My life has been pleasantly absorbed with summer rituals: dumpling-making, mushroom-hunting, karaoke-singing, lazily commission-writing, new Pixar movie-seeing (I loved WALL‑E, especially the Jon Ive-esque design aesthetic, but wasn’t as emotionally affected by it as I was by Ratatouille).
The other day I recorded a big flute-and-piano piece of Alex’s called Stile Antico. This was actually the second time I’ve recorded it. Alex explained that it’s gone through four iterations. I remember hearing the première, I think at one of our new music marathons a while back, when it was a huge, stately mass of ectoplasm; since then, it’s gone from about 25 down to 13 minutes, all lovely and trim and concise. I really admire composers who are able to do that; for me, it’s sometimes hard to find anything of value in a four or five-year-old piece, much less to tackle the thing all over again and make it sound fresh. I guess I just don’t have the patience. It makes me wonder what proportion of my music is fat and gristle; if I started doing Alex-style revisions, I’m scared I might end up with a bunch of two or three minute-pieces (perfect for radio!)
Stay tuned for the new recording of Stile Antico; you can hear one of the previous versions here. The flutist I played with most recently is the wonderful Daria Binkowski, who by now is probably up at Banglewood at Mass MOCA. (Check out this creepy story on their website.)
Happy late Independence Day. There is a billboard here in town for a local salon that promises “Beautiful patriotism” and features a flag-bearing blonde in a camo skirt. What does it mean?