Friday, May 22, 2015

Quote of the Day

We are born, we grow up, we live our lives as best we can. If we are thoughtful we are good parents and good partners. If we are wise we strive for integrity and intimacy. If we are fortunate we discover love and joy. If we are able, we make the world a little better than we found it. That is all there is for any of us.

Robert Reich

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Messiaen's Quartet for the End of Time - Yo Yo Ma and J. Lawrie Bloom

This photo is from the reception after one of the most moving and meaningful concerts I have ever attended.  Yo Yo Ma and our friend J. Lawrie Bloom performed the Quatour pour la fin du temps (Quartet for the End of Time) for Clarinet, Violin, Cello, and Piano.  By the end of the piece, which is completely immersive and transformative in scope and effect, I was unable to stop the flow of tears.  This is now one of my favorite pieces of music.  Period.  You must read about the circumstances under which the piece was composed and hear it for yourself.  Everyone brings something different to the music in the sense that one can easily adapt one's own narrative to the piece - a characteristic of all great art, I think.  I believe that no person can come away unchanged by hearing it played live.

Music can have this effect on me from time to time, especially when it is so personal and connects to some emotional event in my life.  In this case, it connected to my recent sense of loss surrounding my injury and difficult recovery; some very hard recent nights trying to sleep without pain; and a late night solo viewing of Throne of Blood (Spider Web Castle) by Kurosawa.  The movie, in particular, was emotionally and visually a match for and added substantially to the depth of my feelings surrounding the experience of the musical piece.

Afterwards, we enjoyed the company of our friends Lawrie and Nan Zabriskie, and Yo Yo Ma at a reception for the performers and some guests.  Yo Yo Ma spent time chatting, laughing and sharing with each and every person at the reception.  We marveled at how accessible he was and how completely engaged he was with each guest and colleague.  We now are big, big fans and are even more committed to enjoying and supporting Chamber Music - especially the modern pieces.

This was really a once-in-a-lifetime experience.  Ask me about it sometime. 

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Monday, December 29, 2014

The Number Seven (7)

I've started number seven.  It will be in the shape of a Gibson J-45 - a slope shoulder dreadnaught.

The back and sides are of bubinga, the top lutz spruce.

Here we see the two book-matched halves of the top being glued on my gluing jig, the wedges (to compress the joint) driven smartly home.  The back will feature two book-matched pieces with sapwood in the middle.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014


SRAMmies over to the casa:  Mason, Shayna, Danielle, Fed and Lou. 

Thanks to Danielle for showing us how to make bitters!  Fun day.