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Tuna Licker

from Sunday, January11th of the year2009.

So evidently there had been a ban on tourists coming to the famous fish market in Tokyo. Well, fish enthusiasts rejoice: it’s been lifted!

Tsukiji market in the Japanese capital Tokyo had accused tourists of flouting hygiene rules and causing disruption with flash photography.

Some tourists had been caught hugging, licking and even riding the huge frozen tuna that are Tsukiji’s most arresting sight, an official said.

See, what’s amazing about that sentence is the “even.” Because I would say, it’s the licking that should be in the “even” seat. “…caught hugging, riding, and even licking.” The physical passage from hugging to riding is a short one (have you ever seen kids playing with big dogs?) whereas the Licking of a Frozen Tuna seems more transgressive, somehow, although I suppose Papist people have licking on Saint Peter since the since the memory of man runneth not to the contrary. Have you seen that foot recently? It is toe up:

Here’s a little Music for Saint Peter To Get Her Nails Did To:

[audio:12 Tu Es Petrus.mp3]
Palestrina Tu Es Petrus
King’s College Cambridge / Willcocks

This is Palestrina’s Tu Es Petrus, from the late 16th century. This is the only recording I have on the computer, and it’s unfortunately not as fast as one would like. However, it’s from one of my favorite favorite Concept Albums of choral music: Motets in Paired Settings. Basically, it’s Motets by William Byrd alongside other settings of the same texts by other composers living in the same time period. Check out the awesome over-the-top diction: “et tibi dabo” is, like, etttt tttttt. There exists a really nice speedy recording by the Voices of Ascension with Dennis Keene which I am not crazy about because it’s actually a little bit TOO fast and jackrabbity:

[audio:08 Tu Es Petrus a 6.mp3]
Palestrina Tu Es Petrus
Voices of Ascension / Keene

The other thing that bugs me about this is that the first soprano is gorgeous, gorgeous, but sometimes the speed gets in the way of her really nailing The Delicious Ficta about 1:30 in:

I like a little more time in those moments because it really seems like Peter is being HANDED the keys to Heaven rather than somebody being on the other side of the room, throwing the keys, and shouting “think fast!” Compare this to the King’s Choir version (2:30 in, above) and you’ll see what I mean. The other thing about that Voices of Ascension thing is that they have the Single Ugliest Record Cover Mine Eyes Have E’er Seen:

I don’t even know where to begin with it.

Tha Latin Text:

Tu es Petrus
et super hanc petram ædificabo ecclesiam meam
et portæ inferi non prævalebunt adversus eam.
Et tibi dabo claves regni cælorum.


  • That is a really amazing poster for Prince of Music.

  • Nothing is better than Prince of Music.

  • hi nico,
    take a look at this article in “el país” , the most important newspaper in spain.
    they call you “a young musical einsten”.

    btw, mothertonge is awesome 😛

  • hey mr.
    just recently found out about you (some feature in el pais magazine). i’m intrigued by your music. and your blog…well, it’s just weird.
    saludos from barcelona.

  • Nico,
    I forwarded the posting on the Tsukiji fish market to the 19 other Fulbright teachers who went with me to the market. They enjoyed the article and are still talking about who was hugging, kissing, and riding the fish. The market was amazing to see. Sorry they had to close it for a while. Glad it is open.

    Sue P