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johnsu01

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Quick Trip [09 May 2005|10:49am]

Just some notes from a quick trip to New York City and back.

You can't beat $26 round trip to NYC, especially not when friends are kind enough to put you up for the night.

Well, you can beat the $26, but your bus might catch on fire.

It was a quick trip, as in, it would not have filled a full episode of 24.

Nearly half of the trip was the bus ride, if you combine the ride there with the ride back. On the way there I mostly slept, because the Greyhound buses are so cramped that I can't get any work done, not even with my itsy-bitsy laptop. I can read and scroll, but typing, which is my preferred activity on the computer, is pretty impossible.

I did start Tyler Doherty's book of poems, Bodhidharma Never Came to Hatboro & Other Poems. I could read it on the Greyhound because it's a real little book. And a real good one. So good that on the bus on the way back, which was of the more spacious Peter Pan variety, I chose to read it some more even though there was enough room to support other activities. It was hard to read because they were playing an annoying movie, but I persevered.

I also worked for a while on an essay about concentration, which is a topic I just realized I am very interested in---maybe I'll stick a draft up here tomorrow. It all started as a response to a post on 43folders, but seems like it might grow into something more.

Took a stroll through the Guggenheim this morning. First time there. Nice work by people I really like---Picasso, Kandinksy, Klee.. There was a large installation by Daniel Buren (also here), which I was not especially fond of.

Large installation means the whole museum, basically. There were some walls of mirrors stretching from the first floor lobby all the way to the ceiling, which is quite a ways. That was kind of neat, but all of the required scaffolding meant that the area behind all of the mirrors is very dark. That struck me as an unintended and unfortunate effect, but maybe I'm wrong. It felt like a poor use of the space to have such an arrangement of mirrors, with a very linear shape, in a space that is quite proud of its roundness. Other than the mirrors, there were a lot of solid color vertical stripes in various places in the building. Both on canvas and actually on the building. I did like the arrangements of the canvases, but did not get much out of the stripes that were attached to the building itself, probably because they were all the same color and did not add any spatial interest, being attached to the rails. The third part of the installation---I was looking at this as all one piece, which I think is reasonable---was colored material at the ends of some of the wings, over the windows. The colors were bright and formed in interesting shapes, and gave the place a nice tint in those areas.

One note about the Guggenheim. They have bathrooms in the strangest places. Like, in the middle of the art. You walk around a "corner" (that's a curve in this place) and boom, there's the line for the bathroom---and the accompanying smell.

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Keith Jarrett on Fresh Air [09 May 2005|10:52am]

Fresh Air recently replayed a 2000 interview with pianist Keith Jarrett.

Listening to a Fresh Air interview with Keith Jarrett, recorded in 2000.

  • He has Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
  • He started taking piano lessons when he was 3. His parents signed him up after they realized he had perfect pitch. He was plunking out melodies from the radio on the piano at the age of 3!
  • He turned down Miles Davis because he had work for his own trio at the time, and he also wasn't sure about the whole going-electric thing. They did end up playing together occasionally.
  • He had his performance at a Heidelberg festival disrupted by people claiming that his music was neither black music nor jazz, and so it shouldn't be there.
  • He's had in general an awkward relationship with the race issues in jazz. People thought that he was black because of his hair, and there was debate going on about whether he had to be black despite what he might say he was.
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