Category Archives: Music

Majnun and Layla

I’ve been finding some musical gems online, especially some obscure Alan Hovhaness symphonies. One that’s vaulted to near the top of my list is the 24th. It’s long for one of this composer’s symphonies (over forty-seven minutes), and rarely among … Continue reading

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In Sterio

My wife and I enjoyed the flute duo In Sterio tonight in a concert on campus. It wasn’t what I was expecting, but quite enjoyable original music. One of the multimedia pieces we enjoyed is on YouTube here.

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Long Songs II: “Frozen Love”

Among rock guitarists, I’ve long admired the skills of Lindsey Buckingham above many other guitarists. He has some distinguishing traits, most notably playing with fingers rather than the flatpick. It was no accident that Fleetwood Mac took off after he … Continue reading

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Long Songs: “Traces of the Western Slopes”

Ever since I began collecting vinyl in my college days, I loved long songs. Not endless jams, mind you. But significant musical pieces that really gave an artist a palette on which to paint a significant story. Why? I listened to … Continue reading

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“In The Dark”

I will admit my fifth week of online Ignatian retreat isn’t going well in the sense of warm interior feelings and such. The reflection on sin is disturbing in any situation. I felt completely thrown for a loop with more … Continue reading

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Giving and Taking Away

Aging with grace. That is still ahead of me. I suppose if I continue blogging, you readers will see the aging, and if I’m unfortunate, the gracelessness of that. My wife is almost always too nice to be critical. She … Continue reading

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Reverse Musical Lobotomy

I played a wedding at a nearby parish. I was requested to play this song as a prelude for the singer to render. The lyrics did not give me confidence. A sample: Oh, come on girl, Who cares if we’re … Continue reading

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To Be Entertained, Or To Be Inspired?

Very interesting BBC piece on Robert Plant’s refusal to re-form Led Zeppelin to enrich himself and his ex-bandmates at the expense of a rabid fan base. (He was the lead singer, for those of you who don’t listen to Stone … Continue reading

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Soundtrack for the Fourth

Some quintessential music for the American holiday. Here’s some of what’s on my list for today: Ellington’s Black, Brown & Beige Suite Grofe’s Mississippi Suite Gershwin, just about anything Sierra Hull’s genius mandolin picking on her “Bombshell” Alison Krauss and … Continue reading

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Some Wedding Music

Last year, I played at something like seven weddings of friends. I won’t be matching the friend total this year, but I may have as many weddings on the playing docket. There have been three so far, and I have … Continue reading

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Third Glorious Mystery

A few days late, but enjoy Sonata XIII from Heinrich von Biber’s Rosenkranz Sonaten. A student recently introduced me to these works, and I was surprised and deeply moved by this music. I would love to see all fifteen works … Continue reading

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Trio Settecento

My wife and I just got back from the finale of the local chamber music season. Ames Town & Gown splits its season between the city auditorium and the recital hall on campus (like tonight). Tonight’s performers were magnificent. I would … Continue reading

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On My Bookshelf: Bruce Springsteen

Bruce Springsteen and the Promise of Rock ‘n’ Roll is Marc Dolan’s massive 2012 bio that takes the reader through an entertainer’s life from first guitar to the present day. Up front, I’ll set my personal perspective. I had a … Continue reading

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Nearly Midnight

I have a mixed heart today. This afternoon I heard the encouraging news of the Holy Father’s Mass in the Roman youth prison, which included washing the feet of young women and Muslims. Surely this must be throwing some of my … Continue reading

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The Unanswered Question

From David Gibson at RNS, Reuters correspondent Phil Pullella to Vatican spokesperson Federico Lombardi SJ: The American cardinals did not leak anything in their briefings. The Italian cardinals did leak and are continuing to leak things outside the General Congregations. Does … Continue reading

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