Tuesday, September 1, 2009

a cessation of the world of desires.

Andy and I, standing in front of a trade booth at a recent track cycling meet, were confronted by a highly polished vision of another, more perfect world. It was as if we were able to look beyond our present situation where our feet are stuck in the lower realms of animals and hungry ghosts, and have a brief vision beyond our human realm to that of devas and bodhisattvas. We both knew, at that moment, possessing it would still the ceaseless working of samsara. Spooky.

It was a very, very lightweight titanium audax bike frame with the option of fixed or geared riding. So, in short, everything. Gears - or not; mudguards - or not... club runs, forest trails or towpath bashes; long audax runs or light, quick continental touring via magic plastic.

Andy, being a man of the cloth, confirmed my suspicions that the purchase of such a frame would mean my life would be suddenly fulfilled - no more frustrations concerning work, unfulfilled personal goals, male pattern baldness or tribulation in relations with the rest of humanity. And all that for just £899 (I'd still have to fit it out, though; campag?). How often does that happen in life? How rare is it that you can buy happiness and also banish middle-age spread? I rest my case.

So, I've just finished a cello suite for a friend from Slovenia, hopefully to be premiered this year. I have to say that I really enjoyed it, and I'm getting into the idea of writing for particular people. So I've also started working on a solo viola piece for a friend in Sweden - I'm really not sure how she's going to react to that one, as I've specified that she must hum/sing as well as play.... could be wildly embarrassing for all concerned. I still haven't heard back from her after a rough draft; she's probably agonizing about how to be polite, and just regretting she agreed to do it.

I sort of got into it while thinking about double-stopping, and listening to my own tuneless vocal drone as I was messing about at the piano trying to sustain lines. The dog was so not impressed. I had been been spending time juggling a little pitch matrix I had constructed and turning it this way and that trying to see what vertical and horizontal possibilities it might hold, and wishing parts of the line, the third voice so to speak, would just carry on. But, of course, a string player can only really sustain lines on two strings for any length of time; hence the humming. I'll put some bits up next post, although there's an ominous silence from the party it's being written for, so that idea might have to go.

I was down in London at Kings Place to watch my old supervisor, Martin Butler, play with the ensemble Notes Inegales. The entire program was mostly based around Peter Wiegold's compositions which were all based on various improvisational strategies. Martin, a classical pianist, has for some time been heavily getting into Miles in his Bitches Brew phase, and is working hard on becoming a jazz-ish improvisor, filtered through his own composing style. The best part of the day was hanging at the pub afterwards with a group of players and composers. Must do more of that sort of thing (the hanging bit, not the pub...)Anyway, here's a clip of Miles from that era.

Lastly, a beardie guy picture....complete with my own personal doppelgagger, a kind of reverse Dorian Gray thing; it's a painting made of me the last time I had a beard, about the age of 24; unfortunately, I had just lost the braid.

That is now so gone, with the impending start of term....although there was an intermediate stylish goatee phase, after which Jane threatened divorce.

1 comment:

Andrew James Brown said...

It was indeed a transcendent moment - the rear fork drop outs alone spoke of a deep eternal and universal peace. Just imagine that . . . But being a man of the cloth AND a jazz musician the chances of me scraping together £899 for just a frame (and you're right Kev, it has to be Campag) is as likely to occur as that the "Rover Four" will repent and give the money they nicked from the pockets of the car workers. So I guess I'll have to stay on the wheel of samsāra for a while longer . . .