Weakened by the weekend
10 things worth sharing: Taking breaks, paper dictionaries, Debussy, and more...
Here are 10 things I thought were worth sharing this week:
I’m on a big Debussy kick at the piano, so I’ve been reading Stephen Walsh’s Debussy: A Painter in Sound and bits and pieces of Alex Ross’s The Rest is Noise, Roger Shattuck’s The Banquet Years, and Jan Swafford’s Language of the Spirit. (The latter is a fine introduction to classical music and inspired me a few years ago to draw this timeline of composers in my diary). Maybe my favorite thing about Debussy I’ve read so far is pianist Stephen Hough’s essay, which was expanded in his book, Rough Ideas. (And now I have to finally play Untitled Goose Game, which uses the Préludes as a soundtrack.)
Music writer Ted Gioia has started a newsletter. Gioia is a rich source of inspiration (see my blog posts “Your input depends on your input” and “Ideas spread like the plague”) and his first missive is about whether pandemics are followed by eras of festivities and cultural broadening.
Comics fans: I drew and took notes on a discussion between three legendary cartoonists: Jaime Hernandez, Gilbert Hernandez, and Adrian Tomine.
Ear candy: A YouTube playlist of live ambient performances.
Movies: Midnight Run is a fun buddy comedy with De Niro in his prime and a terrific performance by Charles Grodin. Captain Blood is a 1935 swashbuckler with Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland, directed by Michael Curtiz, who shot some good shadows. (Both streaming on HBO Max.)
I usually share obituaries in this spot, but this week I wanted to express my gratitude to the universe that two of my favorite curious elders are still kicking and celebrated birthdays this week: Iggy Pop turned 74 and John Waters turned 75.
You could do worse than adopting composer Lou Harrison’s motto: “Cherish, Conserve, Consider, Create.”
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