memory and desire

by pieces of moments

I am so hyper today. It’s kind of annoying. One of my colleagues was recently in Puerto Rico and brought back a can of Puerto Rican coffee for us all to enjoy in the mornings. Man, that’s some powerful stuff. Either that, or it’s the magic of 3/6/09. Are you ready to know even more of my nerdy side? Can I just share with you how terribly excited I am that the date to day is 3/6/09?! I love numbers divisible by three, and common, it won’t be 3/6/09 for another thousand years! I’m tempted to go get something engraved! (okay, maybe not.)

So I was practicing a little bit ago, you know, the Bach Partita no. 6 (BWV 830) and just totally devouring all those juicy suspensions in the “Courante”. My gosh I just love suspensions – they just swirl and twist in my gut and I can’t get enough.

Also, I couldn’t stop laughing out loud after reading this post over at Nico Muhly’s…hilarious and brilliant (and when I start saying “lesser grinding would be most welcome” you’ll know the source).

Also, also, I realize I have been taking detours from music talk to photo talk in the last couple of posts…but life is more than sound, kids. I have to bring to your attention Jenifer Altman, a photographer in my hometown of Omaha, Nebraska. Her pictures have a special nostalgic quality to them that never bend over into sentimentalism. I love the sensation nostalgia bestows, and does a pretty good job of summing it up:

a wistful desire to return in thought or in fact to a former time in one’s life, to one’s home or homeland, or to one’s family and friends; a sentimental yearning for the happiness of a former place or time

So complex, nostalgia. It is more than remembering because it elicits emotion. I think to feel nostalgia is toward something is a sure indicator that past thing had/has value because to value something is to create an emotional response to the thing valued. I believe that explains why different people like different music, or why there is a three measure section of the Chopin Ballade No. 4 in F minor that just makes me want to cry every time I hear it but that same three measure section leaves someone else untouched. We are a walking library of our past experiences and emotions attached to those experiences that we can never escape. Someone (I have been trying forever to remember who it was) once beautifully described music as a kind of Virgil figure, a host that guides us through a gallery of remembrance and emotions etched into our very beings. When the sounds and the ‘images’ match up they move us immensely. I think of the opening lines of “The Waste Land “(T.S. Eliot):

APRIL is the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.

Suspensions evoke nostalgic feelings in me, for many reasons.

So does this place: