"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

25 September 2023

Happy Birthday, Borromini

Borromini, Palazzo Spada Gallery, 1652

It has been said that idleness is the parent of mischief, which is very true; but mischief itself is merely an attempt to escape from the dreary vacuum of idleness. 

Francesco Borromini, born on this day in 1599. 

24 September 2023

Frank Sinatra, "September of My Years"


James Taylor released New Moon Shine on this day in 1991.

"Copperline" ...


It is the music which makes it what it is; it is the music which changes the place from the rear room of a saloon in back of the yards to a fairy place, a wonderland, a little comer of the high mansions of the sky.

Upton Sinclair, from The Jungle


David Lance Goines on celestial navigation ...
September 18, 1994

All summer long I almost never see a clear sky that lasts the whole night through. That's because I live in the fog belt. My natural perversity has drawn me to an interest in astronomy, and I have a small telescope which I set up in the back yard on clear nights. No sooner is it set up than in rolls the fog and I go back indoors and read instead.

But when Fall comes, and late Winter, then I get my fill of clear skies. Looking through a telescope, even a small one, is to travel through time. You see light that left its natal star years, thousands of years, millions of years ago. When you look at the stars, you're really looking into the past.

If you could get a powerful enough telescope, you could watch lives being led millennia since. For you, it would be in the now, but for those who led those lives, they would have ended so long ago that there remains nothing of them whatever, except in this ancient light that streams across our heavens.

Perhaps in the vast future a sky-gazer on another planet far away will watch the light that left us when we were young, and we will live again through our shadows, though our corporeal selves have been dust so long that no memory of us remains but a flickering light that glances through an alien planet's fogless Autumn sky.

Celestial navigation, used by ships at sea and aircraft, is based on the apparent and relative positions of celestial bodies.


David Lance Goines, Rest in Peace

I just learned that legendary print-maker, David Lance Goines, passed last winter.



Oh, a dainty plant is the Ivy green,
That creepeth o’er ruins old!
Of right choice food are his meals, I ween,
In his cell so lone and cold.
The wall must be crumbled, the stone decayed,
To pleasure his dainty whim:
And the mouldering dust that years have made
Is a merry meal for him.
Creeping where no life is seen,
A rare old plant is the Ivy green.

Fast he stealeth on, though he wears no wings,
And a staunch old heart has he.
How closely he twineth, how tight he clings,
To his friend the huge Oak Tree!
And slily he traileth along the ground,
And his leaves he gently waves,
As he joyously hugs and crawleth round
The rich mould of dead men’s graves.
Creeping where grim death has been,
A rare old plant is the Ivy green.

Whole ages have fled and their works decayed,
And nations have scattered been;
But the stout old Ivy shall never fade,
From its hale and hearty green.
The brave old plant, in its lonely days,
Shall fatten upon the past:
For the stateliest building man can raise,
Is the Ivy’s food at last.
Creeping on, where time has been,
A rare old plant is the Ivy green.

Charles Dickens

'Tis Autumn.



advised me:
Learn a trade

I learned
to sit at desk
and condense

No layoffs
from this

Lorine Niedecker

Telemann, Suite in C major "Hamburger Ebb und Fluth", TWV 55:C3

The Bremer Barockorchester performs the Ouvertüre, great music to accompany walking out on the deck to survey the morning ...


We are what the seas
have made us

longingly immense

the very veery
on the fence

Lorine Niedecker

Duruflé, Ubi caritas

Thee Choir of Kings College, Cambridge, performs ...

23 September 2023

Van Eyck, "O Slaep, O Zoete, Slaep"

Anna Stegmann performs ...


The Stones released Love You Live on this day in 1977.

“If You Can't Rock Me/Get Off Of My Cloud” ...

Happy Birthday, Springsteen

Bruce Springsteen was born on this day in 1949.

"Cadillac Ranch" ...

It's sandwich time.


Poco released Legacy on this day in 1989.

"Call it Love" ...


A reminder from Hemingway ...
Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk.  It'll teach you to keep your mouth shut.


Ari Weinzweig on mindful eating ...
In working to master this fourth step, I’ve tried to teach myself to be patient and to truly allow the flavors to play out—the finish, I’ve found, is a hugely important part of tasting that many people, rushing through their eating, are likely to miss. 
Thirty years ago, my employer sent me to Zingerman's for a three-day seminar on the technique of tasting.  The methods and insights that Ari taught were fascinating (and I'm a tough study when it comes to such things), but the point that has remained with me through all these years.  When it comes to food, having patience is profoundly simple and challenging at the same time.

Slow down. Wait for things to develop.

The rewards are plentiful.



Vast and immaculate! No pilgrim bands
In ecstasy before the Parian shrines
Knew such a temple built by human hands
With this transcendent rhythm in its lines.
Like an epic on the north Atlantic stream
It moved, and fairer than a Phidian dream.
Rich gifts unknown to kings were duly brought
At dawn and sunset and at cloudless noons,
Gifts from the sea-gods and the sun who wrought
Cascades and rainbows; flung them in festoons
Over the spires, with emerald, amethyst,
Sapphire and pearl out of their fiery mist.
And music followed when a litany,
Begun with the ring of foam bells and the purl
Of linguals as the edges cut the sea,
Crashed upon a rising storm with whirl
Of floes from far-off spaces where Death rides
The darkened belfries of the evening tides.
Within the sunlight, vast, immaculate!
Beyond all reach of earth in majesty,
It passed on Southwards slowly to its fate—
To be drawn down by the inveterate sea,
Without one chastening fire made to start
From altars built around its polar heart.

