(Route) 1 is Down (with its bad self)

I have been in Hancock, Maine nigh on a month plus change, Conducting-Associating my little heart out for l’École Perry Montux.  Yesterday, the unthinkable occurred — we experienced our third straight day without rain.  Around these parts, that’s considered a dangerous drought, but I found it so inspiring that I decided to embark on a little photojournalism project to get to the heart of Hancock.

pms chainsaw

Where better to start any trip to Hancock than at The Raye Chainsaw Sawyer Artist? Nightly shows at 7:00 PM feature The Raye Chainsaw himself sculpting masterpieces from logs.  Speaking of logs, next we move to…

pms pine tree

Alden Bunker, Pine Tree specialist to the stars.  What Enterprising young Pine Tree specialist wouldn’t want to establish Hancock as his home base?  The one confusing thing about Alden’s is that the parking lot is always full of school buses, not pine trees.  Rather, I should say full of Handcrafted Pine School Buses, painstakingly designed by Raye Sawyer, nightly.

pms raggedy

It’s true that Raggedy Ann Dolls are not hard to come by — most small towns with populations of 500 or more have entire stores devoted to them.  Thank goodness I came to Hancock though, where Raggedy Andy is given his due.  I just hope that the owner of that 1984 gray Cadillac Sedan isn’t planning to dress his Raggedy Andy doll in any of those American Girl Size clothes.  They’d probably be too big for him anyway, what with some of these obese children I see walking around here.

pms debbies

Never having patronized Debbie’s myself, I can only imagine what sort of Blueberry Ware she has in store for us, but I do know one thing — if you’re sick of those high-end, marked-up Blueberry Ware prices, you can always walk right next door:

pms debbies outlet

Yes, all this plus a Conducting School and a Gazebo await you in beautiful Hancock, Maine.  I defy even Ludwig von Mises to explain this local economy.

I mean, really…

…how often does one hear a cover of a Maurice Ravel song…?


Ravel: “How’s your Mug?” fr. L’Enfant et Les Sortilèges

My Brightest Diamond version

…much less a remix thereof?

Tim Fite Redux

OK, well, actually, it turns out that there may be one other example.  Amazingly, I heard this on Maine Public Radio today:

Tommy Dorsey, “The Lamp is Low

…which of course began life as


Can you hardly believe it?

Pardonnez-moi, monsieur.

I’m just sitting here in the office trying to mind my own business, and this creepy old dude keeps staring at me:

pierre the lech

Sir, though you may like what you see, please do avert your eyes and get to conducting something by someone named Igor or Johannes, if you would.

In other news, I’m happy to report that a certain JvR was pleased with my not-so-recent efforts which have just been released on disc.  Do you think that means I should take back some of the mean things I said about him?  Well, maybe not… but I guess I didn’t have to call him John Boy.

But while we’re on the subject of the American Chorale Premieres CD, might I suggest that you buy it?  Or at least download one track in particular?

Sign me up for the history books, boys.

So, word on the street is that Paul Hindemith marked the fourth movement of his Solo Viola Sonata (Op. 25 No. 4) to be played Quarter Note = 600-640.  Never one to back down from a challenge, I’d like to use this space to present my own new Solo Viola Sonata:

Picture 3

I would ask that performers pay particular attention to the staccati.

Upon further thought, I have decided to authorize this piece for performance on the 35,000-year-old Vulture Bone Flute.  From henceforth, it shall be known as the White Solo Sonata for Viola or 35,000-year-old Vulture Bone Flute.

Seeing as there is no other music or music-industry related news that I could possibly comment on, I bid thee adieu.


squirrel w walnut

Editor’s note from the first edition (State Music Publishing House, Moscow, 1938) of Prokofiev’s 2nd Suite from Romeo and Juliette:

The “maracas” (6th movement), originally from Cuba, consist of two walnuts hollowed and dried, and then packed with grains.  This instrument is used for playing rhumba (jazz).  A box filled with many nails can be substituted for the maracas.

An open response to the Editor:

No, it certainly can’t.  Might I recommend that the next time you are dancing the rhumba or any other (jazz) number, you kindly take the aforementioned box of nails and beat it against your skull?  Oh, and would you please send me some Gargantuan Russian Walnuts while you’re at it?  I’m feeling a bit peckish.

Is this your tempoo?  Tooo Slooow…