Sunday Salon 11-10-13

Time: 8:30 Sunday morning.

Place: In my computer-music-storage room, now a mess of reference books and broken down computers and very narrow walking areas.

Eating: Nothing yet today. But I may well eat something in the next few weeks.

Drinking: Coffee.

Reading: In theory I’m continuing with Roger Lipsey’s The Spiritual in Twentieth-Century Art, but that has largely ground to a halt this past week, for reasons detailed below. For a little “lighter” reading in the evenings, I’m slowly working on the noir crime thriller Bangkok 8 by John Burdett.

Watching: As an attractive way to conclude my days, I have been watching, one episode per night, the television series Going My Home (sometimes translated as Going Home) by one of my favorite directors (whom I have mentioned several times before in this blog), Hirokazu Koreeda. My viewing of the series concluded earlier this week, and I’m somewhat saddened to see it come to an end. I recently read that the ratings for Going My Home weren’t great when it originally aired on Japanese television a couple of years ago. This doesn’t surprise me much, I have to admit. The very things that I loved about it – the slow, cinematic pace, the quietness and calmness of the tone, the loose approach to narrative – might well make it dull for many people. Personally, if television in general were more like Going My Home, I’d probably watch more. I would very much like to live in the universe of that series – where all the people are attractive and interesting and gently quirky, where much time is spent cooking up visually beautiful meals, where a small group of devotees go on annual searches for Kuna (and believe in the existence of these tiny elfin creatures that live in the forest and wear pointed red hats), and where all the day’s activities are accompanied by sweet acoustic guitar music.

Listening: I’ve been doing a lot of music listening this week, but not music of my choosing. Practically every available waking moment – most days starting at 6:00 a.m. and concluding at 8:00 p.m. – has been spent preparing the printed program for the annual Nevada Chamber Music Festival. The Festival isn’t until December, but all the contents of the fifty-or-so page program book have to be ready for laying out for printing by the end of this coming week. This would include the program notes for each of the forty or so works to be played at the twelve Festival performances. So, with the exceptions of a few pieces we have presented in past years, I’ve been listening to all the music that will be played at the Festival, researching it, and writing brief notes about it. While it has been mildly exhausting, the process hasn’t been so bad this year, as compared to some very stressful past years. And I have been fortunate enough to make the acquaintance of some wonderful music I’ve never run across before, like Karol Szymanowski’s violin-and-piano suite Myths, a masterpiece of tone color, and Gabriel Fauré’s really lovely Piano Trio, which he wrote at the age of 78.

Pondering: How I kind of like finding the wet fallen leaves of autumn stuck to the bottoms of my shoes after my early morning walk each day.

Blogging: What blogging is that? This is my first entry in many days, but I hope it signals a return once the Chamber Music Festival writing project is done.

Anticipating: In two weeks I’ll be heading to San Francisco for some needed art museum time. I’m especially looking forward to In Grand Style: Celebrations in Korean Art During the Joseon Dynasty at the Asian Art Museum and the retrospective Anders Zorn: Sweden’s Master Painter at the Legion of Honor.

Gratuitous Image of the Week: I recently came across this at the excellent A Man With Tea website. While, like him, I don’t think it applies to all art, it’s still a pretty useful guide, and a reminder to maintain a sense of openness and, yes, fun when encountering art.
How To Look At Art

4 thoughts on “Sunday Salon 11-10-13

    • Thank you for both of your comments! The music writing project is rewarding, but it would be more so if I were writing about just one or two concerts, as opposed to twelve. That makes it a tad wearying. But I’m almost done…

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