Saturday in Santa Fe

02010-02-07 | Uncategorized | 13 comments

Another photo by Joe Mozdzen:

Very good article in the NY Times about whether conductors/orchestras should always follow the composers intention…

Composer’s Intent? Get Over It –
Most experienced listeners know that thinking in terms of definitive performances is as meaningless for new music as it is for any other kind. To consider one approach (say, Mr. Boulez’s X-ray vision readings) ideal and another (Mr. Barenboim’s high-energy accounts) illegitimate is actually antimusical. Music is as much a performer’s art as a composer’s, and for the listener there should be as much (or nearly as much) excitement in a performer’s insights about a work as in the work itself.

In the mid-Seventies I had endless discussions with my dad, about economic growth and other political views. I didn’t see why an economy had to grow year after year, and how that was even possible without it crashing from time to time or without it damaging the economy of other countries. To base one’s country’s economy on permanent annual growth seemed foolish to me. Dad disagreed and claimed that significant annual growth was absolutely essential.

Many years later, some time in the Nineties, the subject came up in our conversation for the first time in a couple of decades and he surprised me by saying that he had changed his mind, that he thought I had been right earlier. I was incredibly touched by that, by him saying that, and also by his remembering our discussions when I was a teenager.

Momus touches on the same theme in this recent blog entry about the Japanese economy.

click opera – Growing old in, and with, Japan
Japan will get cheaper, smaller, poorer, purer, wiser, more itself. Rather than forging new forms of industry and commerce (same old thing, same old bling), Japan will from now on be pioneering new ways of living; post-industrial, post-materialist, post-wealth, post-growth. This is something the world doesn’t know much about yet. How to live longer, live better, yet live cheaper, live smaller. How to live for the pure joy of living, not for the grim accumulation of money. How to “decline successfully”. How to be wise. Show us how it’s done, Japan!

Sade talks to the NY Times about her upcoming album. Here she discribes the recording studio experience:

For Sade, a Reluctant Return to the Spotlight –
It’s “alchemical,” an “out of body experience,” an attempt to preserve insights from the “etheric moment” between wakefulness and dreams. And with the band working together where they can record at all times, “we are able to capture that in the studio, to capture it technically in the right frame so it sounds good,” Sade said. “It is almost like a church, because you’re going to that room, you know your purpose, you know what you’re going to do in there, and you don’t have to take anything in with you that you don’t want to take in there.”


That’s the sound of a birthday card I received. I am guessing that the cold weather drained the little battery, but it sounds quite interesting. Experimental music. I wonder how one should dispose of musical cards. They have a battery inside, which means I should not throw it in the trash. After the card has had its time on the magnet-wall I will place it in the cardboard box with all the other batteries to be delivered to the Santa Fe hazardous waste department. The card and the sentiment is very much appreciated, but the devil is in the details: we have to consider not only what we buy, but how it will, eventually, be disposed of. Not easy, that.


  1. steve

    Regarding “Composers Intent”, Actually, there is a really bizarre component to this.

    Did you notice the description of Boulez as the more literalist and compare this description with the “wild man” connotations of him in “The Rest Is Noise”? (Ross, 2007: pp360, 363)

    Ross characterizes him variously as “showing animosity to fellow composers” (p362) and being quite lacking in social grace (c.f. account regarding Messiaen, p361) and now he is compared to Barenboim as the more traditional …

    … umm, OK.

  2. Ottmar

    Or, maybe, he has mellowed with age and it’s becoming more obvious now. The wild man has become a traditionalist – wouldn’t be the first time, nor the last.

  3. steve

    The only thing that’s constant is change.

    Still, this particular change is a little bit like Ted Nugent deciding he’s going to start concertizing by opening up playing Recuerdos de la Alhambra.

  4. Ottmar

    Or, Boulez is a composition that is interpreted/performed differently by two writers… :-)

  5. Carol

    That is a perfect photo of you….and your hands.

  6. yumi

    It’s “alchemical,” an “out of body experience,” an attempt to preserve insights from the “etheric moment” between wakefulness and dreams.”

    It’s a good description of the creative zones.

  7. Brenda

    My dad just loves giving musical cards and they are fun to receive. Our city will have our 2nd Sustainability Fair this spring and I am a team member for ZERO WASTE. Cards have multiple possibilities for recycling, because the card stock is perfect for making small boxes. The card may take a new shape but it continues it’s journey. No tape, no staples, just lot’s of folding to a new purpose. For me, I have a little talk I share to inspire hope and the wonder and beauty of change while creating the card box.

  8. Ottmar

    That’s not recycling, that repurposing, also noble, but completely different. And it is no solution for the batteries, which poison the landfill since most people throw them away.

  9. Brenda

    :) Call it what you may. :) For me, it is recycling. I am sure whomever sent you the Birthday card had good intentions eventhough it was filled with a battery. “Tis better to give then to receive” – Smile – Exhale – Be thankful for the batteries in your life.

  10. Brenda

    P.S. – What is your mailing address for correspondence? or packages?

  11. Ottmar

    In my mind’s eye I see a table at the 2nd Sustainability Fair with a sign that reads: “Please send your used musical cards to Ottmar Liebert. Here is his address…”

    But really, I don’t have a mailing address. I have an office, but they have a list of people I expect mail from and everything else is returned to sender. Then, when I do pick up my mail, I usually forget it somewhere. Just yesterday I discovered a copious amount of cards, from Christmas and my birthday, that I hadn’t opened yet.

  12. Brenda

    Yes, wonderful idea Ottmar, possibly, but not my style. I do not wish harm on anyone, just love. Okey – dokey – if I choose to mail something, I will ask permission and acceptance before I mail. Thanks for answering my question. Appreciate it bunches!

  13. Panj

    Hearing the Birthday Card somehow lifted me back about 200 years, i could almost feel candlelight flickering…that and the loveliness of your rememberances with your dad helped bring down my blood pressure after reading about the facebook idiocy. That kinda of pisses me off, while the thoughts of all the toxix waste, world wide, tends to sadden me more. Think i will go back and listen once more to your card…:-)
    Thanks for sharing and even more Thanks for helping this Planet!


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