Telemann for Dinner

Georg Philipp Telemann (1681 – 1767) is a German Baroque composer & is one of the most prolific composers in history, as a result of his productivity his music was often seen as second-rate & not up to Bach’s standards. I have as stand-alones: Oboe sonatas 1 2; Recorder sonatas 1 2; Water Music; Paris Quartets 1 2; Darmstadt Overtures 2 cd; Twelve Fantasies for traverse flute; Concertos/Tafelmusick (lp to cd transfer); Partitas (lp to cd transfer); Twelve Fantasies for Flute/Sonatas (lp to cd transfer).

Telemann did not write for the concert hall but for relatively small ensembles for private court musicians. It was meant, for the most part, to be background music: Tafelmusick was for dining to not for dwelling on the mysteries of a spiritual life. He rarely wrote to express emotions or to create pastoral images.

In some ways we’ve done some periods of classical music a disservice by reducing to concert halls or radio broadcasts where we feel trapped or compelled to listen to it without distractions, without being able to do anything but listen. It was meant to be interacted with not worshipped.

Telemann was a journeyman composer who could write an elegant march for your walk down the aisle, or background for the the opening of your water fountain display. In the salons off the day people would walk around, chit-chat whiles the music was being played or danced to – it was meant to create an ambiance not pull focus to itself.

His work is soothing, elegant & sometimes sublime. My favourite are his Twelve Fantasies for Flute – I have two different recordings, one on transverse flute & the other on recorder. Both are a delight & perfect dinner music 🙂

All Is Well

it’s not me it’s them

it’s a war zone out there

no safe haven 

to stop and breathe in

who wants to breathe 

the air out there

stand in what sort of shit

no place to rest 

to put down the gun 

for even a minute

random bullets materialize in the air

when you are down the street

to look for a burger joint

for a corner to piss in

and bang

if the bullets don’t get you

the burgers will

<>

you’re all out to get me

people everywhere cough sneeze

wipe damp hands 

on door handles I have to touch

grimace at me

at my gun

over their newspapers

crank up their mp3 players

so I can’t hear mine

daring me to shoot 

as they light up a cigarette

as they push ahead of me 

to get their death burger faster

fast food being too slow for them

tear off price tags

rip books to shreds

push their way 

down crowded stairs ways

jump at me with atomizers

when I enter a department store

try this sir

what’s your favourite blood 

I like the smell of 

cosmetic salespersons blood

do you have anything like that

or something that smells 

like fast food counter help

that empty fried fresh aroma

that tingles the taste buds

something that makes people hungry 

when they smell me

<>

it’s not me it’s them

I set out peaceful almost serene

avoid the unscooped spots on the sidewalk

even manage a smile at the barista

who would smile back

if she weren’t afraid it’d slow her down

the swish my coffee enough

to make sure the lumps of milk 

and sweetener have dissolved

I’m happy for the first sip

until the lid pops off 

and I have to watch 

the slick scum cling 

to the sides of my cup

as I sip sip sip to the last drop

<>

I am now ready for anything and everything 

that is out to get me

I won’t fight back too much today

I want to be a power of calm

in all this mindless 

that staggers 

stumbles

hurrys me

to step out of the way

resist have a nice day

resist fuck you too

resist kicking cars 

that stop in the crosswalk

as if they owned the damn streets

<>

it’s not me

I know that even if this a war zone

all is well with the world 

(2008)

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Moe & Krzysztof

By Canadian flautist Moe Koffman I have as stand-alones: Plays Bach, The Four Seasons & Best Of. Best known for ‘Swinging Shepard Blues’ he has had an extensive career of jazz classical exploration. If you listen much to CBC radio his Bach pieces show up frequently as theme or ‘pause’ music. There is a jazz trend to interpret classical music, much like prog rock (i.e. ELP’s Pictures at an Exhibition). Koffman does this with more of a pop than jazz approach. Great music. Sadly, as far as I can tell, his Four Seasons is out-of-print & not available in any form. Some of the cuts are included in the Best of cd.

