I am moved by Lady Percy 's expression of love. CLICK HERE - see if you agree.
Otherwise my novels, short stories, verse, family, music, memories, vulgar interests, detestations,
responses, apologies. I hold posts to 300 words* having found less is better than more.
I re-comment on comments and re-re-re-comment on re-re-comments.
* One exception: short stories.

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Better than main-lining Côte Rôtie

Propulsive Bach. Glenn Gould, mumble-singing as he hammers away at the English Suite causing my knees to jig up and down, my fingers to break away from the computer keyboard and attempt – vainly – to drum out arpeggios on my bare wood desktop, my heart to give in to all this musical gaiety and convert it into stuff that goes straight into my brain making me spryer and younger than I have any right to feel. I’m writing Blest Redeemer and closing in on 100,000 words; Gould’s Bach forces me to attempt the impossible and match my word creation to his impish, agile fingers. I used to think music would distract me from writing but its very accessibility on the computer hard disc means it can be as comforting as sucking a humbug and as transformational as gin. After all if I can work in the company of the former cantor of Thomasschule in Leipzig and German Royal Court Composer to August III, that’s high-flying company and some of it’s going to rub off now and then. And even when the piano shifts into a more reflective, less demonic tempo I still have his image in my frontal lobes, benign but clever, tea-towel wig down to his shoulders, waiting for the English Suite to end so that he can try – for the hundredth time – to explain that the chromatic scale isn’t really all that hard and I’ll be a better person – A better writer? – once I understand. And as my creative wellsprings put Judith, Zara and Mabel into the order that Blest Redeemer demands there’s this mental left-hand accompaniment pushing up via vibrations in my rotating office chair and I’m calling him Joh instead of Maestro because he’s so damn familiar and he’s been with me most of my life. 


  1. No, I am not commenting on your appraisal of Joh. I reckon the number of words used was justified, although Dylan summed him up concisely with his "Johann Sebastian Mighty Bach".

    What I want to know is what quality of sound you are getting from the computer - do good speakers suffice, and what sort are you using, and is there anything else you can do to upgrade that you know of?

  2. Music usually helps I find except when I am getting to know a piece of music and need to follow it with care. The one or the other distracts. A set of speakers makes all the difference when listening to music on the computer in my experience, but I am not the sort of person whose judgement on musical matters can be depended upon.

  3. Sir Hugh; The music stored in the computer consists of the files that were transferred to my MP3 player - some 1000-plus separate tracks. Most are familiar and I'm not too worried about the quality of the Harman Kardan speakers which, by computer standards, are supposed to be fairly good. Let's say I can live with the sound. In any case there wouldn't be enough space to mount decent speakers in my atelier.

    Plutarch: This is a complete change a view for me. A few years ago I needed silence. Now, perhaps because of Tone Deaf. I need greater communion with music.

  4. Not appropos this post, but the perfect gift for any music-loving francophile:


  5. Doh! Except I just realised it's Spain. Is there such a thing as an espagnophile?

  6. Speaking as one, hispanophile would be the word I think.

  7. Fig: Yes I respond to French culture except for its music. In fact it was more appropriate that this video came from Spain rather than France since Spain is likely to need the next EU bail-out.

    In fact the European European (which until recently I've tended to favour) needs this kind of gee-up. Wonder why there was so much profanity among the commenters.