Monday, February 28, 2005

My last hours as thirty-something...

Can you hear this song
the notes rising and falling
with the strength of my breath?
Don't listen to the words,
hear the music of my voice
hear the Beethoven of my heart,
let the notes of my voice--
and now your voice, joining in
--rise and fall in unison
as we read the words from the page.

Perhaps the unison won't be perfect;
you have a country accent
handed down on your mother's side
(the way your vowels twang at the ends of words).
but our different timbres make a string
section, and we are richer for it, and the words
richer for our voices.

It doesn't matter what we say
as long as we say it together.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Fringe Benefits

As both musician and translator, one of my favourite gigs is translating liner notes for the record label Analekta. I get to combine my two professions, the liner notes are always well-written and interesting, it's a real challenge (as opposed to translating, say annual reports...yawn), and--the best part--free CDs periodically appear in my mailbox.

Last week was particularly wonderful; I got a padded envelope with two discs. One, a recording of Alessandro Scarlatti cantatas by Les voix baroques and countertenor Matthew White, the other a recording of Bach sonatas by the amazing young violinist James Ehnes.

Both CDs are wonderful. I've toured with Matt White. His voice is really starting to blossom and I predict a bright future for this guy (not that he's begging for work as it is). He also happens to be a genuinely nice person. This CD is magnificent.

I've played with James Ehnes too. When I was with the Wiinipeg Symphony, this guy was a 16-year-old child prodigy. Being from just down the road in Brandon, he played with the WSO often back then, though I see that that orchestra isn't even mentioned in his bio nowadays--you've come a long way baby! He was great as a 16-year old. Now he must be around 30, and he blows me away. I'm no great judge of violinists, but this guy is certainly one of my favourite young fiddlers. The Bach CD is good, though I'm used to hearing a more period-specific style. But Ehnes is such a fine musician. I can't say much against it.

Analekta has been putting out some really good recordings lately (I'm not biased at all, mind you). I hope they continue to thrive, both because I love the gig and because they're doing a great job.

Monday, February 07, 2005

Tuesday, February 01, 2005


So I was reading The Anchored Nomad this evening when S. got up and sat down beside me, complaining that she couldn't sleep. So I told her about portuguesa nova's blog and what a good writer I thought she was, mentioning how she referred to her husband as TPMIM (the Portugese Man I Married). Next thing I knew, S. was telling me she should refer to me as TRHMIL. I thought for a moment and smiled. "The Really Handsome Man I Love?" I said hopefully. Close, but no cigar. Merely "The Red-Headed Man I Love." Ah well, its the last part that counts anyway...