Next K is am MP3 cd compilation of creepy soundtracks & more classical adaptations. By Krzysztof Komeda: Rosemary’s Baby; Jack the Ripper; by Paul Glass: Bunny Lake Is Missing; Essential Hitchcock: st music from Lifeboat, Spellbound, Psycho & others; Mondo Cane Soundtrack. And explorations of Satie by Joe Santos & by The Camarata Contemporary Chamber Orchestra. Velvet Gentleman.

My partner had the lp of Rosemary’s Baby soundtrack, which I enjoyed. I eventually I replaced it with a clearer sound & its was paired with another of his soundtracks. Komeda, a Polish jazz musician, did soundtrack for other Polanski films. The music is  suspenseful & moody. Komeda died at 36, so is mostly forgotten. 

The Mondo soundtrack covers various styles & moods & got an 1963 Oscar nom for the song More. Paul Glass’s Bunny Lake Is Missing is another moody work. I had the lp which I bought solely for the tracks by the Zombies – this was time when British films makers had to include a scene with a live rock band. I was & still am a Zombies fan.

The Essential Hitchcock: st music from Lifeboat, Spellbound, Psycho & others. Moody, impressionistic stuff with the Psycho music being classic stuff. Those shower strings pulsate with terror. Elsewhere in my collection I have the complete Psycho soundtrack – well worth searching out.

Finally more classical – this time of explorations of Satie by Joe Santos & by The Camarata Contemporary Chamber Orchestra’s The Velvet Gentleman & The Electronic Spirit of Satie. Santos is  in the Tomita electronica realm but not as lush. Camarata is stunning. These were two must have lps at one time. Real musicians & moog combined to perfection. The lps cover more than the Gymnopedies. I love the spoken introductions on Electronic Spirit. Well worth tracking down for your collection.

scrap of a story from late 90’s found in an old notebook

The New House

The back fence was about twenty yards from the kitchen window. Kit could barely see the rag he had nailed to the post. It was one of the few intact fence posts. A few pickets angles away from it.

In front was a sturdy post for the mailbox. He’d painted it earlier in the week. His first claim to possession – the stamp of ownership. A new mailbox was all he could afford at short notice.

The sky blue of the box stood out against the green of the cedar hedge. When he found the time he’d add his name to the box. Moe too his efforts so far had been in the garden.

Untended for many years he had his work cut out for him. The ramshackle garden was the deciding factor in the decision to buy this house.

The red clay soil was a challenge he felt up to. He knew a year of two of mulch would bring rewards. A game of seeds was next to see what would suit in the mean time.

He’d seen  several shows on TV about how some plants helped the acid balance of the soil.

“What’s up?” Jim, his boyfriend, stepped on the veranda with him.

“Jim! I didn’t expect you up this early in the day.”

“I expect danger pay for barring those early birds.” He did a little dance like bird pecking around Kit’s head. “Actually I’m up because Carol called.”

“Carol?” Kit knew that could only mean one thin. “Time for Bix’s seasonal check up? Seems he just had one.”

“About this time last spring.”

“Well, we don’t want the stress we get when we skip them.”

“Right and we’ll get to see if the change in climate has been as good for him as it has been for our relationship.”

….

That’s it 🙂 I have a scattering of such fragments were I’m experimenting with just making people talk.  No outline or idea of where etchings are going, or who is going be there as the words bring them into the story. 

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Ravel, Tartini and Bach

Next on the classical shelf is a nearly 8 hour mp3 collection of work by Maurice Ravel (1875-1937), Giuseppe Tartini (1692 –1770) & soprano Amelita Galli-Curci (1882 –1963).

Ravel is best know for his Bolero & perhaps his Pavane for A Dead Princess But he did actually write more than that :-). His string quartet is often paired with Debussy’s string quartet which reflects the impressionist style that Ravel wrote in. I have the Bolero & Pavane in other collections. In this one I have the complete solo piano music & his piano Concertos, which includes the concerto for left hand written for a concert pianist who lost his right hand in the war.

