Musical interlude

There will be no fresh shiny verbose floribundant meta-meta-medieval posts until at least late December due to

  • putting together exams
  • marking student work
  • marking exams
  • individual oral exams (this week)
  • contemplating my navel the medieval Occitan tenso for the purpose of reading-and-research work and/as at least one conference abstract (hello MFB, yes I AM thinking about it sort of out loud I guess…)
  • and life!

For yes, I—even I—get to “have a life” for a couple of weeks, featuring The Beloved. After three months’ absence it will be like a dream. Living the dream in an alternate world. Not like Atlantis, though the place where I will be is currently under heavy Atlantic climatic influence and somewhat flooded.

In the meantime, here is some timely seasonal music.

There was a marvellous performance of this + Prokofiev 1 here at UBC a few days ago. Made my week, especially after the musical drama of November. I’m still dancing. (Yes, I dance to this sort of music; and yes, it is another of these kinds of music that does “it” to me. The “both-and” life is so much more fun than an “either/or” one. More dancing for example.) Sneak preview, I’m not sure if/when a full recording will be available:

It’s unavoidable in December not to think about ends: of the term and teaching, of a year, of what one has done during the year, of the year’s work; and to think in these darkening days between Samhain and Solstice about endings and ends themselves.

It would be nice to round off the year on a happy note, in some jolly uplifting way, looking forward to the return of light and the rebirth of the new year. Jolliness isn’t easy this year, not without a sardonic shadow. In compromise here are some beautiful and sometimes even happy notes: musical echoes from postings on this blog back in January that have resonated through the year. An awful start to the year; but a year that gave more reason to resist awfulness actively and creatively through art. Not just reason: November’s awfulness suggests reason should be extended into a human responsibility to resist artistically, in solidarity and hospitality, and that now emphatically includes listening to more music and living more musically:


Time loops. 1989 and the early 1990s and their joyous optimism. 1998 and a composer losing his friend and creative partner. 1945 and the liberation of the last of the camps, remembered this year and a reminder not to forget about other camps in 2015.


Here are some seasonal gifts. Gifts of beauty, harmonious, about hurt and hope and healing. They are of a commemorative yet transformative and liberating sort, and currently still free and open.

To light, to love, to life, to being well and whole.

L’chaim, fisehatak, sláinte; ojalá / insha’Allah.

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