29 October 2023

Today's Report

I'm not arguing about the value of studying how we know what know. It's just that these days, I find I am more interested in how we forget what we forget.
A proposal to modify the New Hampshire State Motto to “Live free, but don’t be a jerk.”
Porridger’s Almanack (Breakfast of Ganglions)

When a case gets too tough, I’ve gotta talk to my wife.

— Lt Columbo the Wise

The possession and cultivation of talent will not guarantee success “in the marketplace.” Do I even yet hope for such success at this point? I’m not sure, but in any event, I still compose because that is what I love doing. Especially since I am at present separated from the clarinet. One thought which I have had for The Cape has been, to cannibalize another piece or two. Although, I do not propose abandoning/discarding the source pieces. I’ve thought of incorporating both one of the Intermezzi from White Nights, and a passage of The Young Lady Holding a Phone in Her Teeth. After my return from church today, I began by expanding yesterday's Nope through salvaging some material from the initial, abandoned Nope. And I’ve determined that the Intermezzo from the ballet which I had in the back of my mind for incorporation here is the first. I have some creative re-scoring/arrangement ahead of me (both in this, and in the passage from La jeune mademoiselle) but of course that additional creative work is part of how I “justify” to myself the “laziness” of the theft from my portfolio. Interestingly/fortunately, even before my “research” into the White Nights Intermezzi, I managed to bring The Cape to just the right pitch center. Call it Destiny. I seem to have slouched into another survey of The Twilight Zone, and this time (especially when the composer is Bernard Herrman) I’m making a point of enjoying the Isolated Score feature. While I am not literally copping/borrowing any material, the tone of the shows is one factor going into The Cape of Good Nope

I suppose I’m allowing myself to devote the energies to The Cape because I already have a reasonably solid strategy ready for the adaptation of The Mask I Wore Before.

Separately, last night I dreamt that my left fingers were managing the saxophone just fine.

28 October 2023

The Audacity of Nope

Done, but with errors on page.
They're freaking out on the Internet? Again? .
Postcards From Red Squirrel Trail

I don’t want any commies in my car. No Christians either!

— Harry Dean Stanton in Repo Man

Ten years ago today, I wrote: Music is part of the tangle of my life, so that it is pointless to wish that some part of my past had been at all otherwise, since my music would therefore be otherwise. (I mean, if I think at all that I am making the right music.

The orchestral call I mention here has been a bit of a poser, at least in terms of what I have ready on the shelf. As to what I was thinking at first, the prohibition against harp rules out White Nights, Second, Fuchsia is too brief. Third, the Symphony requires too many winds to qualify. I think I’ll drop the harp and non-timpani percussion from Ear Buds, I’ll let it take its chances here as well. One can submit two works, so I was thinking of going ahead and writing a new ten-minute orchestral piece. The first 20-ish seconds which I composed today of The Cape of Good Nope I have set aside as too dense and too aimless, and I started practically afresh (although using some of the material of the bad sketch) and I've got 40-ish seconds of a decent start on the piece now.

27 October 2023

En pensant à l'orchestre

Sneak some chic shiitake for Schnittke's sake.
Why are the geezer's tweezers in the freezer?
Porridger’s Almanack (Breakfast of Ganglions)

If the judge in the Rittenhouse case doesn't like the word ‘victim,’ perhaps the phrase ‘unarmed person shot to death’ might do the trick.

— Jn Cleese

The orchestral call I mention here has been a bit of a poser, at least in terms of what I have ready on the shelf. One can submit two works, so I’ll leave open the possibility of something new. As to what I was thinking at first, the prohibition against harp rules out White Nights, Second, Fuchsia is too brief. Third, the Symphony requires too many winds to qualify. I think I’ll drop the harp and non-timpani percussion from Ear Buds, I’ll let it take its chances here as well. Seven years ago today I posted on Facebook: Began sketches for the second movement while rolling into Boston on the Red Line. These sketches record ideas which I was turning in my inner ear while my head lay on the pillow last night, so work actually started 26 October.

