Clouds of Forgetting, Clouds of Unknowing (New World Records)

• John Cage Edition—Vol. 23: The Works for Violin 4 (Irvine Arditti, violin; Stephen Drury, piano) (Mode Records)

• Morton Feldman, Trio  (Aki Takahashi, piano; Marc Sabat, violin; Rohan de Saram, cello) (Mode Records)

• Tristan Murail, Gondwana, Desintegrations, Time and Again (Disques Montaigne)

• Peter Serkin Plays the Music of Toru Takemitsu (RCA/BMG)

• The Incomparable Rudolf Serkin (Beethoven, Piano Sonatas Nos. 30, 31, 32) (Deutsche Grammophon)

• WKCR-FM (broadcasting from Columbia University)

Bird Flight (Phil Schaap, jazz [Charlie Parker])
Eastern Standard Time (Carter Van Pelt, Jamaican music)


Mudd Up! (DJ/Rupture“new bass and beats”)
Sinner’s Crossroads 
(Kevin Nutt, gospel)
Cherry Blossom Clinic (Terre T, rock, etc.)
Fool’s Paradise (Rex; “Vintage rockabilly, R & B, blues, vocal groups, garage, instrumentals, hillbilly, soul and surf”)
Downtown Soulville (Mr. Fine Wine, soul, etc.)

Sunday, 2/19/12

the first voice Whitney heard

Emily “Cissy” Houston (born Emily Drinkard), singer, 1933-

The Drinkard Singers (Cissy Houston, lead vocals), “Lift Him Up,” live (TV broadcast), c. early 1960s



Live (TV broadcast), 1970

“Be My Baby” (P. Spector, J. Barry & E. Greenwich)


“I Just Don’t Know What To Do With Myself” (B. Bacharach & H. David)


listening room: (some of) what’s playing

• Ambrose Akinmusire, When the Heart Emerges Glistening (Blue Note)

• Johann Sebastian Bach, Suites for Unaccompanied Cello, Pierre Fournier, cello (Archiv Production)

• Johann Sebastian Bach, Well-Tempered Clavier, Glenn Gould, piano (Sony)

• Johann Sebastian Bach, Partitas Nos. 3, 4, 6, Jeremy Denk, piano (Azica)

• Ludwig van Beethoven, Piano Sonatas Nos. 14 (“Moonlight”), 8 (“Pathetique”), 23 (“Appassionata”), Rudolf Serkin, piano (CBS)

• Alfred Cortot, The Master Pianist (EMI)

• Claude Debussy, Pour Le Piano, Etudes Books 1 & 2, Gordon Fergus-Thompson, piano (Musical Heritage Society)

• The Dirtbombs, Ultraglide In Black (In the Red Records)

• Morton Feldman, For Bunita Marcus, John Tilbury, piano (London Hall)

• Morton Feldman, Piano and String Quartet, Aki Takahashi (piano), Kronos Quartet (Nonesuch)

• Mary Halvorson Quintet, Saturn Sings (Firehouse)

• Slim Harpo, The Best of Slim Harpo (Hip-O)

• Paul Hindemith, Benjamin Britten, Krzysztof Penderecki; Kim Kashkashian (viola), Stuttgarter Kammerorchester (Dennis Russell Davies, cond.), Lachrymae (ECM)

• Steve Lehman Octet, Travail, Transformation, and Flow (Pi Recordings)

• Jimmie Lunceford, The Complete Jimmie Lunceford Decca Sessions (Mosaic)

• Guilliaume de Michaut, Motets, The Hilliard Ensemble (ECM)

• Paul Motian Trio (with Joe Lovano, Bill Frisell), Sound of Love (Winter & Winter)

• Mudd Up!, WFMU-FM (DJ/Rupture, “new bass and beats”)

• Pee Wee Russell, Swingin’ with Pee Wee (Prestige)

• Pharoah Sanders, Karma (GRP)

• Pharoah Sanders, Live (Evidence)

• Giacinto Scelsi, Natura Renovatur (ECM)

• Arnold Schoenberg, Piano Works, Peter Serkin, piano (Arcana)

• Sinner’s Crossroads, WFMU-FM (Kevin Nutt, gospel)

• Craig Taborn, Avenging Angel (ECM)

• Toru Takemitsu, Peter Serkin Plays the Music of Toru Takemitsu, Peter Serkin, piano (RCA/BMG)

• Anton Webern, Complete Music for String Quartet, Quartetto Italiano (Philips)

• Anton Webern, Works for String Quartet, Emerson Quartet (Deutsche Grammaphon)

• Wild Flag, Wild Flag (Merge)

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