catching up


I haven’t blogged in awhile. Truth been told, it’s been busy, and it’s just easier to communicate via e-mail, Twitter and/or Facebook in short bursts. A lot has been happening:

  • I just returned from London, where I gave a talk on new fibroid treatments at a hysteroscopy course given by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. It went well, and it was really nice to see a lot of friends and colleagues from the UK. They’re very innovative regarding office procedures-no speculum, no tenaculum, no paracervical blockade, just a 3mm-5mm hysteroscope and very quick treatment in an office setting. We need more of that here in the states.
  • Not too much on the performance front, although there is a good possibility of a performance in the EU of quartet for piano. Also, I recorded the electronic organ part of objects from 1999, for release hopefully next year on OgreOgress. Paul Hersey and Glenn Freeman are likely up for the piano and marimba parts, respectively. I’m really excited about this-it’s always nice to have works recorded, and OgreOgress is one of the few independent labels out there that really performs much new music that otherwise likely would never see the light of day. 
  • I’m back on the West Coast next week and hope to have time to start a new work. This one will probably be scored for tuba, bass trombone, cello and perhaps celesta, consist largely of static chords, and will either be titled chords or dharmachakramudra. Depends on whether I want to be descriptive or obtuse 
  • On to politics. Where to start? Obama has been pretty unhelpful, and that’s about as nice as I can put it without resorting to words like wuss, weak, lacking cojones,…you get the idea. In general, folks in the US want strong, decisive leaders. Even when we don’t agree with them, we still tend to admire those who have a singleness of purpose and a willingness to drive it to reality. As terrible and criminal as the last administration was, at least Bush stuck to his guns. Obama hasn’t, isn’t and probably won’t, and as a result, the Republicans sense blood in the water and will do everything to take advantage of Obama and essentially destroy his presidency. They will accept nothing less. I don’t get it-I’ve lived on the South Side of Chicago just like Obama, and this is not the way things are done there. People on the South Side, right or wrong, tend to be decisive. As in the case of Rahm Emanuel, folks from Chicago often have strong views and will fight for them. So what’s up with Obama? Maybe he spent too much time in Boston and not enough in Hyde Park. I’m not optimistic things will change very much. We now have a House of Representatives dominated by the right wing, but it’s not the old fiscally conservative right wing, but the extreme right wing that hates gays, abortion rights, Muslims, and while they won’t admit it, probably Jews as well. Somehow I just can’t see Sarah Palin and Rand Paul sitting down with a bunch of Jewish and Muslim friends and breaking bread. 
  • I’m listening to a recording I’ve waited for: the live performance by Sarah Cahill and Kyle Gann of Dennis Johnson’s amazingly beautiful piano work November. I also have Kyle’s own recording from many months ago, and in all honesty prefer it. Not that the performance by Sarah Cahill and Kyle is bad; if anything, it’s even longer in duration. But somehow it is more pianistic in feel than Kyle’s solo recording that he did in his office at Bard College, and also seems a bit louder. Somehow, Kyle’s initial recording seemed to have more raw energy and a sense of stasis that I’m just not sensing in the later, more polished performance. But that’s just me-your mileage will vary. It’s become one of my favorite minimalist works, and it’s such a shame that it had been neglected until Kyle brought it to light by diligently creating a performance score from the single, incomplete and poorly recorded tape out there from the early 60’s.
  • Louie Goldstein’s nice recording of Feldman’s For Bunita Marcus is finally out as a digital download, and some idiot reviewer seemed to like it.
That’s it for now. I’ll try to keep this blog going for all five of you-no worries.