E.J. Pratt


Done and done.


Kurt points to an excellent article exploring Shelby Foote's "aristocracy of spirit" ...
The vocation of the artist, the soldier and the statesman are accessible only to those who can honor and hunger after honor, who, drawn backward into the past and forward into posterity, disjoint themselves from our flat present and its imperatives to egalitarian political correctness or “aesthetic” harmlessness. Perhaps we would be better off without such human types. Certainly we may not want to become them ourselves. It may be too that we ought to speak candidly about them and what their fulfillment requires only in private, and in public to let them assume such guises as, for example, the gentlemanly, avuncular Southerner with a gift for stories about old times—entertaining, interesting tales that can go unnoticed as incitations to honor the teller and those about whom they are told.


Wyeth, Sundown, 1969

Come, pensive Autumn, with thy clouds, and storms,
And falling leaves, and pastures lost to flowers;
A luscious charm hangs on thy faded forms,
More sweet than Summer in her loveliest hours,
Who, in her blooming uniform of green,
Delights with samely and continued joy:
But give me, Autumn, where thy hand hath been,
For there is wildness that can never cloy, -
The russet hue of fields left bare, and all
The tints of leaves and blossoms ere they fall.
In thy dull days of clouds a pleasure comes,
Wild music softens in thy hollow winds;
And in thy fading woods a beauty blooms,
That's more than dear to melancholy minds.

John Clare

Hotteterre, Premiere Suitte

Heiko ter Schegget and Daniël Brüggen (yes, that Daniël Brüggen) perform ...

The Oyster Months Notebook

Home, again, to the dirges of The Oyster Months.

A Harvest Morning

The mist hangs thick about the early field
And many a shout is heard while nought appears
Till close upon the gaze so thick conseald
Are things in mornings mist mayhap her tears
For summers sad departure—silence hears
Brown harvests dittys that disturb full soon
Her rest—toils lusty brawls that daily cheers
Its ignorance of sorrows with the boon
Of pastoral tunes ere morns red sun appears
Till dreamy evenings ruddy harvest moon
Hangs its large lamp to light them home again

John Clare

REVISED September 2023 ... 

Vox Cosmica
Arianna Savall, Petter Udland Johansen and Hirundo Maris 

Renaissance Music for Recorder: Netherlands
Wiener Blockflötenensemble

Telemann: Sonate a Flauto Solo
Lorenzo Cavasanti

Giuseppe Antonio Brescianello: Parthias and Sinphonias for Solo Gallichone
Davide Rebuffa

Fasch: Quartets and Concertos
Ensemble Marsyas

Charles Mouton
Anders Ericson

Neusidler: Lute Music
Yavor Genov 

William Lawes: Consort Sets in Five & Six Parts
Jordi Savall & Hesperion

Van Den Hove: Florida, Pavanas, Fantasias and Dances for Lute
Massimo Marchese

Lawes: Complete Music for Solo Lyra Viol
Richard Boothby

Carl Friedrich Abel: Sentimental Journey
Paolo Pandolfo 

Graduel d'Alienor de Bretagne
Vox Clamantis

The Birth of the Violin
Le Miroir De Musique and Baptiste Romain

REVISED March 2023 ...

Finger: The Complete Music For Viola Da Gamba Solo
Ensemble Tourbillon 

Hameln Anno 1284: Medieval Flute Music On The Trail Of The Pied Piper
Norbert Rodenkirchen

REVISED December 2022 ...

Nicola Matteis: Most ravishing things (Music from the Books of Ayres)
Theatrum Affectuum

The Art of Resonance: Archlute & Theorbo Music of the Italian Seicento
Luca Pianca

Figures of Harmony: Songs of Codex Chantilly c. 1390
Ferrara Ensemble and Crawford Young

Schmelzer: Violin Sonatas
Gunar Letzbor & Ars Antiqua Austria

Zelenka: Sonates pour Deux Hautbois et Basson
Ensemble Zefiro

La Bella Minuta: Florid Songs for Cornetto, ca.1600
Liuwe Tamminga & Bruce Dickey

Brade, G. Gabrieli & Scheidt: Tuba mirum
Les Sacqueboutiers and Renaud Delaigue

REVISED October 2022 ...

A Meeting Place: Medieval & Renaissance Music for Lute & Ud
August Denhard and Münir Nurettin Beken 

Notker Balbulus: Sequnezen, Tropen & Gregorianischer Choral aud dem Kloster St. Gallen
Ordo Virtutum and Stefan Morent 

Johann Rosenmüller in Exile
Acronym and Jesse Blumberg

Thomas Morley: Fantasies to Two Voices
Jonathan Dunford & Jérôme Chaboseau

Biber: Harmonia artificioso
Musica Antiqua Köln and Reinhard Goebel

Joseph Bodin De Boismortier: The Complete Opus 37 Trio Sonatas (1732) for Flute, Viola da Gamba and Chamber Organ
Flauti Diversi

Die Weisheit des Alters: Ars moriendi im Minnesang
Ensemble Für Frühe musik Augsburg

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