Monday, December 25, 2006

merry xmas / world music

Much enjoyed, last night, a midnight mass at the newly restored Basilica of the Assumption in Baltimore ("America's First Cathedral" -- or more fully, and per Wikipedia, Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary), officiated by a friend-of-friends, Bishop Denis James Madden. A good 80% (or so) of the choir's music was drawn from Handel's Messaih -- a treat. Madden's well-wraught sermon musings were likewise most enjoyable. What could have been merely ritualistic and dry, was rendered thoughtful, heartfelt and fresh.

/ / / /

Another treat: clips of diverse world musics -- from one Robert Garfius, spanning performances from 1966-1982 -- including a lot of Korean music, and also notably featuring (under rubric of Indian music) Ustad Zia Mohiuddin Dagar's Rudra bin, and T. Brinda's Saraswati vina. (Needs Real Player to view.)

Friday, December 01, 2006

prolixity           [couplet into rubai]

What frenzy has of late possessed the brain
though few can write   yet fewer can refrain
as we sink   into the basin of prolixity
the sound you hear is us   gone down the drain


The first two lines are borrowed from Samuel Garth (1661-1719). (I suppose I felt his showoffy snobbery required more nuanced embelishment.)