Kuhlau to Takemitsu

This mp3 collection is filed under ‘K’ for Danish composer Friedrich Kuhlau. I have here his Elverhoj Overture/Concerti, Grand Duo Concertante for flutes. I had a MHS lp to cd transfer of his Grand Duo & figured it was time to upgrade to a clearer version & searched for more by him & found the Elverhoj. The flute music is charming chamber music in Mozart style. The Elverhoj is stirring, verging on Rossini – the concerti are romantic & sweeping.

Here to Andrei Krylov’s Bard Music Fantasy – a wonderful set of gothic & renaissance lute pieces ranging from Celtic sadness to French court music. Beautifully engineered this music is transporting without falling into the rut of new age banality.

More renaissance music comes from Jan of Lublin. I have a lp to cd transfer of a MHS lp of guitar music from The Tablature which I love & so I wanted more. I discovered that the Tablature was/is of organ music so I ended up with An Organ Evening in the Lublin Palace: funeral at time but charming & oddly relaxing. I never did find any of the organ to lute transcriptions though 😦


Finally to take a real leap are some pieces by Toru Takemitsu. A Japanese composer (influenced by John Cage) whom I discovered when I watched the film Face Of Another – I loved his percussive soundtrack & did an unsuccessful search for that soundtrack  but found some of his ‘serious’ works: Tree Line, Nostalghia, Tangled Flow some which was included in a recording of Dun’s Concerto For Pipa. This is all mid-20th century classical music. Worth seeking out if you want to broaden your music world view.  


Elisabeth Mae Johnston (1885-1968)… born in Surrey Count, Great Britain to Samuel Vernon Johnston MD and Marie LaFleur. Immigrated to Canada with her family in 1895. She studied first at Glendale Girls Academy where she excelled in arts and elocution. Elocution lead her to pursue a degree in law which proved to be her calling and despite the hopes of her family she pursued the legal and her artistic expression through out her life.

        One of the first female lawyers in Canada she devoted her legal time and attention the immigrant Chinese community in British Columbia. 

        She became known as Saint Amah of the Yellow. She was scorned and shunned by the white community for her work with non-whites but she remained stalwart in her dedicated to the causes of the new citizen.

        Her many painting and sculptures show a side of immigrant life few were privileged to see. The series of paintings of Chinese weddings and funerals reveal a rare glimpse into the lives of these people attempting to make a home for themselves in a strange country.

        Her legal offices were attacked and burned  more than once. On one occasion Asian Slut and Chinese Whore was painted across the building where her offices where. Elisabeth took that as inspiration for her most famed painting ‘Office of the Chinese Whore.’

        When she wasn’t dealing  with the immigration system she taught English and in return was taught techniques of Chinese calligraphy and painting. This made her one of the most informed Western practitioners of these arts and she also brought this to the white public.

        She never did marry. She claimed there was no time for romance with so much to be done for these poor unfortunates. 

        Her work has been exhibited around the world. In 1959 she became the first female appointed to the Canadian Supreme Court. In 1964 she was awarded the Governor General’s award for the Arts.

        For more information see Gwendolyn McVeedy’s biography: “The White Whore – the life of Elisabeth Mae Johnston”

(a reminder – this bio is fiction – there is, as far as I know, no Elisabeth Mae Johnston)



every Tuesday

September or October but to be confirmed – feature – The Art Bar, Free Times Cafe

October 5/6/7 – Gratitude Round-Up


June  – Capturing Fire 2019 – Washington D.C.  capfireslam.org 

Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee in Washington at 2018’s capfireslam.org – sweet,eh? paypal.me/TOpoet

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