"I am not one who was born in the custody of wisdom. I am one who is fond of olden times and intense in quest of the sacred knowing of the ancients." Gustave Courbet

30 September 2022

The Oyster Months Notebook, revised September 2022

The arrival of Autumn brings with it the dusty dirges of the Oyster Months.  
At no other time than autumn does the earth let itself be inhaled in one smell, the ripe earth; in a smell that is in no way inferior to the smell of the sea, bitter where it borders on taste, and more honeysweet where you feel it touching the first sounds. Containing depth within itself, darkness, something of the grave almost.

Rainer Maria Rilke, from Letters on Cézanne

'Tis Autumn. 

REVISED September 2022 ...

Philipp Friedrich Buchner: Plectrum Musicum
Parnassi Musici

Le Secret de Monsieur Marais
Vittorio Ghielmi, Luca Pianca, Il Suonar Parlante Orchestra

Telemann: Sonate for Oboe, Bassoon, and Continuo
Sans Souci

Johann Jakob Walther: Hortulus Chelicus
Sills, Dirst, Dirst, and Wang (no offense)

Thomas Lupo: Fantasia

Fürchtet Euch Nicht: Bassoons & Bombards Music from the German Baroque
Syntagma Amici, Vox Lumini

Johann Georg Weichenberger: Lute Works 
Joachim Held

REVISED March 2022 ...

Fantasia! Dialogue for One
Pauline Oostenrijk

February 2022 ...

Jacon van Eyck: Der Fluyten Lust-hof
Erik Bosgraaf

Marin Marais: Pieces de Viole de Cinq Livre
Jordi Savall, Ton Koopmann, Hopkinson Smith, Christophe Coin, Anne Gallet

The Cosmopolitan: Songs by Oswald von Wolkenstein
Ensemble Leones, Marc Lewis

Toys for Two: Dowland to California
Margaret Koll and Luca Pianca

REVISED January 2022 ...

Scheidt: Ludi Musici
L'Acheron, Francois Joubert-Caillet

Handel: The Complete Sonatas for Recorder
Marion Verbruggen, Ton Koopman and Jaap ter Linden

Buxtehude: Complete Chamber Music
Ton Koopman

Songs of Olden Times: Estonian Folk Hymns and Runic Songs

Ockeghem: Requiem; Missa Mi-Mi; Missa Prolationum
Hilliard Ensemble

REVISED November 2021 ...

Masters of the Baroque Hurdy-Gurdy
Matthias Loibner

Weiss: Sonatas for Transverse Flute and Lute
Duo Inventio

Holborne: Pieces for Lute
Federico Marincola


Holborne: Pavans and Galliards, 1599
The Consort of Musicke & The Guildhall Waits, Anthony Rooley & Trevor Jones

Purcell: Sonatas Of 3 Parts, 1683
Pavlo Beznosiuk, Rachel Podger, Christophe Coin, Christopher Hogwood

Telemann: Trio Sonatas
Erik Bosgraaf (recorder), Dmitry Sinkovksy (violin)

German Lute Music of the 18th Century
Alberto Crugnola 

28 September 2022

26 September 2022


As a rock & roll activist, my priority is to make sure that you can cruise as much as you want, as fast as you want, whenever you want. Ain't nobody going to tell you that you can't.

Jim Anchower


Thanks, Kurtastrophe.

25 September 2022


 Wyeth, N.C., Self-Portrait in a Skating Cap, 1918

I hope the time will never come when I shall feel satisfied. To reach the goal of one's ambitions must be tragic. 

N.C. Wyeth

Rameau, Les Boréades

Ensemble Connect performs "Entrée de Polymnie” ...

Happy Birthday, Gould

In the best of all possible worlds, art would be unnecessary. Its offer of restorative, placative therapy would go begging a patient. The audience would be the artist and their life would be art. I believe that the justification of art is the internal combustion it ignites in the hearts of men and not its shallow, externalized, public manifestations. The purpose of art is not the release of a momentary ejection of adrenaline but is, rather, the gradual, lifelong construction of a state of wonder and serenity.

Glenn Gould, born on this day in 1932.

Performing Bach's Contrapunctus I ...

'Tis Autumn.


Bamboo doing some wandering ...

Thank you, Nora.

Happy Birthday, Rameau

Aved, Jean-Philippe Rameau, 1728

Jean-Philippe Rameau was born on this day in 1683.

Vox Luminis, led by Lionel Meunier, perform the Grand Motets ...

Supertramp, "Rudy"

Today's soup is French Onion and schooners of Heineken are two-for-one ...


Done and done.


The Furs released Forever Now on this day in 1982.

"President Gas" 
President gas is up for president
Line up, put your kisses down ...


An excellent album ...


Wagner, Siegfried

Anneke Scott performs the "Long Call" from Act II ...

'Tis Autumn.

24 September 2022



The wind blows up the tent like a balloon.
The tent plunges tugging at pegged ropes,
About to wrench loose and soar
Above wormwood-carpeted canyons
And flinty saw-tooth hills
Up into the driven night
And the howling clouds.
As a worm curls wickedly
Round the stamen of a fuchsia,
A man curls his hands round a candle.
The flame totters in the wind,
Flares to lick his hands,
To crimson the swaying walls.
The hands cast shadows on the crimson walls.

The candle-light shrinks and flaps wide.
The shadows are full of old tenters —
Men curious as to the fashion of cities,
Men eager to taste new-tasting bread,
Men wise to the north star and to the moon's phases,
To whom East and West
Are cloaks pulled easily tight,
Worn jaunty about the shoulders:
Herodotus, Thales, Democritus,
Heraclitus who watched rivers.

