Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

Beginning the day with the sins of the world

July 23, 2016

I woke to the words peccata mundi ‘the sins of the world’ playing from my iTunes. Well, not bad at all, because this is the end of the phrase qui tollis peccata mundi ‘who takes [or taketh] away the sins of world’ (from the Latin Mass), so it was a kind of morning cleansing.

The Agnus Dei from Mozart’s Mass in C Minor, the “Trinitatis Mass”, K. 167 (written in Salzburg in 1773, while Mozart was still a teenager).


Lola Albright

July 21, 2016

Today’s morning name, risen up from my subconscious for reasons I cannot fathom. But there she is, an icon of the ’50s and ’60s, all sultry-voiced, notably on American tv’s Peter Gunn (1958-61), with its film noir tone and jazz music. Here she is with the star of the show, Craig Stevens:

(People smoked a lot in those days. Cigarettes provided the film noir haze.)

You can watch, and hear, Albright singing “How High the Moon” on the show in this YouTube clip.


To be floral, bearded, and young

July 16, 2016

A bit of found poetry:


Yes, band names.

But wait! There’s more! Here’s the whole poster, heralding a coming show at The Hope and Ruin, 11-12 Queens Road, Brighton, Sussex (live music, a pub, and some food — hot dogs, fries, and ice cream):



July 13, 2016

On Sunday I went to shapenote singing (2-4, at the Unitarian Universalist Church in south Palo Alto), for the first time in two or so years. Much trepidation, but I manasged reasonably well, especially in the early (“warm-up”) songs, which were so familiar I could sing the shapes and the verses without looking at the book. Tremendous expense of energy, as I was singing full-out, so I was done in after two hours, but happy.

Of the several possibilities for a closing song, we did one of the “new songs” (new to the 1991 edition of the (B.F. White) Sacred Harp): 347, “Christians, Farewell”, reproduced here (with permission) from the book:


(Click to enlarge the image.)

Hamrick adapted the text of #621 in Benjamin Lloyd’s 1841 Primitive Hymns, and more recently Caroline Bonnet supplied a one-verse secular text.


On the digital media front

July 11, 2016

Report from the home front on digital media: CDs and DVDs. I fervently hope that I have now unearthed all of the discs. The CDs have mostly all gone away (but see below), but not until I copied them onto iTunes. (As a result, just in the category iTunes labels Classical Music, I have 14,376 tracks, or 43.4 days’ worth. I have gone back to playing these files during the night, instead of getting classical music from WQXR-FM in NYC.)

For the DVDs, I have given away two big boxes of them (judging them to be things I’m unlikely to want to watch again) and might get rid of some more, but for the moment what I’ve done (with Kim Darnell’s help) is to sort the bulk of them (gay porn discs are still to come) into categories that I can use to find them — a complex exercise in categorization and labeling that definitely stretches the mind.



July 9, 2016

Yesterday’s breakfast was salmon chimichurri — something of a blind venture, but I do like salmon. The chimichurri turned out to be a nice green sauce, which I then looked up (yes, I know, most people would look it up first, but I’m an adventurous eater).


Annoying instruments

July 7, 2016

Today’s Bizarro:

(If you’re puzzled by the odd symbol in the cartoon — Dan Piraro says there’s just one in this strip — see this Page.)

In lists of instruments people find most annoying, the bagpipes and the accordion (with its close relatives the concertina and bandoneon) are reliably at the top or close to it, so a hybrid would be monstrous.


Last call: gay music, mix CDs, X-rated collages

July 6, 2016

Three offers still out that have had no takers and will go away on Monday the 11th (the first to a local donation site, the other two to the trash heap):

#8 gay music (here)

#4 mix CDs (here, described in detail below), now in a special offer

#1 X-rated gay collages, mounted for hanging (here), also in a special offer described below

I’m giving special offers on the last two because they’re the work of my own hand and I hate to just throw them away.

You pay only shipping expenses. To request an offer, SEND E-MAIL to me (, with your mailing address, and Kim Darnell ( will get in touch with you about mailing and payment.


Dress for performance and publicity

July 6, 2016

Processing material for the last set of CD offers — of chamber music — I was struck by the way the musicians present themselves in performance and publicity, especially through their clothing.

The classic chamber music group is all-male and dresses in dark suits (with white shirts, dark ties, dark shoes and stockings), or even formal attire. Women in such groups, or in all-women groups, tend to dress more fashionably and individually, but not flashily. Groups specializing in new music, experimental music, and genre-bending music are inclined to dress more informally, especially in publicity shots. And some groups are deliberately showy.

On to a few examples. (more…)

Conversations in music: offer #21, the last of the CDs

July 5, 2016

The last of the CD offers, five boxes (of 30-40 discs per box) of conversations between musical voices: chamber music, of many kinds (plus a few odd surprises, of discs that have turned up since earlier offers were put together).

Filtering out chamber music involving a piano — most, but not all, of these items went into offer #20, of keyboard music — these collections are heavy on string quartets, from many hands.



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