26 October 2023

A Glance Backward

“. . . this one corner of ornamental untidiness . . . .”
Awesome Ostrogoths of Oz
Witch Ballerinas of the Berkshires
Zorro’s sorrow
Porridger’s Almanack (Breakfast of Ganglions)

Geo. Harrison
It’s not always gonna be this grey.

— Geo. Harrison

So, seven years ago today I finished the first movement of the “Henning First.” Opus 143. One benefit I draw from revisiting old blog posts is, I get glimpses of a past life. By now, I’ve physically forgotten that distanced life of getting up so early so as to get into Boston to be a working schmo, and when I might actually do some composing at 5AM before needing to walk to the town centre to get on a bus. “Workaholism?” Yes, and I suppose I feel ashamed. Not of the resulting music, but of giving myself to the Rodent Grand Prix. The fact that financially, I had little choice only partly mitigates the shame. I was apparently so very foolish an optimist, thinking that at some point, I should see some monetary reward. I don’t mean for my music, I almost don’t even dream of that anymore. I mean for working so long and so hard as a jerk for The Man. What did playing along in The Game get me? My stroke, probably. The arc of this post seems to suggest (my Opus 143, for instance, not yet having gotten anywhere) that I might lapse again into the funk of non-creative inertia which somehow overtook me after the fleeting glimmer of success with The Lowell of Orpheus, but in fact (the dour reflections of this post notwithstanding) I feel reasonably positive. I defy that dead husk of my “gainfully employed” days, defy the illusion that I gained anything material in that epoch. After my stroke, I felt pretty much like a newborn cast upon the shore. I may possibly succeed still. The only lasting failure would be to cease making music. Even more: I feel that I have been given this new life after my stroke, to the end that I should keep composing.

25 October 2023

Mostly about Carter and Dukelsky

For some of those motorists, "COEXIST" actually means "Give Me MY Space—and It's ALL My Space."
Postcards From Red Squirrel Trail

The music always leads you astray and leads you into itself.

— Elliott Carter

In the course of this extract from an interview with Steven Stucky, Elliott Carter mentions meeting Edgard Varèse in a speakeasy. I had the chance to ask for Carter’s autograph in Boston’s Symphony Hall at the première of his Horn Concerto, and I’m honestly tickled that I’ve met someone who has been in a speakeasy. I mean, I suppose it’s possible that either (or both) of my grandfathers had, but I’ll never know. I’ve been reading Taking a Chance on Love, George Harwood Phillips’ wonderfully interesting book about Vernon Duke/Vladimir Dukelsky, and in curious synchronicity one passage I read today is: Elliott Carter Insisted that “Dukelsky's popular songs have absolutely no connection with his original and imaginative serious music in either style or content. In this he is linear and dissonant and frequently violently rhythmic, fond of a dry unresonant orchestration … The ‘End of St Petersburg’ contains some of the best music by this composer since he wrote his exquisite ‘Zephyr and Flora’ for Diaghilev. Although the Soviets went as far as re-christening ‘The End of St Petersburg’ Leningrad,’ Prokofiev wrote to Dukelsky that the piece could not be performed in Russia because only the classics were allowed to be played. (This was in the spring of 1936.)

Well, so what about this Henning in October of 2023? This week I quickly chopped out an  arrangement of Ride On, King Jesus for handbells. I'll mark parts hurriedly tomorrow early afternoon. I see a call for orchestral scores suitable for a university orchestra. Still thinking about that one. And another call for an atypical reedy wind quintet for which I am thinking of adapting The Mask I Wore Before.

23 October 2023

Plotting an oblique return to the clarinet

The latest claim staked by the food artisans: “Tortellini” Westerns
I don’t think my coworker is at all that way...but the row of three dispensers of hand sanitizer does give off something of an “As Good As It Gets” vibe.
Porridger’s Almanack (Breakfast of Ganglions)

Rarely does an actor have the chance where he makes a movie he doesn’t understand at all, and it makes him a star.

