Freeing Accumulated Thoughts

30 Jun

At least in regards to this blog, I have found that my principle reason for writing is to free my accumulated thoughts, to clear my mental constipation. I do not want to pursue this metaphor any further, except to note briefly that the following will be a disconnected mess:


Glenn Gould’s 1981 recording of Bach’s Goldberg Variations was my best purchase in DC. The bonus track of the album is an interview with Gould, which includes a side-by-side comparison of his 1955 and 1981 recordings of the opening aria. The 1981 version is roughly twice as long, and it lacks the finesse of the 1955 version. But Gould noted that the 1955 version is unrecognizable to him.

The 1981 version had soul. It was slower, to be sure. But it was also more delicate, more pained, and more beautiful. Now I can’t listen to any other interpretation without comparing it to this one. I also can’t play Bach exactly as I did before.

Anyway, I hope I’m not making his performance seem empyrean or anything. There’s just something to be said about soul, especially as so many musicians now prefer brief bursts of bravura over patient and sincere exploration. That characterization applies to a lot of things in life, actually.

Los Angeles

I was unfair to Los Angeles, when I dismissively characterized it as an “ocean’s garbled vomit on the shore.” (Those lyrics, by the way, were written by an Oregonian!)

In fact, Los Angeles is a rather nice place. But it is a nice place that has been stretched out, so all its points of interest are far apart from each other. This can make a person loath to explore Los Angeles.

Recently, I realized that Southern California is familiar, but unknown to me. If you have any suggestions on how I can better understand my home of seventeen years (off an on), please leave a comment. Suggestions on places to explore would be good.


I’m moving back to Berkeley for more school. I don’t really know what this “looks like” since I have a profound inability to think past what’s coming beyond my next meal. I tried to make a tentative schedule, but it became far too tentative when different courses were canceled or rescheduled. Also, I have been mulling over how I can convince my advisor that a poetry seminar with Robert Hass would be relevant to my studies …


Actually, all the stuff I wrote about Los Angeles and Berkeley was sort of filler (though still true) because piano is still on my mind. I just wanted to

  • Thank my mom for announcing to me on my 6th birthday that I would be learning to play the piano, whether I liked it or not (I did not),
    • Because I cannot imagine what how I would have appreciated music otherwise, or how else I might have gotten out of certain slumps.
  • Say thanks also to piano.

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