If You Love an Instrument…

Gypsy boys--Budapest, Hungary (1939)--photograph by William Vandivert
Gypsy boys–Budapest, Hungary (1939)–photograph by William Vandivert

It is terrible to think that when one is in high school and plays an instrument if one doesn’t like playing one has to give up on the instrument. The love of an instrument is separate from the sometimes short live need to play in school ensemble. If one doesn’t like the instrument or grows not to like it– that is a different story. I have met a good number of musicians that don’t feel like playing anymore. If you love the instrument, guitar, cello, baritone sax, or marimbas –one should explore the instrument. The goodness of the school is that it gives you the primary skills to be off on your way, though many people incredibly learnt it alone. There are people that listen to the recordings and don’t need to read music and do the music exactly like the recordings and that I been told by a virtuoso violinist, he is amazed as anyone. I never seen this but it is more common in rock music learning the riffs of guitarist from a recording.  So, if one loves ones instrument why quit, what better thing can one do, unless you take up another art like painting, etc. There are many types of music to select from, the rock has mostly guitars, etc; the jazz, mostly sax, but there is clarinet and a small amount of violin, cello, etc.; bluegrass music, mandolin, banjo, etc.; not that any of these could be mixed and mixed for a vibrant new music. You can invent your own music — that is totally awesome, so one never has to quit if one still wants to play.

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Aldous Huxley Perennial Philosophy

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Aldous Huxley

“This thought of “no-mind,” exist, as it were, on a knife-edge between the carelessness of the average sensual man and the strained overeagerness of the zealot for salvation. To achieve it, one must walk delicately and to maintain it, must combine the most intense alertness with a tranquil and self-denying passivity, the most indomitable determination with a perfect submission to the leadings of the spirit. “When no mind is sought after by the mind,” says Huang Po, “that is the making it a particular object of thought. There is only testimony of silence; it goes beyond thinking.” In other words, we as separate individuals must not try to think it, but rather permit ourselves to be thought by it. Similarly in the Diamond Sutra we read that if a Bodhisattva, in an attempt to realize Suchness, “remains the thought of an ego, a person, a separate being, or a soul, he is no longer a Bodhisattva.” Al Ghazzali, the philosopher of Sufism, also stresses the need for intellectual humbleness and docility. “If the thought that he is effaced self occurs to one who is in fana ( a term responding to Zen’s “no mind” or mushin), that is a defect. The highest state is to be effaced from effacement.” There is an ecstatic state of effacement from effacement in the interior heights of the Atman-Brahman; and there is another more comprehensive effacement from effacement, not only in the inner heights but in and through the world, in the everyday knowledge of God and his fullness.

“A man must become truly poor and free from his own creaturely will as he was when he was

born. And I tell you, by the Eternal truth, so long as you have desire to fulfil the will of God,

and after Eternity and God, for just as long you are not truly poor. He alone has spiritual poverty

poverty who will nothing and knows nothing, desires nothing, ” Meister Eckhart”

page 73 of Aldous Huxley “The Perennial Philsophy”

Aldous Leonard Huxley (26 July 1894 – 22 November 1963) was an English writer. Best known for his novels including Brave New World and a wide-ranging output of essays, Huxley also edited the magazine Oxford Poetry, and published short stories, poetry, travel writing, film stories and scripts. Huxley spent the later part of his life in the United States, living in Los Angeles from 1937 until his death. Aldous Huxley was a humanist, pacifist, satirist and interested in spiritual subjects.

“Tea” is the best for me…

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my English tea pot and oranges

I don’t know about  you, but tea is my favorite thing, and it is hard finding loose teas in regular markets. One finds them certainly on the net, but I don’t like buying food on the net, but I have gotten a good supply at TJMaxx so far that I seldom been without it. The Tao of Tea is a great brand and I have a dozen different flavors, at Trader Joe one can find green tea in a can and in the Oriental Market one can find green tea from Japan. I have green tea before 3pm, otherwise only have tea in the mornings Assam, English Breakfast, etc, so many flavors to select from. It is also hard buying a two cup tea kettle of good quality for boiling but recently bought one in TJMaxx. There is large ones everywhere for six cups but two people or one can’t drink six cups. I have the large ones too for guess. There is seldom coffee here, though I don’t mind sometimes. The espresso and cappuccino are better than regular coffee and enjoyed in the Latin countries, this is the way I came on it.    15 - 1 (2)

