My friend, the great sound designer J. White, was in town over the new year. We had a great time drinking and talking, among other things, about teleological genesis in the songs of Paul Simon. I was making some point about “Kodachrome,” but I’m not sure what it was…J., who was happy to be in New York if only briefly, is starting new projects and making rare appearances as a ukulele virtuoso in San Francisco.
It was a nice new year here in the city spent with friends, and I’m looking ahead to a busy few months. I continue to improve my German in anticipation of time next summer in Darmstadt, followed by time in Frankfurt and Berlin. It’s a nice motivation. The Debussy preludes from Book II which will appear on the next Close Range concert are very present in my mind–I’ve written about them before, but they’ve only gained meaning for me in the year since I’ve played them. “The Fairies are Exquisite Dancers” has a pointillistic intensity to it, with delicate and ravishing harmonic turns. I think also in that piece about the concentration of a slow, chromatically winding melody–how abstract something like that can seem, but also how harmonically suggestive. The music is so free, but there’s not a note wasted. I wish only that I could be half as eloquent in my life; now there’s a thought for the new year.