3-7-14: Dark Music for A Sunny Day

3-7-14: Dark Music for A Sunny Day

Woke up this morning and the sun was shining (for a change) in northern Illinois. So naturally I came up with this:

At one point it reminds me of Stravinsky. At every other point it doesn’t.

7-24-13: It Should Have Been Nighttime

7-24-13: It Should Have Been Nighttime

This sounds like it should have been played ’round about midnight,
But no, it was played ’round about noon,
In July, not June.

4-2-09: End of Eternity (4 parts)

4-2-09: End of Eternity (4 parts)

Inspired by Isaac Asimov’s little novel, End of Eternity, these are something like what the early German Romanticists might have called Character Pieces (Charakterstück).

Look, I don’t know exactly how, or even if the Asimov book inspired them; I just know that I had been reading the book when I improvised these four little pieces, one after the other, one bright spring afternoon in April, 2009. The book was sitting there on my piano as I played; it was an old copy, my dad’s I think. It had the smell of a musty old paperback because it was a musty old paperback.

I’ve called them character pieces, so they should have titles, right?

1. Skipping Through Arnie Schoenberg’s Childhood Garden, Old Man Brahms looking on suspiciously.’

2. Happily Dancing Galactic Clusters (There is life on Mars!)

3. Slow, Spasmodic Dance with Thelonious on Schumann’s Ship to Shenandoah Valley (Debussy at the Helm)


4. Fast, Spasmodic Dance with Thelonious through Chopin’s Parlor, George Sand looking on, cat running out of the room in terror

7-23-23: Back When I Was Alive

7-23-23: Back When I Was Alive

During  a long nine hour drive back from Branson, MO (we were there for my youngest daughter’s  softball tournament), I got to pick the music for an extended period of time because I was driving, and I was tired, and the morning coffee and the afternoon sweet tea alone were not sufficient to keep me focused on the task ahead. So unlike previous 2 hours, when my wife was driving, and my son picked a variety of music from his iPod, plugged into the car stereo (with the stipulation from her that it not be anything too heavy and annoying, e.g. no heavy Heavy Metal, but yes to everything from Judas Priest to Stevie Wonder to Sting to Cream, Earth Wind & Fire and ELO) I made the family sit through an entire album, from beginning to end. The album was Abbey Road, and while there was initially some resistance from the son and the wife, everyone—even the young softball playing daughter—was really happy we listened uninterrupted to the 17 tracks because that music tells a story—a story of its time and the people living in that time.  You couldn’t possibly get the story if you didn’t listen to the whole album. This, of course, is how music used to be made and experienced, back when I was alive (a clever phrase my kids use on my wife and I when we talk about the past.)