Bryan Ferry through John Cage…

Bryan Ferry by Steve Emberton

I found out of Roxy Music, and Bryan Ferry the singer and keyboards of the group, born Sept 26th,  1945 in Washington UK—through the back of a record album, “For Your Pleasure”, it said it in a outside thin wrap that both Brian’s were into John Cage, they tried different montages with electronics in that style. I was 15 and worked in a classical department of a music store and was still in high school and I had already met and read the books of John Cage. The people in the front played conventional rock the music that sold greatly. I would never heard them anything like this, the only thing worthwhile they played was Pink Floyd which very rarely played, and it took me til 2011 before I heard the Pink Floyd with Syd Barrett. Actually there was no air play to Roxy Music until the Avalon album and hardly nobody heard of them, maybe one person. I took a try at the albums of Roxy Music back then and they quickly became my favourite amongst others that were similar.  It was only until I got in the net that the scenery greatly broadens with Krautrock, etc. Anything associated with Brian Eno I was sure to buy and listen I knew about back then like King Crimson and Robert Fripp and of course Bowie. Little people know that the members of Roxy Music Phil Manzanera and Andy Mackay when they left Roxy had a great group too, The Explorers. The music and lyrics in this group were tops but it was a decade later, when I started hearing all this music by myself  in the late 80’s. There was only one Dutch girl that we talked of art rock and progressive rock back then in the late 80’s in the music store! The music of the 70’s, late 60’s though I never lived in that era( still catching up) since I was before a teen — was the best that had come out of rock before it became ridiculously commercialized. So this is Bryan Ferry explore the other band members that are just as good at least to me.  So maybe you heard it before, maybe it will be new to you, or the Explorers will be new to you? Including them here for I heard them together –and I am from the 80’s.  

Roxy Music Phil and Andy without Bryan instead James Wraith in the Explorers…in the 80’s

PreRoxy Music Phil Manzanera Progressive Rock band Quiet Sun, great King Crimson, Soft Machine sound

Modern Technology Too Much?

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Ca.1915-1925 Studio view of a Geisha with portable record player.

In the advent of the computer things have greatly changed, one can listen to in one week of music that one heard in one year. I don’t know if that is a good thing, though I was doing that for a while now since 2011; I didn’t get WIFI till then.  It is as if one isn’t able to digest something before one goes to the next. The net is like smoking or drinking one can have plenty of it or little and feel better, if has little does it makes you feel better? I was born in the era of records, and I can say that I prefer that era in some ways better but the marvelous thing now is that one can hear incredible amounts of stuff or see them in pictures or videos in shorter period of time which is good, and for me it is also not too good. It was also different in our grandparent’s time they had 78 long plays, and one doesn’t see those anymore, one recorded one movement of a symphony on one record side, so one needed many hard thick records package for that. In one’s great-grandparents time there were little recordings one played those old fashion players, and mostly what one did if one loved music is go to concerts often.

We are back mainly to concert going, isn’t that strange, for people download, but I don’t download for at this point I don’t need to own things, but most musicians need the money from concerts to survive, even to promote their music even.

At this point in my life I like taking music like I had taken films much slower. I always think of films they are great but does it matter if we see so many. There had been so many people like John Lennon who died young at a certain time and he never saw what the new folks are able to see, one is lucky if one gets to see many new movies. Now we are able to see huge foreign and domestic catalogues of movies and music videos from the past and new ones coming at us every day.

I guess to me it is good if one is able to control it, maybe some people don’t mind when it is on a constant basis, but one is the sole controller of delights of this modern era.         76572883f288489a17f9ff0bb4cbb90e

Classical Music

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Liv Tyler in Empire Records, 1995, was like this in record stores

In my house there was no interest in classical music, but things were not so dark there were two records of my father one Yma Sumac, there one Michele Legrand and I would listen to it often before I went to sleep. I got into playing music in Los Angeles California and I wanted to play sax but there was none to speak of for rent, so I settled for clarinet. When I came back here to South Florida I played bass and alto clarinet in an orchestra that played classical music, not a marching band. I got very interested in classical so naturally was taken by the violin family of instruments, and it was natural in that school, thank goodness that one could be a cellist and a bassoon player or the tenor saxophone girl and played flugelhorn and cello and guitar. There was nobody that could afford a cello but the school had all the strings and oboe wasn’t popular so there were two available, no sax of course. It so happens that I bought a violin and sax a year apart in my senior year before leaving to college.

The teacher in 7th grade had a stereo turntable and radio and that is how I first heard classical which was amazing and it wasn’t one of these stations that only played the hits but they covered whole symphonies of Beethoven in the mornings, they were not afraid of playing whole piano sonatas. It was a prosperous station that lasted for many years.

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Yma Sumac

I was also lucky that I worked in classical departments of audio music starti
ng at 14 to 18 then at 24 again now with everyone downloading that never happens. It was fun ordering all recordings I wanted to have for the store or maybe myself and the videos stores but that went down too.

After the internet came even in the 90’s the stations appeared and disappeared until recently they are totally gone. They sold it for 22 million dollars to a Christian fundamentalist broadcasting, wish them well. It was nice hearing the modern English composers they played rarely in the morning and Name that Tune a classical piano quiz they had in the afternoon when I was returning from college, in the evening they had Great Performances and on Saturdays Live from the Met.

The rich colours of Autumn with an Orange Fountain Pen

This beautiful pen the Herringbone Conklin in orange,been mine for many years, have a weakness for orange. This will start me to write this autumn. It was bought many years ago, but it is one of my favorite pens, heavy large pen, with a good medium nib that is smooth, has no problems in the least. I imagine I can write forever with this pen, so here I start my novel once again. I bought this incredible colour Noodler’s Apache Sunset which has the same colour as the pen. I also like Noodler’s Brown Beaver which is a rich brown colour, and I am low on it, will order that soon. Holding my pen with my guitar slide.

Great pens to write through in the Fall season...
Great pens to write through in the Fall season…