Thursday, December 29, 2011

A Vienna of the Mind

In 2011, Vienna, Austria, ranked first in the world for its quality of living.  I have no idea about the veracity of the report.  Its purpose seems to be to guide companies in deployment of their “expatriate employees,” and the categories used are understandably mundane.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Happy Holiday, the Remix

I have a confession to make:  before this year, I had no idea what a “remix” was.  Thank goodness for Wikipedia, which advised, “A remix is an alternative version of a recorded song, made from an original version.”

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Blessed Be The Music Makers

When I ventured into the world of contemporary classical/new music last year, I wasn’t at all sure how to proceed.  I followed every lead suggested by composer John Metcalf, reached for book after book (notably Alex Ross’s indispensable The Rest is Noise), searched the internet, and read reviews.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Tranströmer’s haydnpockets

Tomas Tranströmer’s Allegro begins:
After a black day, I play Haydn,
and feel a little warmth in my hands.
The keys are ready.  Kind hammers fall.
The sound is spirited, green, and full of silence.
The sound says that freedom exists
and someone pays no tax to Caesar.
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