snowy sundries

by pieces of moments

It is freezing cold in Chicago today. Even the typically warm rays of the sun are rattled with performance anxiety on a day like this.

I braved the elements (wishing the entire time I had a recording device with me to capture the crisp crackle of the nervously crystalline snow muffled by the thick layer of ice beneath, which no one bothered to remove) to find a hot chocolate and a veggie burger before popping over to the library to find Changing My Mind: Occasional Essays by Zadie Smith. Disappointment. The library has it, but it’s new enough that they are not sharing it on the shelves with the public yet. I, a member of the aforementioned public, mourn this technical delay.

So, to console myself I decided to catch up on my All Songs Considered podcasts. In a few short weeks we will shuffle the ‘0’ one slot to the right and enter a new decade. As such, “most important ______ of the decade” lists are breeding like bunnies in spring. But, as usual, ASC has one of the best discussions on the topic out there. Be sure to read and then listen in on the debates.

I also decided to take some time to peruse some lovely blogs that I do not keep up with often enough. So, now I know of a lot of lovely things that exist out in the wide world of commerce for which I do not have the money. Take, for one, this beautiful Hermes 3000 featured on Etsy via Pia Jane Bijkerk’s blog:

{photo via…}

Sigh. I envision myself sitting at a proper desk dotted with milk glass vases filled with tidy bouquets of No. 2 pencils so sharp they shiver at the thought of touching paper. Somewhere on said proper desk a porcelain tea cup sits pertly atop its saucer holding the elixir of all brilliant thought: strongly brewed tea with cream (yes, cream, not milk, thank you). What a tasteful life I lead in my mind.

In other totally irrelevant news, my hair is finally getting long. This is terribly useful on cruel wind-chill days, especially since I have apparently lost my Favorite Hat I Ever Did Knit and haven’t had the time to form a new one yet.

In far more relevant news, my favorite ensemble in all of Bostonia, A Far Cry, has recently been named the new chamber orchestra in residence over at the divine Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum (which, is my favorite museum in Bostonia, so that’s a nice pairing indeed). Their next Jordan Hall concert (“The Lover“) is coming up at the end of January and I’m busy finding intriguing morsels of information for your musical senses to imbibe via the program annotations.

In seasonal news, I have been listening to Bach’s “Christmas Oratorio” (Weihnachtsoratorium BWV 248, for the purists out there) like the world is going to end in the next 5 minutes — every minute. If someone were to ask me to conduct anything ever written (and I am actually a good conductor, kidz…), I would pick the opening of this amazing work. Although, the orchestra/chorus might think I was insane for smiling like a school girl with a mad crush the whole time. Some music merely touches your soul, this music transports.

Also, my Chicago music buddy, the composer/critic/professor Evan Kuchar, has launched a new blog. You should check it out. He’s on a new music roll at the moment (of which, of course, I super-duper approve).

Oh, and Naxos, that fabulously priced and tastefully adventurous music label, has been in touch and I’m happy to tell you that soon I will be reporting to you on recordings they will be sending my way! Thanks, Naxos!

I hope you’re keeping warm, wherever you are! Unless you are reading this somewhere where it is summer, or just warm all the time…for you I reserve all my envy.