This space has been quiet for four months, but, for once, I have a decent excuse, as I have doing my utmost to take advantage of the flatteringly good fortune of a fellowship at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard. The full, worldwide panorama of post-World War II music requires diligent pursuit! Nevertheless, I am giving it a shot. If you’re in Cambridge, feel free to drop by.
Still, it’s a good time to catch up on collating some other work. I am very happy once again to be mingling with the fine souls at NewMusicBox, this time with some ruminations on music’s ability (or lack thereof) to connect:
It seems that this space is destined to be updated only in transit. The last post (five months ago?! yikes) was written in the midst of a change of abode, and now we are preparing to move Soho the Dog HQ yet again. It’s like our own Year of the Three Kings, except, instead of monarchs, it’s places to live. Which means we’re about to start living in the residential equivalent of… Richard III? I think that analogy ran off the rails somewhere.
At any rate: as proof that I have not been completely idle, the list of Score columns over on the sidebar there has been finally brought up to date. That’s 141 installments (and counting) of oblique musicological speculation for your summer reading entertainment. I should also link to this article that Molly coaxed out of me for NewMusicBox, which ended up with a pleasant amount of break on its curve, I thought. Plus, there was this Messiaen introduction for Red Bull Music Academy Daily, which led me down the garden path of echoes between Messiaen’s idiosyncratic theology and that of the Flemish mystic Jan van Ruusbroec.
Oh, yeah, and this went down, which at least resulted in some flattering sympathies from smart and nice people—thank you! Like I’ve said before: I have a knack for getting into careers in their categorical twilight. On the other hand, it does leave more time for composing:
The registration is only a suggestion, i.e., what happens to work on my particular church organ. (I am, now and forever, a sucker for a good—or even not-so-good—celeste stop.)
And with that, it’s northern-hemisphere summer. Whatever critical scrapes I manage to get myself into will be duly noted here. Or not—I picked up some Apuleius for a dollar at a library sale today, and, I have to say, it’s a better-looking prospect than a lot else that’s going on out there. But Apuleius probably always is.
I haven’t updated this space for several months now, for a lot of reasons. I’ve been writing elsewhere. I’ve been trying to compose. I’ve been out of town. I’ve been….
Eh, who am I kidding? This is why I haven’t been updating:
Which is not to say I haven’t been working, though. So, in a bout of real-work avoidance, I’ve at least gone back and filled in a bunch of links from the interregnum—Boston Globereviews, NewMusicBoxarticles, other appearances here and there. I’ve also compiled a master list of all the “Score” columns I’ve written for the Globe over the past couple years. (Links to that list and my NewMusicBox articles are now in the sidebar, too.) Critic-at-Large Moe (pictured above, on left) would like you to know that he, too, has notbeen idle.
Anyway, a drink. This one is named in honor of Henri Poincaré, since I was reading a biography of him, and full of grapefruit, because I love grapefruit.
First, make some grapefruit-infused gin: add the peel (no pith) and juice of one grapefruit to 500ml of gin, let it steep for a week, then strain it through a coffee filter.
2 oz. grapefruit-infused gin 1 oz. grapefruit juice ½ oz. Cocchi Americano a couple dashes of grapefruit bitters
Stir with cracked ice and strain into the closest thing you have to a non-Euclidean glass.