— Lewis Smith, Perfect Tommy in “The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the Eighth Dimension”

I’ve mentioned heretofore that the impairment of my left hand as a result of my stroke almost five years ago has perforce separated me from my clarinet. The principal difficulty stemming from the limited sensation in my left fingers. I’m loth even to assemble the clarinet with my left hand in this condition, lest I unfeelingly damage the keys while twisting the joints together. My intent and hope is that the neural pathways between brain and fingers be reopened through my ongoing weekly physical therapy. I talked with an old friend on Saturday, and in discussing my involuntary divorce from the clarinet, and the difficulty in my sealing tone-holes with my left fingers, my friend asked if trying to play the saxophone might be easier, since one difference in the mechanism of the two instruments is that the saxophone has padded keys which cover the tone holes, and you know, this idea had never occurred to me on my own. I subsequently reached out to another friend, who plays saxophone, and he agreed that this is an exciting idea. Furthermore, he has an extra instrument which he will make available to me. Expect further updates.

18 October 2023

and there's no time for fussing and fighting....

Your expected wait time is less than six minutes. However, there is also the unexpected.
Mars the Caster of Wet Blankets
Porridger’s Almanack (Breakfast of Ganglions)

Think of what you’re saying; you can get it wrong and still you think that it’s all right.

— The Beatles “We Can Work It Out”

Let me stipulate at the outset that Abbey Road is a great album, and if for some it is the Beatles’ greatest album, I agree that the case can be made. I’m just writing of my recent experience, that after the first two tracks, “Come Together” (and a) I did not read the suggestion until years later that the song is a celebration of simultaneous orgasm, and therefore b) I suppose I experience retroactive mixed feelings about the fact that a junior high chorus teacher shared the song with us) and “Something,” I could not help feeling that Paul McCartney’s rather twee “Maxwell’s Silver Hammer” was a notable musical let-down. I’m not saying it’s absolutely a bad song. A lighter song as Track 3 strikes me as generally a good idea, so maybe they should have slotted “Octopus’s Garden” there. Later that day—and the decision may or may not have been conscious—I listened to Side 1 of The Beatles (L’album blanc) whose first three songs are “Back in the USSR.” “Dear Prudence” (both of them first-rate songs, of course) and “Glass Onion.” The last is (like “Hey, Bulldog”) not my favorite John Lennon song, but certainly interesting and good overall. To revert briefly to Abbey Road, I found it touching, really that Lennon saw the merits of “Something” immediately and nominated it for a single. For my experience, I don’t know how many times I’d heard easy-listening covers of “Something” before hearing the Ur-text at last. Separately, the final episode of Patrick McGoohan’s classic series The Prisoner, “Fall Out” contains what may be my favorite “external” use of a Beatles song. Change of tack I: Found on Wikipedia: “Wm Grant Still composed Song of a City for the 1939 World’s Fair in New York City. The song played continuously during the fair by the exhibit “Democracity.” According to Still’s granddaughter, he couldn’t attend the fair except on “Negro Day” without police protection.” Change of tack II: My review of Sunday’s BSO concert.

12 October 2023

Symphonic Anniversary

The egghead’s headache
Pluto, the Gaoler of Nigerian Princes
If I were Hawaiian, I’d invent Hula-we’en
Postcards From Red Squirrel Trail