The Bolero unwittingly set the template for much popular music. It starts with a single instrument & every 8 bars or so adds another layer or beat – which is how many jazz, pop arrangements are constructed. It’s almost mathematic in the progression & variations. Sadly Bolero itself is a piece of music I don’t care every to hear again though. The Pavane is elegant & so relaxing it frequently shows up in collections of the most relaxing music ever.

The solo piano is similar to Debussy but a bit more mathematical as opposed to impressionist. Dreamy, relaxing. I love the sonatas. The String Quartet is surprisingly sensuous as the strings wrap around each other & you.

I had one of Tartini’s violin concertos as lp to cd transfer but wanted a better quality, so picked up the Complete Violin concertos. Best known for the Devil’s Trill, these are great Baroque pieces full of trills &, I’ve been told, virtuoso challenges for violinists.

Also in this collection is Leopold Stokowski’s Bach Transcriptions which includes the Toccata & Fugue. The orchestral sound is lush, soothing & even spiritual at times. I love the toccata & this is one my favourite versions. Stokowski turns Baroque Bach into orchestral Beethoven. Stokowski is best known for his work on Walt Disney’s Fantasia – which is a movie that introduced many generations to the power of classical music & his orchestrations are the key to the success of the movie.

Finally in this collection is Amelita Galli-Curci. She was one of the most popular operatic singers of the 20th century. I’m not a big opera fan but this set of 1917-1928 recordings is one way of stretching my ears to music I’m not that familiar with. The sound quality is okay, as it is often is with these period recordings. I’m happy with these but don’t ask me to decide who is better her or Maria Callas 🙂

Ink

“Get your lazy ass over here! You hear me. Get that lazy ass of yours over here pronto!” Jen hung up the phone satisfied she had done all she had to do. 

It wouldn’t be her fault if Jim didn’t get there on time. No one could find fault with her. Unless it was because she had made the call. It wasn’t up to her to be anyone’s alarm clock but she didn’t want to see Jim get fired. 

Jim was told if he was late one more time that would be it. She didn’t really like Jim but was used to him. She didn’t want to have to learn how to put up with some other jerk off.

She went to the customer washroom. There was still time to check to make sure she looked okay. Her hair was not too wild but not too tame either. Her lip ring was healing. The redness gone. It didn’t distract too much from the eyebrow piercing or the shock of pink she’d had put in her hair for the week. Something  to change appearances around a little. The customers liked variation. Jim felt consistency was reassuring. He didn’t like change.

She could tell by the way his eyes sort of narrowed looking for a safe place on her face to look at. There were no safe places.

She glanced at her wrist watch. Hello Kitty’s face looked so snug strapped in the middle of her full sleeve, roses & koi tattoos. Expensive but not nearly as painful as the she had expected. Both arms. A girl never had to worry about what to wear with these. She held both arms out in front of her, turned them to enjoy the wrapping and overlapping vines, castles stars & comets that danced along and over her shoulders down her back. Sweet. Sweet Sweet. What would she get done next.

Jen went to the front of the shop. She didn’t want to open up till someone else was there. The design books were laid out, a sketched pad was by her station & she began working on the pirate ship she knew would look good on Jim. 

Yes today was the day he would get his lazy ass inked once and for all.
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Bach

Here’s a big swatch of my classical shelf with my Bach collection which is spread out over 16 cds – some lp to cd transfer, some stand alone’s & some mp3 collections. I enjoy Bach but his work is far from my favourites: I’m much more a romantic. I find his writing too fussy to keep me coming back to it but I do enjoy it when I hear it.

snow

I have many takes on Bach as well i.e. Aledia’s jazzy dual guitars: the Swingle Singers delicious scat work; Wendy Carlos proving moog can switch on anything; Santos with his hilarious electronica takes; Tomita with his more serious electronica work.

