musings, thoughts, and writings of Barbara W. Klaser


July 20, 2009

Move over piano man

Piano cat wants to play. (Click on photos for larger views.)

Tara 01 Tara 02

Let’s see, this note is … here …

Tara 03

Darn humans with cameras! I’m outta here.

— Barbara @ rudimentary 12:04 pm PST, 07/20/09

April 2, 2007

Essential Guitar

I’ve mentioned before how much I love guitar music. Well, I did it. I’ve wanted a guitar of my own for many months. I finally bought myself one — not too expensive, and not a piece of trash, just a nice, modestly-priced beginner’s acoustic guitar. I’ve begun learning to play it, and I’m hooked. My guitar is my best new friend, and is rapidly becoming essential to me.

I hesitate to mention the following in the same post as my halting beginner’s attempts. If you heard me play, you’d think it wasn’t even the same instrument as what these guys play, and it’s not exactly, since mine isn’t a classic guitar with nylon strings, and theirs probably cost thousands — but anyway, the word “guitar” is involved.

Essential Guitar

Essential Guitar: 33 Guitar Masterpieces may be the best money I’ve ever spent on anything. It’s a 2-CD set. The first is 77 minutes long and the second is 75, so I get 2-1/2 hours of bliss for less than what I’d usually pay for one CD. It includes Joaquin Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez, performed by Pepe Romero on the guitar with the Acadamy of St. Martin in the Fields (I needed to replace my old LP recording of that), plus 30 other classical compositions and traditional Spanish pieces, performed by various guitar masters including Pepe Romero, Los Romeros, Julian Bream, Andrés Segovia and others. The composers include Rodrigo, Villa-Lobos, Bach, Vivaldi, Albéniz, Scarlatti, and more.

Have you ever heard music that you wanted to last forever, maybe even to dive inside and live there for a while, immersing yourself in sound? That’s how I feel about this collection. The only problem I have with it is that I bought it thinking it might be nice to listen to while I write. Not so. It’s terrible for that. I’ll sit with my hands poised above the laptop keyboard, assuring myself I’ll get some work done while I listen. The music takes hold and carries me away.

I’m not expert at describing this or any type of music. I just know what I love. You might too, if you enjoy classical or Spanish guitar — unless you have absurd expectations about combining listening with work.

— Barbara @ rudimentary 6:35 pm PST, 04/02/07

July 11, 2006

Order and chaos

The cat’s litter box is clean. That mundane detail isn’t your favorite sentence I’ve ever written, I’m sure. Mine either. But my day often seems to revolve around whether that task has been accomplished, and what comes after it. I go through a list of chores, on the days I think to make one, eventually reaching the line that has to do with writing, after checking off a lot of other stuff. Today writing comes after important things like the cat’s box, which is of utmost importance to her, though slightly less to us except through our affection for her, since we don’t use it and it’s out in the garage, easy for us to forget. Vacuuming comes next, mostly pet hair this time of year. That task must be accomplished while the day is still cool enough to have windows open, or not at all. A late-in-the-day shower will be in order, after all the creepy stuff on the list is done. (Bear with me, I do have a point here, this isn’t merely a run-through of my chores.) (more…)

— Barbara @ rudimentary 10:57 am PST, 07/11/06

June 8, 2006

From a distance

I don’t like memes or favorites lists, because my favorites are constantly in flux and too numerous to list anyway. Some of my favorites I can’t think of on demand. Others have replaced them in the forefront of my thoughts. The present distracts me from the past, overriding memories.

If you ask what my five favorite birds are, I may list the last five species that visited my yard and forget I’ve ever seen an osprey, a roadrunner, a California quail. I might forget the red-tailed hawk that dropped the pigeon it had just caught when it saw my van driving toward it, or the two times I came across a great blue heron standing beside my path while I walked. (more…)

— Barbara @ rudimentary 2:13 pm PST, 06/08/06

August 13, 2005

Los Romeros

Several years ago, while listening to a classical music radio station at my workplace, I heard a recording I knew I had to own. I scrambled to jot down the name of the piece when it ended. As soon as the opportunity arose I bought the album. This was the era just prior to CDs. When I got the record home and listened, I read the cover carefully. I noticed a name I didn’t take as anything extraordinary at the time.

The recording was Joaquin Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez, performed by The Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, with Neville Marriner conducting, and guitar solos by Pepe Romero.
(more…)

— Barbara @ rudimentary 3:14 pm PST, 08/13/05


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