Wednesday, May 21, 2014

An Old Debussy Recording

I can go on and on about my fondness for the Supraphon label and the Czech Philharmonic, but here is something especially different: a 1957 recording of Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune with conductor Antonio Pedrotti. You'll find better sound overall in other recordings from the period, sure, but this is worth your attention.

People who insist on listening only to current recordings of pieces miss out on a whole history of conducting styles, performances, and recordings.  The woodwinds here, particularly the solo flute, are a beauty. I want to hear more of Pedrotti's recordings for certain.

Download here:


Sunday, May 4, 2014

Blind (Maester Aemon)

Here is my brief poem about a minor character in George R. R. Martin's work:
Blind (Maester Aemon)  
My enemies die too slowly beyond the wall,
while those who burst like summer skyfire
live too boldly and too quick. 
I can no longer see the distant campfires
where dark dreams burgeon,
yet here I stand sentinel, forgotten by blood.
Bright were the days of my youth,
bright the memory, brighter still
the promise of coming darkness.

I wrote it yesterday at a workshop run by the Huntington poet George Wallace. Of the many prompts given, one was "My enemies die too slowly..." My mind drifted to Game of Thrones. Less than a week ago I began binge watching the first season and am now at the beginning of the second season. I have been reading the many extensive Wikipedia entries to connect the dots.

Most importantly, I got the first five books of A Song of Ice and Fire on Amazon Kindle. I plan to read as much of the series over the summer as I can. I can tell you from what I've read: this looks like literature of the highest order. I haven't been so excited about fantasy in years.

Though I am a newcomer to all this, I encourage you to learn more about George R. R. Martin, the books, and the HBO series. Martin has fascinating ideas about writing that translate into a massively memorable experience. I can't wait for more!