Thursday, August 03, 2006

Can you hear me now?

My apologies about the dead air time. My plans to live blog the entire Amherst Early Music Festival were squashed by the closing of the computer lab I was using at Connecticut College. Then my darling wife decided to bring me back to the 21st century by dragging me to a tractor pull at the county fair. I had to caught up with my 20th century theory class at IU, check on my stuff moved to a new office at DePauw, empty out our old house, close the sale of said house (only took 15 months!), and get adopted by a little kitten.*

So, the Festival ended well. I performed publically on the cornetto for the first time that Saturday, with three different groups. The small groups went okay, but the best was the Saturday night concert, when I played in the orchestra for Charpentier's Mass for the Dead. My brother and his girlfriend came to that concert, which also featured the faculty in various combinations. One piece listed performers playing the fagotto, dulcian, curtal, and bajoncillo, a veritable tower of Babel orchestra. On Friday night they took me to a casino, my first and quite likely last appearance at a gambling establishment.

Today there was a great interview on the Diane Rehm Show with Daniel Levitin, a specialist in music cognition. He has written a new book, This Is Your Brain on Music, which sounds like a great introduction to the psychology of music. I plan to have the library order it, and then give you a review. He also has a website for the book, which he plans to keep updated with answers to submitted questions and new research results. Levitin has an interesting history, with experience both as a cognitive scientist and as a record producer and session musician.

So, what's new?

*My wife says, "What's up with the kitten by the pool?" I say, "What kitten?" Next thing I know, we have a second cat, an 8-week old that we've named Archie. DSCF0767

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