Henceforth there will be a mandatory reblog policy for anything relating to Steve Jobs and bicycles.
It’s funny, for all the time I’ve spent hanging around composers and playing their music, I haven’t had many pieces written specifically for me, Timo, the Pianist. So earlier this year I asked a couple fellow Sleeping Giants, Jacob and Ted, to write me new solo pieces. I didn’t give them any direction or tell them to play to my specific strengths (such as they are)—and I got two wildly different pieces. Jacob’s Clifton Gates is a rather monolithic, slowly-building meditation on various live electronics techniques; Ted’s Parlour Diplomacy, on the other hand, contains a wild assortment of material over five movements and 20 minutes, and treats Classical Style in tones alternately reverent and satirical.
Last month Ted and I drove up to Ryan Streber’s Oktaven Audio in Yonkers to record Parlour Diplomacy on the wonderful Hamburg Steinway that lives there. It was an intense session followed by even more intense martinis next door. Here’s the first movement. I’m very pleased with how it turned out because it makes me sound like a much more virtuosic pianist than in reality I am.
Timo Andres, piano; Ryan Streber, recording engineer
I highly recommend you click through to Ted’s Site and listen to the rest of the piece. Over here now.
This afternoon’s massive thunderstorm caught me while I was out on my bike, so I ducked into a nearby Goodwill for shelter. My little brother (that is, younger & narrower) mentioned recently that he needed a tweed jacket (for what nefarious purposes I’m not certain) and in my idle browsing I found a handsome one made by Burberry. It appeared to be unworn—the pockets were still sewn shut. Once the storm let up I packed it into my waterproof pannier and set off, only to be met by another torrential downpour crossing the Manhattan bridge. I arrived home soaked, but the jacket was nice and dry. Upon further examination, it wasn’t completely unused—there were two slips of paper in the inner pocket with Arabic script on them, indecipherable to me except for the word TRANSTU. This turns out to be the Tunisian public transit system. So, some diminutive chap wore his spotless made-in-the-USA Burberry blazer on a trip to Tunisia, all the while with nowhere to stuff his wallet, and donated it the Goodwill immediately upon returning? Who the hell was this guy? Where else has that thing been? This is one reason a love buying from thrift stores, aside from the relatively prosaic fact that I bought my brother a Burberry blazer for $25.
Next in our ongoing series of “Strong-Smelling Summer Sauces”: salsa verde. I’ve been really interested in this one lately. I’m not ashamed to say I learned it from Tom Colicchio’s recipe in the ‘witchcraft cookbook. But really, you don’t need a recipe.
shallots (twice as much as you put garlic)
olive oil (to lubricate)
white wine or sherry vinegar (acid)
salt & pepper (to taste)
parsley, flat-leaf (lots)
Dice up all the ingredients, put them in your mortar (or food processor I suppose, but that’s not very photogenic, is it?) and pound the mixture into a fine slurry.
You can use this pungent condiment on anything you see fit. It’s especially good accompanying skirt steak, or any cut of meat flavorful enough to stand up to it. The other day I used it on a BLT in place of aïoli. Not bad!