Parian-browed tan-cheeked travellers,
Who sat late in wine-shops to listen,
Rose early to sniff the wind of harbors
And see the dawn kindle the desert places,
And went peering and tasting —
Through seas and wastes and cities,
Held up to the level of their grey cool eyes
Firm in untrembling fingers —
The slippery souls of men and of gods.

The candle has guttered out in darkness and wind.
The tent holds firm against the buffeting wind,
Pegged tight, weighted with stones.
My sleep is blown up with dreams
About to wrench loose and soar
Above wormwood-carpeted canyons
And flinty saw-tooth hills,
Up into the driven night
And the howling clouds.

Perhaps when the light clangs
Brass and scarlet cymbals in the east
With drone and jangle of great bells,
Loping white across the flint-strewn hills,
Will come the seeking tentless caravans
That Bilkis leads untired,
Nodding in her robes
On a roaring dromedary.

John Dos Passos



Eagles released The Long Run on this day in 1979.

The title track -- a perfect accompaniment to Coors Light, chicken nachos, and an extra side of ranch ...


 ‘‘Tis Autumn ...


The new'n from yer ol' friend, Pat ...

"Build You a Bar" ...


Rackham, He Even Ventured to Taste the Beverage, Which He Found had Much of the Flavour of Excellent Hollands, 1905

In a long ramble of the kind on a fine autumnal day, Rip had unconsciously scrambled to one of the highest parts of the Kaatskill Mountains. He was after his favourite sport of squirrel shooting, and the still solitudes had echoed and re-echoed with the reports of his gun. Panting and fatigued, he threw himself, late in the afternoon, on a green knoll, covered with mountain herbage, that crowned the brow of a precipice. From an opening between the trees he could overlook all the lower country for many a mile of rich woodland. He saw at a distance the lordly Hudson, far, far below him, moving on its silent but majestic course, with the reflection of a purple cloud, or the sail of a lagging bark, here and there sleeping on its glassy bosom, and at last losing itself in the blue highlands.

On the other side he looked down into a deep mountain glen, wild, lonely, and shagged, the bottom filled with fragments from the impending cliffs, and scarcely lighted by the reflected rays of the setting sun. For some time Rip lay musing on this scene; evening was gradually advancing; the mountains began to throw their long blue shadows over the valleys; he saw that it would be dark long before he could reach the village, and he heaved a heavy sigh when he thought of encountering the terrors of Dame Van Winkle.

As he was about to descend, he heard a voice from a distance, hallooing: “Rip Van Winkle! Rip Van Winkle!” He looked round, but could see nothing but a crow winging its solitary flight across the mountain. He thought his fancy must have deceived him, and turned again to descend, when he heard the same cry ring through the still evening air: “Rip Van Winkle! Rip Van Winkle!” At the same time Wolf bristled up his back, and giving a low growl, skulked to his master’s side, looking fearfully down into the glen. Rip now felt a vague apprehension stealing over him; he looked anxiously in the same direction, and perceived a strange figure slowly toiling up the rocks, and bending under the weight of something he carried on his back. He was surprised to see any human being in this lonely and unfrequented place; but supposing it to be some one of the neighbourhood in need of his assistance, he hastened down to yield it.

Washington Irving, from "Rip Van Winkle"


An excellent album ...



Ramishvili, C.S. Lewis at Magdalene College, 1950

Scrupulous care to preserve the Christian message, as something distinct from one’s own ideas, has one very good effect upon the apologist himself. It forces him, again and again, to face up to those elements in original Christianity which he personally finds obscure or repulsive. He is saved from the temptation to skip or slur or ignore what he finds disagreeable. And the man who yields to that temptation will, of course, never progress in Christian knowledge. For obviously the doctrines which one finds easy are the doctrines which give Christian sanction to truths you already knew. The new truth which you do not know and which you need must, in the very nature of things, be hidden precisely in the doctrine you least like and least understand. It is just the same here as in science. The phenomenon which is troublesome, which doesn’t fit in with the current scientific theories, is the phenomenon which compels reconsideration and thus leads to new knowledge. Science progresses because scientists, instead of running away from such troublesome phenomena or hushing them up, are constantly seeking them out. In the same way, there will be progress in Christian knowledge only as long as we accept the challenge of the difficult or repellent doctrines. A “liberal” Christianity which considers itself free to alter the faith whenever the faith looks perplexing or repellent must be completely stagnant. Progress is made only into a resisting material.

C.S. Lewis, from "Christian Apologetics"


The untold want by life and land ne’er granted,
Now voyager sail thou forth to seek and find.

Walt Whitman

Jimmy Buffett, "Twelve Volt Man"

Now I know this Joe down in Mexico
He went there to work on his tan
For years he's been plugged into blenders and songs
They call him the Twelve Volt Man

He don't need no charge card
Just give him a Die-Hard
And he'll make sparks fly round your head

Or just ask for some palm trees
Or tales from the South Seas
And I'll make sparks fly round your head ...


23 September 2022

Happy Birthday, Coltrane

John Coltrane was born on this day in 1926

Performing the greatest of all jazz standards, "On Green Dolphin Street" ...


Wyeth, Fall Grasses, 1950

Is not this a true autumn day? Just the still melancholy that I love - that makes life and nature harmonise. The birds are consulting about their migrations, the trees are putting on the hectic or the pallid hues of decay, and begin to strew the ground, that one's very footsteps may not disturb the repose of earth and air, while they give us a scent that is a perfect anodyne to the restless spirit. Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.

George Eliot

'Tis Autumn.

Happy Birthday, Euripides

Question everything. Learn something. Answer nothing.

Euripides, born on this day in 480 B.C.


An excellent album ...