July 2009

>From a youtube clip some family made at the park.

The morning sun pummelling Bergen Street. Days have been tres hot — not fun in the city. But mornings have been glorious.

A friend’s one-week-old baby. Feet that have never touched the ground! Mind-melting to fathom that every one of us were once just as tiny and helpless and pure.

This evening I endeavored, rather successfully, to abstain from listening to music or watching television. Or internetting. White-knuckled it for a bit, then settled in nicely, to where the silence was kinda full and melodious, rather than just being the negative space between other noises. I worked on the song I started last night.

On the anniversary of J.S. Bach’s death, I was blessed to witness his Cantata 21 performed with a full ensemble. Trinity Lutheran on Central Park West. Balmy. Angelic voices, harpsichord, strings… the whole deal. And what a lyrical journey, from despair to exaltation. The pastor was newly installed and gave his first sermon… sublime (he had me at Rilke). Many composers in Bach’s time were at the mercy of patrons. Writing music to entertain a court. Bach was a cantor. He wrote music to exalt his God (and sometimes, to doubt and search for that God despairingly, as with tonight’s cantata). He composed to give people a vehicle to transcend worldly affairs and undertake their own spiritual trips. And on top of all that, he’s the father of pop music. Without Bach, no Beatles! Man. Heavy stuff. I came home and wrote a new song while it thundered and lightening’d outside. Its lyrics contain the words ‘molecules’ and ‘quarks.’

Holed up in a room for a bit, with headphones and drum sticks. Purple Haze and the like.

I blew all my monthly emusic credits to download Jean-Gihen Queyras playing Bach’s complete Jell-o Sweets.

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