Both work and living have become more and more pointless and empty. There is no lack of meaningful things that cry out to be done but our working days are used up in what lacks meaning, making useless or harmful products, or servicing the bureaucratic structures. For most Americans, work is mindless, exhausting, boring, servile and hateful: something to be endured, while life is confined to time off. Beginning with school (if not before) an individual is systematically stripped of his imagination, his creativity, his heritage, his dreams and his personal uniqueness in order to fit him to be a productive unit in a mass technological society. Instinct, feeling and spontaneity are suppressed by overwhelming forces. As the individual is drawn into the meritocracy his working life is split from his home life, and both suffer from a lack of wholeness. In the end, people virtually become their occupations and their other roles and are strangers to themselves. The American crisis then seems clearly to be related to an inability to act, but what is the cause of this paralysis? Why, in the face of every warning, have we been unable to act? Why have we not used our resources more wisely and justly? We tell ourselves that social failure gets down to individual moral failure: We must have the will to act, we must first find concern and compassion in our hearts. But this diagnosis is not good enough. It is contradicted by the experience of powerlessness that is encountered by so many people. Today a majority of the people as moral individuals certainly want peace, but they cannot turn their individual wills into action by society. It is not that we do not will action, but that we are unable to act, unable to put existing knowledge to use. The machinery of our society apparently no longer works, or we no longer know how to make it work. The corporate state in which we live is an immensely powerful machine, ordered, legalistic, rational, yet utterly out of human control and indifferent to human values. It is hard to say exactly when our society assumed this shape. The major symptoms of change started appearing after the Second World War and especially in the 1950s. The expenditure of a trillion dollars for defense, the destruction of the environment, the production of unneeded goods. These were not merely extension of the familiar blunders and corruption of America’s past, they were of a different order of magnitude. And although they were all an integral part of a legal, and seemingly rational system, they were surrounded by a growing atmosphere of unreality. The stupidities and thefts of the Grant era were not insane, they were human departures from a reasonably human standard. In the 1950s the norm itself, the system itself became deranged.

— Chas A. Reich, “The Greening of America” in The New Yorker. 26 Sep 1970

The Reich quote above came to my attention courtesy of a recording of Philip Proctor’s reading it on-air as part of the Firesign Theatre’s weekly live (or, generally live) radio broadcast in the early ’70s. The stupidities and thefts of the Grant era” is opaque to me but otherwise the whole of this has stuck with me because in the first place, I first listened to it while I was in rehab recovering from my stroke of November 2018 (the Duke of Madness Motors recordings are on a micro SD card in my phone, and I listened via ear buds) and in the second because in large part it explained the social pathology in which I partially (all too large a part) and willingly (let us say I was groomed into it) participated prior to my stroke. It was a kind of epiphany. I had been working long hours at a wage significantly lower than (for example) the people whom my work supported, in hopes that at some point I should be able to afford to buy a home. That never happened. The work I did, which to some extent I endured, while telling myself that it was work I enjoyed, is not my self, so the schizophrenia of which Reich wrote was indeed my experience, and I have reason to wonder whether it was worth it, since we still rent our living space and are therefore at the mercy of landlords (two of whom have been literally pathological) and I was “rewarded” for my 20-plus years of “sucking-it-up” work with a severe stroke which might easily have claimed my life, if I had not had the great good fortune of realizing that I was in need of serious medical help and crawled hands and knees to a phone to place a call to 9-1-1. I’m not writing to promote Communism or to wave a red shirt, just reporting facts.

