October 29, 2011

How to recognize a major composer...


There are few ways to kill time that are more entertaining for me than exploring the Zeitgeist of our (relatively) recent past.  The sense of the surreal I get from brief archeological excursions into books and various archival databases is often stronger than what one could get from looking at Magritte's paintings, smoking dope, or reading Victor Pelevin's novels.  Here is one example:

October 20, 2011

Collecting recordings of Chopin's E-minor piano concerto


In the ranking of unusual hobbies, collecting recordings of Chopin's E minor concerto must be pretty far down the list - probably somewhere between impersonating a gynecologist and doing Albanian crossword puzzles with the help of Google Translate.  So I'm not all that embarrassed about it; and if along the way I can check out a pianist previously unknown to me, my pointless accumulation acquires just enough meaning for me to delude myself into believing that I have not completely wasted yet another 40 minutes of my life.

October 1, 2011

A Perfect Pianist

Years ago I had  what must have been a Perfect Girlfriend: she was good looking, young (early twenties), intelligent (earned a Ph.D. from a top school a few years later), erudite in the visual arts, and musically informed.  She also was honest, kind,  and optimistic.  Not once did she have a headache or lose her temper fighting traffic on LA freeways.

Despite my Perfect Girlfriend's long list of virtues, what I remember most vividly about the time I spent with her is my persistent feeling of boredom.  She had everything I could ever ask for in a woman except personality.  There was something so anonymous about her that when our relationship ended I only felt a sense of relief as I went back to dating cynical secretaries, neurotic two-bit actresses, disillusioned MILFs, and tattooed heavy metal chicks - all so abundantly distributed along the coast of Southern California as if God himself wanted to make life easy for a young guy of modest means and immodest libido.