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from Saturday, September8th of the year2007.

I got a phone call yesterday from Chicago Magazine asking me to name them the last five albums I listened to. It’s a weird question; does anybody listen to albums anymore, I asked myself? As it turns out, just last week, I listened to Graceland in its entirety in the car on the way to Vermont. But Graceland is such an ALBUM, you know? I’m not sure that people are making music in that fashion anymore. The five albums I told them were, in no particular order, the ECM recording of Stravinsky’s Duo Concertant, which is such a beautiful piece of music, then Teitur‘s Faroese album called Káta Hornið, then Ólöf Arnalds’s Við og Við, and then Doveman’s upcoming With My Left Hand I Raise the Dead. I guess it’s true that I’ve been listening to a lot of music by friends; it’s a nice feeling!

Something that it brought up, though, was the amount of “rep” listening I still do, which is a lot. Occasionally ““ like once every two days ““ when I have the house to myself I will sit in silence and listen to, for example, a Beethoven piano sonata, or a Byrd Mass. It also has come to my attention that I have listened to somebody’s settings of the Lamentations of Jeremiah the Prophet ““ Byrd’s, Tallis’s, Couperin’s ““ at least one time per week every week for the last several years. It is my Pervy Dream to write a setting one day; I just need to figure out where the best place and time for it is.

Lisa Liu (and her new sexy MySpace) came over today to record a piece img_0617.JPGcalled A Long Line, a version of which is going to appear on my upcoming album. I am in the midst of a bunch of projects ““ the ballet is happily underway, being Piano Reduced ““ but I am deep in the throes of writing this piece for the Chicago Symphony MusicNOW Series. Our apartment is covered with sketches and scrawled diagrams for how it’s going to work. I am writing music for a play that’s opening this Friday. I am trying to keep cool in this insane heat. I am reading a wonderfully exhaustive history of 20th century music. I have strangely commissioned a solo piano piece for myself to play! The ballet starts rehearsals in a week! It’s the 9/11 Anniversary Week, which is always chaos downtown! I think it’s about to be San Gennaro, which means that the Cannoli-Eating Contest is not far in the future.

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