30 June 2024

The New Just Not Knowing

Completely effortlessly, I just devised the phrase “celebrity pedicurist.”
Porridger’s Almanack (Breakfast of Ganglions)

I must’ve killed more men than Cecil B. DeMille.

— Gene Wilder in Mel Brooks’ Blazing Saddles

I’ve not posted since April (the time of the King’s Chapel concert.) There is a surfeit of uncertainty surrounding me, so there has been insufficient energy and zero attention for musical work. This week I have had occasion to revisit two pieces for clarinet choir in 15 parts, neither of which has as yet been performed. By seeming chance, I wrote the following nine years ago today: Because (they observe) audiences come to concerts to hear This-a-Cola and That-a-Cola, if I want people to come hear my music, I must adapt, and write Karl-o-Cola. But I write such good non-cola, and it is no better than speculation that my half-hearted cola could take market-share from those other, already institutionalized colas. If I do not maintain my own distinct musical personality, what is the point of my hauling musical coal to Newcastle? 

I did (I am sure) think of Geoffrey Holder and “the Un-Cola” when I chose to use the phrase “non-cola.” I had a choice. Here is the MIDI demo of Misapprehension, a piece which I wrote as if accepting the theoretical challenge of providing a sound cue for a scene in an apocryphal undiscovered Hitchcock film.

In many ways the biggest musical news since my last post is that due to budgetary concerns, the church which I had served since 2013 as Music Director terminated both my position and that of the organist.