Notable

Some of you may be interested in a recent find of mine.

Bookmarked in my del.icio.us (a social bookmarking site) are two large excerpts from Orthodox Bishop Kallistos (Timothy) Ware's book, The Orthodox Church. The first excerpt is on Orthodox Church history, and the second on issues of faith and worship – including quite a bit on how Orthodoxy has approached the ecumenical movement, and its relations with various non-Orthodox churches.

I've been wanting to read this book (along with another of his books) for some time, but that whole grad student schedule tends to get in the way, so I've been poking through these pages a bit over the past few days. Enjoy!

Latenight redux…

Sort of, at least…

I would like to announce a rather major website overhaul that just went up! It's a lot better than the stale (and crappy looking) old design I've had up there for the past two years or so. Check it.

Also, things are ramping up here at Fuller for Spring Arts Festival next week. Tracy is involved in a Dance/Poetry night (as in choreographed modern dance, not booty shakin'), both as an organizer and as a presenter. She's reading A Prayer for Restoration, which she wrote for me to set to music, which I've begun and not finished… it's a beautiful text, and I would post it here but then she would kill me. So you'll have to fly out to Pasadena by Wednesday night to hear it.

As for my own involvement, I organized and have been quasi-directing a performance of Terry Riley's minimalist masterpiece In C, in which I am playing electric guitar. This is notable for me, as it is the first time I've made use of the guitar in an other-than-rock capacity. You may know that, while in Michigan at least, I stayed active playing with the band, but this is a completely different animal, and I'm psyched.

Of course, just because Arts Fest and web design are happening doesn't mean lots of school stuff isn't. I'm just kind of ignoring that, instead. Which is a bad thing. We have two papers due early next week, which we both have yet to start. It's gonna be one of those weekends. (Not the fun kind)

Totally random other piece of info: a few weeks ago we bought an exercise bike as our tax return present to ourselves, and I'm proud to say that we've both actually kept up using it! I can't tell you how many times I've thought I was going to really dig in and start exercising, only to slack off after a few days. This is going on 3 weeks, now!

I really need to go to bed. First I will mention that I've also recently re-re-re-discovered some old favorite music that I seem to routinely forget that I love. Mahler's 5th symphony, Sibelius 2, Shostakovich 5 and 10 (and his String Quartets), Brahms 1 (and 1st Piano concerto)… and a whole lot of Mozart. I have a box set of the complete Piano Concerti (Barenboim – ecstasy) which I've finally finished iPod-ing. We went on Good Friday to a church service/concert of the Requiem, which is much more stunning live than on recording, especially given the context of the presentation. I don't think I ever realized the real power of the Requiem Mass texts until that night. It was followed by the Dona Nobis Pacem from Bach's B-minor Mass, which made for a wonderful end to a wonderful service. But I'll tell you, it got Mozart on my brain, and that lit up all the other stuff. Oh yeah, I do like "old tonal music!"

listening…

For the record, for those interested in such things, here are a few
things I've been listening to lately, in no particular order:

Respighi – Pines of Rome
Elliott Carter – Piano Concerto
Mahler – Symphony #2
Gorecki – Symphony #3
Messiaen – Et Expecto…
Saariaho – Graal Théâtre

and on the "popular" front:

The White Stripes – Get Behind Me Satan
The Arcade Fire
Kyuss – …And the Circus Leaves Town

I'm new to The White Stripes, a friend lent it to me. I'm intrigued,
and would like to subscribe to their newsletter… er, hear more, that
is. Kyuss is from way back in my proverbial day, and are pretty sweet
for those unfamiliar.

My Mahler recording of choice is Simon Rattle conducting the Birmingham
Symphony Orchestra. Phenomenal recording, I highly recommend it. I
don't have the famed Dawn Upshaw recording of the Gorecki, but rather
the (considerably cheaper and perhaps more authentic) recording on the
Naxos label, the performers of which I don't at the moment remember.
They are, however, a Polish orchestra, conductor, and soloist, which I
think actually does matter when performing the work. Some may
disagree.

Pines of Rome and the Carter concerto are favs of mine that I come back
to now and then to absorb some more. The Carter is hard to get through
if you're listening closely, as it's so dense, but rewarding
nonetheless. Many of you know that I adore Messiaen. And Saariaho…
you must hear Saariaho. She's amazing if your ears are open to "new
music."

w00t! I've managed to put off any homework a little longer! Now I
finish my post and am (again) without excuse…