Now, at last to the musical business: seven years ago today I reported the start of the Symphony № 1, Opus 143 on this blog. Mind you, in not-at-all-rare “I don’t always blog very promptly” fashion, I blogged of having posted to Facebook two days prior. And thus, this is what I posted to Facebook seven years ago today: While no more notes have landed on the page since Sunday’s session, there has been (in a musically pertinent sense) mental activity. Partly, I’ve thought of events/passages to follow (setting many of them temporarily aside, as not The Right Thing for measure # 58, where the score of the first movement presently stops); partly, I’ve been digesting the musical Stuff of what is presently composed. This last may sound odd. “He wrote it; doesn’t he himself get it?” But recall that my goal this weekend past was a musical object possessed of a certain sufficiency, to serve as a lump of workable sonic clay. It was the result of musical caprice, an impromptu. In a word, I thought it sounded fairly good, and that it was something to work with; yet the creation was a, I wont say a speedy affair, but the idea was, do first, and reflect after. (There are many situations in Life where that is not the way to proceed, but I’ve found I can compose like this to no one’s hurt.) So one of the things I’ve done is, study my own score, reduce the pitch material to a compact phrase, the clearer to make further use of what is already in the piece, so that the composition contains, among other things, ample self-reference and musical affirmations. That done ... I now go to paper. Just regular, blank paper, to sketch, arrange, fiddle with verbal and graphic scribblings with which my inner ear will associate a variety of musical elements and ideas, some of them more or less specific, some of them vague but nevertheless real. The broad idea is a kind of blueprint, although I caution you from considering it as anything as fixed as an architect’s blueprint must perforce be. The arrangement, ratios, and content of these visual blocks will quite probably alter over time as I work on the piece; since of course what ultimately matters is the success of the sound of the music. This sort of sketch is a kind of “pre-compositional” activity which I’ve used in the past, although by now, in quite the distant past. It is an ancillary process which was very helpful earlier in my composing, and which I largely internalized. It’s kind of a fun “back to basics” activity which, I think, helps me to ritualize and affirm this formal embarkation upon the composing of a symphony. So that’s the tale for today.

11 October 2023

An Irrelevant Aside

Tu m’as donné un wah-wah.
Agro-tourism: Haycation.
Who controls the chilled beverages, controls the art.
Postcards From Red Squirrel Trail

We can’t all, and some of us don’t. That’s all there is to it.

— Eeyore

Long ago as it now seems (December of 2010), I reeled in the complete Dick van Dyke Show on DVD. At first, I just watched the two episodes with brother Jerry van Dyke playing Rob’s narcoleptic brother who, while sleepwalking, could be an energetically entertaining banjoist. Then, the box (kind of bulky for 25 discs—five seasons, five DVDs each) sat on a shelf for years. From time to time the thought of somehow offloading it crossed my mind, but I didn’t believe it would fetch much if I were to try selling it, and besides, in the back of my mind I really did want to watch. So I found a more efficient physical storage solution, and I’ve now at last been watching. In addition to the predictable pleasure of seeing guest actors whom I knew from other (generally later) shows such as Jamie Farr, Richard Dawson and Robert Vaughn, I recently watched an episode in which Leonard Weinrib (nope, never heard of him) plays a stand-up comic, and he does a topical Jack Kennedy imitation. The show was broadcast in March of 1963.

10 October 2023

This and That

I’ve just learnt of an ensemble formed by “a dozen restless artists.” I still don’t feel at all guilty for getting to bed early last night. Also, Last night was the first time I dreamt that I was driving a sports car, it was a sleek bronze Beta Romeo.
Porridger’s Almanack (Breakfast of Ganglions)

Americans don’t need somebody to play more Brahms or Beethoven. They need to know that there is very important music out there that they’re not listening to—because our ears and spirits need constant renewal.

— Conductor James Conlon (remarks occasioned by the Britten centenary)

