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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The title is a little joke on putting these two French composers together. They probably knew each other at the time but were probably rivals. Both were impressionists – Saint-Saens was a more ‘serious’ composer. Both created work that has lasted. 

By Camille Saint-Saens (1835 – 1921) I have Best of 2 cds that includes Carnival of The Animals, Dance Macabre; Cello Music/Sibelius: Violin C; 2cd set of the Piano Concertos; an lp to cd transfer of various Violin music; Symphony with organ/Poulenc: Concerto for Organ. The various concertos are more romantic than impressionist.  

I knew some of his music before I knew who he was. Some pieces have/ are used for ballet, film & TV soundtracks, so you may already know them. I remember being stunned by The Aquarium in the film Days of Heaven. It a too short lush piece of a floating dream. The Swan is a ballet standard. Both are from Carnival of The Animals. If you are unfamiliar Carnival is a good place to start.

By Erik Satie (1866 – 1925): I have a cd of Piano Works; lp to cd transfers of various piano; lp to cd transfer Velvet Gentleman: an amazing electronic interpretation of this work from 1970 by The Camarata Contemporary Chamber Group. All  include the Gymnopedies. Velvet has the names of the pieces spoken before they get played & it is a delight. It is also one of the best electronic recordings every made.

Satie wasn’t taken that serious though thanks to titles like Mona Lisa’s Moustache. If he had used titles like Etude in C# he probably would have been more respected 🙂 He had a real sense humour but I’ve been told his piano music is as challenging as anything by Chopin.

I have many versions of The Gymnopedies. Orchestral, classical guitar, flute, harp even wordless soprano. It has also become a jazz standard & even shows up in rock. The pieces have a drifting, spiral quality that is very meditative, & depending on who is playing becomes quite spiritual. It certainly set the stage for every piece of new age music you’ve ever heard.


The feel was upon him – he never knew when to expect it – it wasn’t regular like day becoming night to return to day – there was no time of day or night – it was always there – it could happen at any time – taking a shower – reading the paper – walking down the street – sound asleep – it was never sudden though – it would be a gradual awareness that yes he was feeling that way again – it wasn’t like walking into a wall or waking up to a room on fire – too subtle for that – some days he would realize he’d been lost in the feeling for hours days – not that it was unpleasant but it was something he wanted to control – to limit – to at least be aware of sooner when it was happening so he would – what – he wasn’t sure what he would do – couldn’t avoid it – couldn’t make it last longer or happen at will – it would just be there and he’d wonder when did this start or is it just the last one still happening – still on the go and he’d just forgotten he was feeling it and went on to feeling other things other ways – it somehow didn’t seem fair that he could be so powerless over his own self – it was as if he wasn’t himself – that it was his body but that he wasn’t at home in it without that sense of ah yes I can sit down when I want to – I feel how I want to when I want to –

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