Saturday, May 31, 2008

May 31 - More Of Mice and Mordake

Page 11 of Mice and Men: Act V, Scene 2 prepared for publication, then off to see

Meghan Dibble (of Estragon Waiting for Godot fame, as well as Steven Clark's Dionysus and the Child in Sheli Nan's Saga among other wonderful roles) briefly (cooling heels with newspapers and blogging, while she and Harriet have a meeting re upcoming auditions) in the foggy-windy Monterey district of San Francisco,

with, nonetheless beautiful views south from her balcony (close to this vista, which is actually from higher up on the slopes of Mt. Davidson, SF's high point),

then off again to see the wizard Erling Wold's brilliant

Mordake, with the one-and-only John Duykers (of Mao renown in John Adams's Nixon in China, Pilate in Erling's Sub Pontio Pilato, leading roles in SF Opera productions including the Virgil Thomson Mother of Us All several years back) in this beautiful, intriguing, and ominous production -- written up soon at,, and 21st-Century Music -- featuring altered recorded music by our own San Francisco Composers Chamber Orchestra conducted (though uncredited -- Erling has extended his apologies, cheerfully accepted) by yours truly.

Friday, May 30, 2008

May 30 - Burning Brightly with Blake

Record instrumental versions of the rest of Blake House, with all eventually at, but for now, here's

V. The Tiger

Thursday, May 29, 2008

May 29 - Happy Creative Birthday!

Happy Birthday, Crystal!, who turns 21 today -- so... A toast! A toast! -- and who has, in the last couple of months, been on an incredible pilgrimage (superbly chronicled at

to Uganda

specifically, Kampala, with side trips north-east to


Sipi Falls,


Lira; and west to



Queen Elizabeth National Park

in the Great Rift Valley

up against the Ruwenzori Mountains

whose foothills include Semuliki National Park,

home to some of the Batwa people.... before coming back to her own home -- today! --

in San Rafael! So, as well, Happy Homecoming!

Meanwhile, two rehearsals this evening, first getting the San Francisco Composers Chamber Orchestra going at Potrero Hill Neighborhood House Theater. As John Kendell Bailey is welcomely conducting the first half of the program, am able to head several blocks downhill (both venues being along De Haro Street on Potrero Hill in SF) to

St. Gregory of Nyssa Episcopal Church for the first rehearsal, beyond excellent works of others in the ensemble, of Blake House: 1. To the Muses with Sanford Dole and sons and daughters of the choir -- just a quick double reading from 7:30-7:40pm -- and a good start, though challenging, somewhat due to meter, but more particularly in light of the second strain's accidentals: 5/8 alternating with 7/8, octatonic melody harmonized such that the mode is

E: Do Re Me Fi Sol Le La Te Do... Dorian-Lydian-Minor, one supposes!

From here, a race back up to the Nabe for Camino Real: Block Four and Variations on Americana, as part of The Sousa Variations collaboration, to be given 8pm, Staruday, June 7, at Old First Church (Van Ness and Sacramento Streets, SF, with co-collaborators contributing movements to the latter as follows

Harry Bernstein - Stars and Stripes Quodlibet
Alexis Alrich - MinSu
David Graves - Sousa Variant
Mark Alburger - Variations on Americana
Erling Wold - On the Death of David Blakely
Michael Cooke - Stripes and Stars
Loren Jones - Stars and Stripes for Desert

with more info at

Returning home, cannot resist doing an instrumental recording of the choral To the Muses, so here it is...

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

May 28 - Muse History from Far Ago and Away

Make the choral setting of Op. 108 Blake House: 1. To the Muses -- pretty close to original piano- vocal: Basses get bass line, Tenors the piano right-hand figuration, Sopranos melody (at a bit of clarification for each, re rhythms vs text underlay in upper part and articulation for all).

Alto line is melody down an octave, honoring strictly the rhythm of the original First Delphic Hymn (c. 138 BC) from whence the piece is derived, but tying repeated notes together within phrases.

All three lower parts in vocalise (phoneme left indeterminate) with Andante as tempo marking -- an indefinite designation no doubt more relaxed than p-v version.

This, along with parts and score to Op. 110 Camino Real: Block 4, printed up at the not-quite-local Kinko's late, where I learn that it, too, is moving from these days not-quite-24-hours-a-day to much-less-than-not-quite.

Suffice it to say that it was a very dark day when Fed Ex bought Kinko's.... One longs for the previous founding admin....

Oh, yes, also posted a bit on various older European musics at, including on music of Ancient Greece, so the serendipity is palpable. Or something like that.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

May 27 - Inclined Towards N, E, S, W

Another day, almost entirely within (what's going on? -- shouldn't there be walks occurring at this time of year?) -- but mad (in a good way) about posting relevant material re Asian music at -- keep toying with the notion of making the site the chief source of the music history course -- but probably best to wait on this, as printed texts, if they do fall on the concise side, have their condensed virtues. Blog will for now, seem to be a source of enrichment, rather than replacement.

Harriet and I do step out in the late afternoon briefly for happy food and drink hour at local Chevy's al fresco al viento, items almost blowing away in the brisk breeze, but nice distant views of the English Hills and Vaca Mountains.

And good views in every direction upon returning home to prepare for publication -- yes! -- page 10 of Mice and Men, Act V, Scene 2.

Monday, May 26, 2008

May 26 - In To Africa

Home all day, mostly editing items on African Music for -- reorganizing the world music selections into a general historical framework.

And on the African front -- glad that Crystal is back in the U.S. after her Uganda semester (and, as it turns out, a brief visit to Dubai as well... she has become quite the amazing adventure traveler!). Her whole amazing blog can be read at

And on a more pedestrian take, finish page 9 publication preparation of Mice and Men: Act V, Scene 2.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

May 25 - St Gregory of Nigh Extravaganza

Nice turnout for the Tisha-Pagliacci show at St. Gregory of Nyssa, San Francisco, but first

church at same, with Sanford Dole conducting, and we decide to join his excellent choir. Sanford mentions thereafter, in passing, an upcoming concert of compositions by members on texts of the saints (the expanded SGN take) on the walls,

including William Blake, so am happy to provide a choral arrangement of Op 108 Blake House: I. To the Muses, which I will do by this Thursday evening's rehearsal.

After an interval, we gear up for the Tisha-et-al performance with Harriet March Page and Rachel Deatheridge,

Rachel's family,

and the Project Opera folks assembling --

for Johann Strauss, Jr., Die Fledermaus and Puccini La Boheme excerpts, including Rachel in the former's "Adele's Laughing Song," and

Letitia Page in the latter's La Boheme (Mimi's Act I aria),

plus Harriet in the Leonard Bernstein Candide "Old Lady's Tango" (assisted by a certain certainly uncertain caballero),

and a first-part conclusion back to Fleder "Champagne," tra-la!

Intermission with Harriet overseeing all,

including Lisa Prosek,

Sharon Walters, Kat Cornelius, and Suzanna Mizell.

The ensuing Leoncavallo Pagliacci is taken in by Suzanna and Tisha

as Eliza O'Malley frolics

and Mark Narins closes in.

After-concert party at 19th and Pennsylvania,

with fine views of the City,

280 and the new tower,

Bay Bridge,

and East Bay Hills environs...

graced by Harriet holding forth -- entertaining and


This investigative one-eyed jack reporter can testify that

the house is well-apportioned within (right down to the amazingly mirrors)

with folliage well-proportioned without.

We make our way home, past the golden season of the North Lagoon Mountains (note those three oaks at extreme right crest -- they have a lot of character),

and make a bit of time for score publication preparation of page 8 Mice and Men, Act V, Scene 2.