Sunday, August 10, 2008

Return of the Man

Greg came home from NYC last night after four days of rehearsals and the recording session for the Sax Quartet. I was mistaken in reporting that the recording session was taking place in a studio; instead, they set up the session in a room halfway up the tower in Riverside Church in NYC, and enjoyed the acoustics in that space. Greg said that the room reminded him of a mediaeval banquet hall.

Recording for the first three movements went so well that everyone was thrilled to bits. They had almost decided to cancel the fourth movement, but after some discussion, the quartet still wanted to record it. They've made some suggestions to Greg for emendations that would make the work more possible for humans to play (as in more places to breathe, for example). Greg will get those done and they'll set up at the church again for the fourth movement after that. In the meantime, the recording engineer will get to work on production editing.

Greg will also do some of the editing on his three movements and on Lukas Foss's piece, just to help spread the work around and get everything done more quickly. The New Hudsons actually recorded Lukas's piece in his New York apartment.

This probably means another delay in the actual issuing of the CD and iTunes tracks and such, but the end result will be much better and will make everyone involved much happier. Richard (who owns Capstone Records) thinks that maybe he and Greg can sell the ACA on maybe helping with the costs, publicity, or other aspects of the recording because four out of the five composers are ACA members.

We shall see. In the meantime, everyone feels great about this recording. Who knows whether the works on it will find their way into standard repertoire for sax quartet someday?

Knitting For Its Own Sake

Okay, I admit it. I've flunked Fangrrl 101. I am just not destined to be a member of the "fan culture" surrounding knitting.

Not that I didn't try. I've read the knitblogs, commented on a few, and even went so far as to set up an account on Ravelry. (Most of my friends on Ravelry, as it turns out, are fellow dog people whom I discovered are also knitters because they ended up on Ravelry, too.) I just never quite got to the point of squealing with delight every time any popular knitblogger sneezed -- or worse, blogged about one of their kids sneezing. I don't read crappy, formulaic knitting-oriented mysteries or giggly, self-referential stories and essays about knitting. Unless there's an actual pattern or technique or something I myself can produce from a book about knitting, that book is well-nigh useless to me. I prefer dogs to cats, coffee to tea, and just about anything else to folk music (except country and rap).

Probably most of the people I know who knit don't fit the expected demographic, either. If you like all that stuff, then go and enjoy with my blessing. Really. I just don't think I'm going to be able to join you. I did try, though.

Anyway, none of the fangrrl culture (or my failing at it) has anything to do with the simple, tactile pleasure of just sitting down and knitting something. I've been enjoying the heck out of the last few inches of Jody's second sock, and might even (the gods willing) have the entire pair ready for Terry to take home with him after the herding clinic in October. I just Like to Knit Socks. Fan culture has nothing to do with it. I have a sweater that's been about 3/4 done for a year at least, but I just really like socks. Sweaters are work. Socks are pleasure. I like to buy sweaters. I love to knit socks.

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