Tuesday, June 21, 2011


I don't know why I ever take the elevator from Park Street to the surface. I get more out of breath trying not to inhale the redolent aroma of stale urine than I do climbing the stairs. I wonder if more public toilets would help alleviate this problem.

Or elevator attendants. I'd gladly wait an extra trip or two if it meant the elevator didn't reek. Plus, job creation!

Monday, June 20, 2011

St. Augustine, on music

The early church fathers walked a delicate balance between regarding music as an appropriate means by which to worship God and regarding music as a sinful temptation. The following is from St. Augustine's Confessions:

"When I remember the tears I shed at the psalmody of Thy church, when I first recovered my faith, and how even now I am moved not by the singing but by what is sung, when it is sung with a clear voice and apt melody, I then acknowledge the great usefulness of this custom. Thus I hesitate between dangerous pleasure and approved wholesomeness, though I am inclined to approve of the use of singing in the church (yet I would not pronounce an irrevocable opinion upon the subject), so that the weaker minds may be stimulated to devout thoughts by the delights of the ear. Yet when I happen to be moved more by the singing that by what is sung, I confess to have sinned grievously, and then I wish I had not heard the singing. See the state I am in! Weep with me, and weep for me, you who can control your inward feelings to good effect. As for those of you who do not react this way, this is not a concern of yours. But Thou, O Lord, my God, listen, behold and see, and have mercy upon me and heal me --- Thou, in whose sight I have become a problem to myself; and this is my weakness."

It wasn't me, man

Apparently, there is a certain Massachusetts accent and delivery that, when I was accosted in South Station with, "Wanna stop killing whales in Boston?", caused my brain to respond with, "Wasn't planning on starting!"

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Artsy article about Arizona

(Login may be required, if you don't know about bugmenot, this is as good a time as any to learn).

This is an article from the Arizona Republic about the discrepancy between the lip service paid to the value of the arts in the school curriculum and the budget allocation for the same. (Hint: they're not equivalent.)

Monday, June 13, 2011


A post by another blogger, detailing exactly how precise and swift a violinist's hand movements have to be to produce something one wants to listen to. We have to make shifts, on an unfretted fingerboard, in fractions of a second, and they have to be accurate within a tiny range in order to sound correct. This is why we practice.

Music 1, Football 0?

Interesting bit about a high school in Illinois that refused a high school football team (for now) and reinstated music and middle school sports that had suffered budget cuts.

In my ideal world, the arts and sports would peacefully co-exist, and students would have the time and energy to participate in both. In reality, of course, there's a clear line of demarcation, and the arts tend to get axed in favor of sports. To become highly skilled at music, football, baseball, art, dance, soccer, anything really...that takes a lot of time and dedication, as does excelling at academics.

I kind of have a piece in my head about why music is more inclusive than sports through middle and high school and how that switches at some point in adulthood, but it's not fully formed yet. Will keep y'all posted.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Fusion String Ensemble

I'm actually going to be playing with a group again this summer! It's been a while. We're called Fusion String Ensemble, and we're planning on having concerts this summer in Boston and Montreal.

I've never been to Canada. Fortunately, I already have my passport.

Check us out here.