Daniel Barenboim’s Goldberg Variations are excellent. I love the Cello Suites for meditation. The flute sonatas are sweet. The violin sonatas make for great car music There are many cantatas scattered through this collection too – they are a fine introduction to choral music and all are a delight. The Magnificat is stirring.card

Gould’s French Suites are a treat. The harpsichord concertos make me wish for a harpsichord in my home – I’ve tried but it’s pointless – it did lead to a fondness for harpsichord based pop music though.

Orchestral Suites: this includes the Brandenburg’s: which are perhaps his biggest hit as they have shown up everywhere & in every musical form possible as I have jazz, pop, easy listening, electroncia versions. His music for lute is sweet but not meant for loud street traffic. There is too much organ music to account for & his toccata is a horror movie staple.redfifteen

More Gould with the Well-Tempered Cavalier and a set of Toccatas. If I had to pick a favourite it would have to be the cello sonatas.

Also tucked into the mp3 collections are: with the Carlos: Everything You Wanted To Hear on the Moog; Ye OldeMoog; Tomita’s Bach Fantasy & The Ravel Album; Carlo’s Clockwork Orange music; Moog Indigo. Lots of electronica sound scares – some cheesy, all delightful.blueball

Rounding out others are works by Debussy: the sublime suites Nocturnes, La Demoiselle elue, Pelleas & Milisande; plus a bunch of Haydn’s Flute Trios; & La musica a Milano and DaVinci.

sample

(these are possible endings for the lost cat piece I posted last Monday. http://wp.me/p1RtxU-1vv.)

Poster 2

I was putting some scraps into the composter when I heard the mewing. It came from under one of the cedars that lined the alley. I stepped into the lane to follow the sound.

‘Pss pss’. I hoped I sounded soothing. ‘Here Kitty Kitty’

I was rewarded when an orange tabby came timidly out of the brush. I kneeled to pick the cat up.

‘Are your hands clean?’ the cat asked.

I stepped back. Startled.

‘I suppose you think it odd that I would worry about such matters.’

‘Scratch?’

‘I see my reputation has proceeded me.’

‘Ah … just your reputation of being lost.’

‘Lost! that’s a good one. Escaped would be more accurate.’

‘Escaped?’

‘From those kids. Pat pat pat all day. Whose a good kitty? Morning, noon and night.’

‘I have something on the stove. I better go in.’

‘Mind if I join you?’

……

‘Hello,’ a child voice came over the telephone.

‘Hello I’m calling about Scratch.’

‘You found our kitty?’

‘Yes. I think so.’

‘Daddy someone found the kitty.’ I heard the child call out happily.

‘Hello,’ Dad took the phone. ‘Just a moment. Why don’t you go tell you mother.’ he spoke to the child, ‘She’s up stairs. Hello?’

‘Hi.’

‘You can keep it,’ he said in a quick low voice. ‘We don’t want the damn thing back.’

The line went dead.

Well, I thought, what could sadder than being found but not wanted back?

16

January 20, Wednesday: judging at Hot Damn! it’s a Queer Slam – featuring  Dominic Berry Supermarket Restaurant and Bar 268 Augusta Ave., Toronto, Ontario M5T2L9

hot

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1504753909765085/

March 12, Saturday: attending:

spec

Toronto-SpecFic-Colloquium

June 3-5: attending: Capturing Fire 2016 – The DC Centre – 2000 14th St NW, Suite 105 – Washington, DC

nufire

http://capturingfire.com/#/page/1

September 1-5: attending FanExpo 2016expo16

https://www.facebook.com/fanexpocanada/?fref=ts

November 1 – 30 Participating NaNoWriMo

nanobullseye

http://nanowrimo.org/

money

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Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr

bballs01

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Past Tense Compilations

Next on my classical shelf are some Bits and Pieces cds I assembled when I did the big transfer of my lps’ to CDs a few years ago – that was a major task. The ‘new’ cds only held about 80 minutes of sound each so I could get about 2 lps on each – often I’d end up with with a track or two that didn’t fit. These ended up on ‘Bits and Pieces.’

