This space has been nothing but column links for a while, due to a combination of (probably fruitless) work and (distractingly enraging) incredulity at the country’s ongoing slow-motion political and historical car crash. So I wrote some ragtime.
Actually, there’s two, although one is a few years old. “The Long Count,” the old one, might be the most elaborate rag I’ve ever written, but I always felt like it wanted a companion; hence this new one, a straight-up fingerbuster on classic-rag lines—if not necessarily harmonies. (I can play it, but only at about two-thirds speed so far. If I ever work it up to tempo, I’ll post a recording. In the meantime, MIDI. “The Long Count” is score-only, since the original file perished with my last hard drive.)
The programmatic references move from complex to obvious, too: “The Long Count” (written as a present for Ethan Iverson and Sarah Deming, the latter my favorite fiercely thoughtful vicarious connection to the ring) originally sprang from my daft notion that the famous temporal anomaly of the second Tunney-Dempsey fight might have, chaos-theory style, bumped the universe off its axis just enough to ameliorate the turnover of the Mayan long count. The second is just as it says: wild swings of the hands.