Featured Post


I am posting this as a benchmark, not because I think I'm playing very well yet.  The idea would be post a video every month for a ye...

Sunday, March 18, 2018


I am posting this as a benchmark, not because I think I'm playing very well yet.  The idea would be post a video every month for a year and see if I can do better.

Friday, March 16, 2018

The Hidden Subject

When you are working on a topic you might not realize what the real subject-matter is. For example, in my just-begun project, I am beginning to realize the subject might be modernism in relation to nationalism. It might be "translation, parody, kitsch," as in AL.

Usually the hidden subject emerges late in the process of writing. Then the hidden subject can be the ostensible subject of the next project.


I now realize that my hesitancy about my 2nd Lorca book is due  to the idea that it won't be as good as Apocryphal Lorca, the book that took my career to a new level... combined with my greater enthusiasm for the next two books in my Lorca Tetralogy. Of course one should always be more enthusiastic about the next project than the last one.


I almost never re-read anything I've written in the past unless I have to. When I do re-read myself, though, I realize that I always had it. It being ideas.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

The Romanian Lied

I got a Lorca google scholar alert with the title "The Romanian Lied."  Of course I first read it as "The Romanian told a lie," when it was supposed to mean "The Romanian art song."

Tuesday, March 13, 2018


I had this list of things called "operation razor's edge." Basically, my plan to be successful in everything possible. Yet one kind of goal seems much more difficult.  I can publish more books, for example, but the one goal that is very elusive is called "radical self-acceptance." This goal is diametrically opposed to the whole rest of the razor's edge, because it is asking me to accept the self I already have rather than improving it, as is the point of all the other goals.


Here's the thing. I dread copyediting, because it will make me look up references that are incomplete, and it will bring the book closer to publication, where it will be exposed to reviewers. There's also the idea that my next Lorca project will be better: that's the one I'm excited about, right? Who gets excited about a book that's already done?

But this book is seriously ass-kicking too.  It meant a lot of work, and has my best ideas in the period from 2009-16, or so.  I am worried about imperfections in the bibliography? Things that people will pick at? It seems deeply irrational.

And the copy-editor didn't do a thing to my style, only touched one or two sentences in the whole book of nine chapters.

Monday, March 12, 2018

My genres

I became interested in jazz through a beginning piano book with a boogie-woogie piece that I was playing when I was little kid.  My dad had a few jazz records, and I one had Coleman Hawkin's "Body and Soul." After that, I was hooked on jazz for the rest of my life, when my dad said it was improvised. I like bop, free jazz, and anything by Duke Ellington or Billy Strayhorn, and also Blue Note music of the 60s and 70s. West Coast and cool jazz of the 50s too.

Along with that, a deep appreciation of the great American song book. Cole Porter, Richard Rodgers, Irving Berlin, Duke Ellington, Harold Arlen...  I thought stupidly as a kid that the jazz musicians turned these banal songs into great improvisations. But they are great songs to being with.

My dad was a big fan of classical music, and my sister became a classical musician (organist and choir director).  My mom played piano and taught piano lessons for years and years.  She still plays. Classical music was always around, and then my daughter decided to be classical musician too, and her favorite is Mahler so I like that too (as did my dad!). My mom would play "Maple Leaf Rag" along with Chopin and other typical piano pieces. Two of my cousins became classical musicians, one a French horn and the other a conductor who was assistant to Bernstein.

Within that, I've always loved Bach. I also like Morton Feldman and Ned Rorem, too opposite styles in contemporary American music. I like chamber music, especially Haydn and Mozart string quartets.  More recently, I am into Federico Mompou. I wish I knew more opera. I like art songs, especially in the tradition of the French mélodie. I've sung in choirs as young man, and more recently as an old one.  

Blue-grass is great. I like its jazz-like improvisatory flavor.  My girlfriend's brother-in-law is some country and roots bands, and I hear them play often. Classic rock is fine with me too. It's not in my top 5 genres but that's ok.  Blues I see as connected to my interest in jazz. Of course I love Bessie Smith. I like classic R&B, and of course Ray Charles is an abiding love. I love Mahalia Jackson too. Spirituals and gospel music are wonderful.

I am not an expert Hip Hop fan.  I like The Roots, but doesn't everybody?  

I tried to hear Flamenco on my Junior Year Abroad.  I had to pay a lot to hear actual music, in a club not for tourists, but it was worth it.  I've always loved Flamenco too. Carmen Linares and Miguel Poveda should be listened to, among contemporary figures. Mairena and La Niña de Los Peines among older styles.    

I got into salsa and Afro-Cuban styles as well. Eddie Palmieri and Tito Puente, and Willie Colón and Celia Cruz. I've tried to play hand drums in that style. I do like African drumming.

I've approached "New Age" music mostly as an aid to relaxation. I've had two radio programs that I've liked, "Music from the Hearts of Space" and "Echoes" with John ????.

There is enough music I love that I don't have to bother with things that aren't that compelling for me.   It would be a waste of time to denigrate music that isn't of interest to me, or that I simply haven't had time to explore. I'm sure Indian classical music is phenomenal. I just don't know how to listen to it yet.

I wouldn't try to sing Flamenco, but I would try "My Funny Valentine."  My musical abilities are extremely modest, so my biggest talent is a listener. If you as an eclectic a listener as I am I would love to hear from you--in a non-competitive way, of course.


Miguel Poveda - No Me Encontraron