Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Remodern Review Interview

Remodernism is a back-to-basics movement among libertarian and conservative artists in the fine arts realm. I've been following it for quite a while, and have voiced my support to Richard Bledsoe, even though I'm not in fine arts and even though I'm not a conservative (Small-l libertarian, maybe). So, he did an email interview with me.

MUSIC: Remodernism Resonates with Composer George Pepper

EDIT: Linked at Instapundit! I'm infamous! lol

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

The Haight: Love, Rock and Revolution

The Photography of Jim Marshall

Jim Marshall, who died in 2010.

With last summer being the fiftieth anniversary of the 1967 Summer of Love in San Fransisco, I decided to get a retrospective from this astonishing coffee table book about the topic. I have read other takes in Rolling Stone magazine and the like, but this photo essay with minimalist storytelling is very engrossing. You can go through the book in a dedicated evening of reading. The historic photos are amazing: Jerry Garcia, David Crosby, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Bob Dylan, and The Who, to name but a few.

I was much too young to participate in the Summer of Love - only nine years old that summer - but the twenty-somethings of the time were very swept up in it, and of course, the music revolution of the mid sixties continues to reverberate today. Jimi Hendrix was and always will be my all time favorite rock guitarist, and The Who my favorite "British Invasion" band - I listened to Quadrophenia just about every day when I was in high school - so these early and very candid photos astonished me. I had seen a few of them before, but most were entirely new to me.

So, if you are interested in the music of the sixties, this is a great place to learn the background of how it all came to be.

An interesting bit of trivia is that Marshall was the inspiration for Dennis Hopper's photographer character in Apocalypse Now.

Now I have to watch that again!

Saturday, December 16, 2017


Do I look sixty? I don't feel sixty! Music must keep you young.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Continuo Playing According to Handel

I'm still slugging it out with Sanguinetti, but I just put this in my cart to get next.

There is also a book about Mozart's lessons for Thomas Attwood, but it seems to be out of print. Pity!

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

The Art of Partimento - Georgio Sanguinetti

This is the most ambitious book about partimenti yet, and once I've been through it, I'll order the books logically and go through them again.

Only about half way, so it will be a bit.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

More Partimento Studies

It still amazes me that I went through all the coursework for BM, MM, and DMA degrees and never heard the word partimento. The explanation is simple though; all the traditional history and theory I was exposed to concentrated on the north German organ school - Jan Pieterzoon Sweelinck to J.S. Bach - the subsequent German classical school - C.P.E. Bach to Brahms - and the Italian sacred music that peaked with Palestrina. There were bits and pieces of other things, but the Neapolitan Conservatories and their teaching methods were completely ignored. I understand the reason for that now: The partimentos are forbiddingly complex and indecipherable without having been instructed on how to realize them. Just understanding the basics of figured bass, which I learned as early as my days at the Guitar Institute SW, is not nearly enough.

So I'm just devouring these books and learning about the practice until I get to a critical mass of understanding that will allow me to take some of the simple partimenti and realize them for the guitar.

Over the last couple of months I've read Partimento and Continuo Playing in Theory and in Practice, four overviews by modern scholars, and the Essay on the True Art of Playing Keyboard Instruments by C.P.E. Bach (Nice link to the German school). Though a lot of it is concerned with fingering and other technical aspects of keyboard performance, there is a lot about improvising from a figured bass, which is the heart of partimento realizations. I'd known about this treatise for decades, but was not interested in it at all, because I didn't know what was in it!

Thursday, August 31, 2017

My Ten Years with the iPhone

Hard to believe it has been ten years since I bought my first iPhone, but there it is. The first iPhone wasn't exactly a Christmas Experience, but I did get it successfully activated... eventually. I actually blogged about it here at the time. The photo of the iPhone between my - still working! - original iPod and Video iPod, is priceless.

Left to right: original iPhone, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 5c.

Just last month, I got the iPhone 7 Plus, and it's wonderful for us old guys. With the large screen and magnify on, I don't need reading glasses to use it!