I continue to send scores out in the hope … well. In the hope. I’ve found a call to which I could (and did) send The Heart and The Lungs from the Opus 148. There’s another band music call to which I should like to submit the original scoring of Ear Buds, but I have been waiting on a response to an e-mail query. I’ve found an alternate (or oblique) e-mail address to inquire about my query. We shall see, shan’t we? I even found a call for which the “Pierrot-plus” scoring of Don Quijote suits, so I’ve sent; my hopes are not high, as one member of the judges panel is known to me, and they have not responded at all sympathetically to my work, but hey! You never know. Still, it is not the only way in which the Boston musical ecosystem makes it known to me that I never belonged to the right clubs. I sent the Opus 175 to an old friend, to see about its suitability for an organization with which he is now affiliated. His detailed reply is illuming. I was desirous of the conductor’s feedback (which is yet to come.) The conductor has, I think, more than one assignment, so I wasn’t necessarily proposing the Op. 175 for this group, though that would of course be wonderful. The gist of the present email is eminently practical: a 25-minute piece by an unknown composer is “a big ask” and so substantial a piece for which the winds all sit out is a further consideration. I felt that I was being discreetly guided to send something for which these proscriptions would not obtain. At first, I thought of finding a scene from White Nights, but then, I remembered the orchestral adaptation of Ear Buds. Accordingly, I betook me to (I nearly wrote FedEx Kinko’s, since—as I worked long ago at the Kinko’s on Mt Hope Avenue in Rochester, NY—I have been slow to learn that their brand is now FedEx Office) to have the score printed out. On Saturday I went to a concert by Ensemble Aubade in Belmont, and my friend and much-esteemed colleague Peter kindly brought an envelope. He graciously offered too, to mail it off. Now, I almost don’t remember the work of the arrangement, and after I arrived home (having handed off the score) an anxious doubt crossed my mind: Did I actually write aught for the strings to play? The piece is minimalist in a way, lots of sustained tones and Klangfarbenmelodie, not at all string writing typical of the orchestra, and I was suddenly worried that I had left the string staves blank. Of course, once I was home and could open my duplicate of the score, and see that the strings do, of course, have music to play.

09 October 2023

Something Good I Wasn't Expecting

Apocalypse Soon: I guess I’ve learnt not to be astonished by hearing things like “award-winning [name of brand] garbanzos.”
Porridger’s Almanack (Breakfast of Ganglions)

I wonder if I packed my scotch.

— Avatar, Ralph Bakshi’s Good Wizard.

On Wednesday, a wonderful surprise greeted me. A pianist of my “virtual acquaintance” whose work I enjoy (there is an album or two of hers which are part of my listening rotation every week) messaged me to say how much she was enjoying exploring my work as available on YouTube and to ask if I might have music for a trio she knows, consisting of flute, violin and cello. So, these several days I have chipped away at adapting not only A Snootful of Hooch, one of any number of pieces I have written and then completely forgotten, but one of my rejected Rapido! Submissions, too: the Boston Harbor Heave-Ho (Tea Party Dance) and Revere’s Midnight Reel (War Dance) for fl/vn/vc. These last are also styled as Dances of Nonchalance and Exhilaration. The Heave-Ho has been brought to listeners via an adaptation for the k a rl h e nn i ng Ensemble. Separately: My review of the opening night program at Symphony Hall.

04 October 2023

Ear Buds, Budding Afresh?

Am I the only one to wonder if “All Along the Watchtower” is architecturally confused?
Porridger’s Almanack (Breakfast of Ganglions)

I defy you to name me one Kubrick film, that you can turn off, once you've started—it’s impossible!

— Steven Spielberg

Well, so an old friend now has an administrative position with a regional orchestra. Last time I saw him in Boston, I asked about getting the Third Symphony in front of the orchestra's M.D.’s eyes. It was my friend’s feedback that the score needed some typographical improvement. I hied me unto FedEx Kinko’s to arrange printing and binding of the score, which I then sent. His thoughtful and detailed reply was illuming. I was desirous of the conductor’s feedback (which is yet to come.) He has, I think, more than one assignment, so I wasn’t necessarily proposing the Op. 175 for this group, though that would of course be wonderful. The gist of the present email is eminently practical: a 25-minute piece by an unknown composer is “a big ask” and so substantial a piece for which the winds all sit out is a further consideration. The reply is not an explicit request for an alternate, but it set me to thinking on those lines. Earlier on the day of his reply (while his reply was a-percolating) he forwarded a call from another organization (one, in fact, with which I have a history of non-success.) I let that call lapse out of consciousness. Yesterday, I saw a different call for scores for (essentially) chamber orchestra, “works between 8 to 30 minutes.” Somehow, I suddenly remembered Ear Buds, a score I haven’t much thought about in a while, and when I was thinking about it, I tended to concentrate on its original form for members of a symphonic band. For the instrumentation of this call, the percussion (suspended cymbal, chimes, tam-tam) needed to be reduced to a single player. I performed this task, and thus had the score ready ... before (reading the fine print, or rather, noting the paler pixels) learning that there is a $35 entry fee. As a rule, aware of how practically routinely my work is snubbed in these calls, I decline from calls which require a coughing-up of valuta, but since I had just invested the effort in prepping Ear Buds, I decided to go on ahead and submit it. It then occurred to me that Ear Buds would both suit well for the call I knew of (and had forgotten about) earlier, and forwhose deadline I was still timely, and be a more immediately practical piece for “my friend’s orchestra,” so to speak. So a piece of which I had lost sight is now out taking its chances, albeit not in its original guise as a band piece.

