Snow, Stravinsky, and Stillness
Yes, it is snowing in Seattle. Having grown up in the desert in southern Idaho, snow-days were pretty common. But there is something special about the fragility of our existence in this city that 3-4 inches can shut us down. That specialness is one of the things I love most about Seattle.
I have been listening to a lot of string quartet music recently, and have been taken with Three Pieces for Strings by Stravinsky. I remember this work, but it seems to represent something new to me in my middle-age - something rough yet solid, unvarnished yet smooth. It is layered in that stratified way Stravinsky has, but unlike some other pieces, there is a sad stillness at play. I have set my students onto the third movement in their first post-tonal analysis project... perhaps they will help me get to the bottom of my current fascination with this work, and the current context in which we all find ourselves, listening to music.
But it has me thinking about my own long (some might say quixotic) project of the Invisible Cities, a cycle of 11 five-movement quartets. I am on quartet no. 2. It looks long and a bit dark ahead, and I can't see the exact path through. I am anxious, and frankly a bit worried. And not exactly sure where to put my faith. The future? The past? The present moment? There is such a feeling of discontent all around. I started off this year with a goal of balance. So I will return to that word as a guiding light. Balance. I hope that might work for some of you as well.
(PS - sorry Falcons, the Borg triumphs again!)
If you want to check out Invisible Cites Part I, click here.
And if you want to hear some upcoming work, check out the calendar page. I have 3 performances coming up in the next month - first up: Feb 16 - MATRIO. A new improvising band with my friends Greg Campbell and James Falzone. I really, really like playing with people I really, really like. I would like to do more of that!