onepillow pillow abandoned

I enjoy the randomness of these compilations. I made of note of most composers & pieces but none of sources or performers. They range from Rossini (string sonata 6 – these sonatas are amongst my favourites & I have, I think, 3 different recordings of them), to Ligeti, Bartok (music for strings & percussion) and more on one.

oneshelf shelf abandonment

Another includes Lalo (rhapsody norvegienne: lush romantic), Mozart (adagio for glass harmonica), and stuff I didn’t even make composer notes on 😦 – a saxophone rhapsody, March of the Devil. I could google more info but who really needs to know? I might know when I hear them.

oneshoesolo for shoe

Then one of piano music. Mozart (sonata piano four hands); Bach (chromatic fantasy), Haydn & Schubert. The sources are so diverse I have no recollection of the lp’s they came from except in a very general way. I kept some of these because I was unable to find any other versions of them, or they were versions I love so much none other I’ve heard lives up to them.

soon02

May 26 – attending – King John – 2 pm – Stratford

bownew

June 6-8 – attending – Bloody Words

broken writing blocks broken at Loyalist

June 23-27 – attending – Manuscript to Book – Loyalist Summer Arts – Belleville, Ont https://www.facebook.com/events/589522924455695/

August 28-31 – attending – FanExpo Canada http://www.fanexpocanada.com

samples

The Past Tense

 

I am holding your past

in my hands

because you have no future

least ways not with me

your life may go on

and I’ll certainly wail when you die

if you die before I do

I am holding your past

in my hands

wondering what to do with it

I’m not going to deny you access to it

but I don’t want it in my possession either

there seems to be nothing much to do with it

expect throw it away

as you have thrown away

so many things already

why should I show any more respect

than you do

or perhaps I’ll donate it

recycle it

there must someone in need of

a well used past

that still has some time left in it

some promise unfulfilled

that you will never fulfill now

kijiji has no list for it

‘needs a good home

one past

house and heart broken’

I’m holding your past

in my hands

it doesn’t want me to let go

as much as I try to release it

as much as I feel I’ve finally gotten rid of it

it’ll show up in the smell of night fall

or in the echo of a laugh

from an open window on a hot sunny afternoon

it sticks to me

the only way to get rid your past

is to give up mine too

but I’m not willing to do that

mine doesn’t shame me

the way yours does you

cd01 classical shelf #1

 

#Killdozer vs #ArcadeFire

spoon battery
spoon battery

Recently someone asked me what I was listening to on my iPod. I hesitated to answer because whatever it was they would jump to conclusions about me based on the music I was listening to – if I said The Beatles – I was living the past; if I said Lady Gaga – I was a real fag; if I said Coltrane – I was elitist pretentious; if I said – Chopin – I was was beyond comprehension.

pull yourself together
pull yourself together

There are some musicians or composers, who are always on my iPod. I think I have at least 10 days of listening without repeat on tap at any given time. Once a play list gets heard it gets replaced. Each play list, in general, is a mix of pop, jazz, classical.

spoon battery
spoon battery

Nearly always on one play list or the other is: The Beatles, The Stones, Van Morrison, Jacques Brel, Sinatra, John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Keith Jarrett, Chopin, Beethoven, Haydn, Schubert, Mendelssohn, Mozart. Frequently: The Animals, Procol Harum, Lou Reed, McCoy Tyner, Gabor Szabo, Bach, Dvorak. There’s one play list of Latino/French,/World Music music that often includes Otto, Osibisa, Santana, Boyo Boys, Piaf, Pizzicato Five.

When I was asked what I was listening, I replied: “Guess.” Because what they thought I was listening would tell me what they thought of me. They said Arcade Fire (am I a hipster?) when the truth was Killdozer.

sad plant
sad plant