The initial musical idea for Ear Buds (The dream of a young man in the woods, listening) came to me while I was walking (near the titular woods, in fact) and contemplating a new piece for large ensemble. One of my regular walks passes by a brake of firs, and on this autumnal day I happened to see a youth seated amid the trees listening to something on ear buds. As I proceeded on my walk I thought, “what if I were in that person’s stead?” less the ear buds and portable device. What would I be listening to? This piece is the result.

03 October 2023

Another Small Step.

Allegro risoluto (“resolved to be cheerful?”) …
Have yourself a superspreader Christmas,
make your neighbors pay,
who cares what those heathen doctors have to say?
Porridger’s Almanack (Breakfast of Ganglions)

I know, I know: you’re a woman who’s been getting nothing but dirty breaks.
Well, we can clean and tighten your brakes,
but you’ll have to stay in the garage all night.

— Groucho Marx, Monkey Business

In January 2020, as reported here, I composed a lullaby for the newborn child of my friends Stéphanie and Jonathan, Pour la petite Joséphine, for flute and harp. I have a guitarist friend in the area, Aaron Larget-Caplan, who maintains an open concern, The New Lullaby Project. I pretty much immediately reached out to Aaron for his opinion on whether it would adapt as easily as I hoped it might, for guitar. He thought it ought but did not have time then to dig in, though he made me welcome to send anything, as I suggested I might have a go at it. I finally did, a week-ish ago (i.e. three years plus later) and sent the result, noting that I shouldn't be surprised if further adjustment were needed. I should add that another friend, Peter Bloom, suggested substituting bass flute, so the adaptation-in-progress for Aaron is in fact bass flute and guitar.

Separately: a performance of Stravinsky’s playful Greeting Prelude in honor of the late Louis Andriessen’s 70th birthday.

01 October 2023

Thinking October 2024

I am slightly surprised at the ease with which I am reconciled to the fact that “provolone” will never be an anagram of “envelope.” … Listening to Prosciutto.
Porridger’s Almanack (Breakfast of Ganglions)

Finish every day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities crept in. Forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; you should begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.

— Ralph Waldo Emerson

As noted in this post, I began thinking about repertory for the Henning Ensemble beyond the present April 2024 date at King’s Chapel. I began the process of adapting both Down Along the Canal to Minerva Road and Jazz for Nostalgic Squirrels for C flute, alto flute, bass clarinet and double-bass for an as-yet-hypothetical October 2024 date. (I shan’t broach the question this side of regearsing for 16 April.) Mostly juggling things around, and a start on the necessary chromatic spelling clean-up and registral adjustments. Time passed. More time than I meant to leave this task in limbo (although, to be sure, there is no need as yet to have the music ready to send to the group.) I resumed the work today, including addressing some passages which seemed to me too rapidly noodling for the bass clarinet in the Jazz. I also expanded both pieces slightly with an insertion or two. The Opp. 117a and 149a thus deviate somewhat from their respective originals, and why not?