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Who was Cassandra?

  • In the Iliad, she is described as the loveliest of the daughters of Priam (King of Troy), and gifted with prophecy. The god Apollo loved her, but she spurned him. As a punishment, he decreed that no one would ever believe her. So when she told her fellow Trojans that the Greeks were hiding inside the wooden horse...well, you know what happened.


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October 22, 2005


I am glad to hear you are doing better. It does sounds very scary.

I was getting my music set up going again on Thursday, though all my gear is electronic. I have to re-visit a song I need to write for a museum. So I replaced a battery and un plugged and replugged my midi interface and was happy I could get it all going. There's three keyboards, a sampler in a box and two drum machines. And the Mac driving it all.
I hadn't played for quite a while and as I sat there just striking chords I realized I feel the vibration of the tones right in my chest. Maybe that is why I don't often listen to music casually, it affects you in ways you're not always aware of. And bad music really upsets me.
I'm not a good player either. I used to be able to play some of the two part inventions, Mozart, some jazz and blues. I basically fool around until I hear a song.
The best thing anyone ever taught me about music is that you should always play everything as if it's music, scales, exercises, chords. And, thinking like that, it almost doesn't matter what notes you play.

Glad to hear you're feeling better and finding some great ways to relax, Beth.

Beth, so nice to hear that you are doing better ... just out of curiosity, which minimalist composer are you listening to? I went through an intense minimalist (hmmm ... oxymoron?) phase a few years ago when it came to music.

Peace, Beth. An experience like the one you've just had seems to make one grateful for, and more aware of, many things we take for granted in our busy lives.....the sound of rain, the colours in nature... and music, wonderful music.

Keep mending, keep playing music. We're thinking of you.

It's good to hear you are doing better. I hope the healing goes well.
Thinking of you here in SF.

I am, however, laying low - saying no, and doing less, and assiduously avoiding stress.
Phat rhymes! I guess it proves your point about music "residing on a cellular level". I've never been a big fan of the minimalist composers, but come to think of it, a great deal of non-Western music used in healing ceremonies is fairly minimalist, isn't it? I'm glad to hear you're doing so well.

Thanks for all the good wishes!

Glad to hear about your music explorations, Zuleme.

Yeah, Dave, I know it rhymes - but I was wondering if anyone would notice!

Dave, Maria - I'm not a huge fan of minimalism either - in fact some of it drives me nuts - I just want to know more about it, so I'm exploring. In answer to your specific question, Maria, I've been listening to Philip Glass's 3rd Symphony, some short works by John Adams (I'll tackle his operas eventually), and choral, mostly litugical, pieces by Arvo Part and John Tavener. Part is probably the composer I feel like I know best, having sung some of his works. I find this music becomes more interesting and accessible through repetitive listening or performance.

As long as it resonates with you. Good healing. Rest.

There's a contemplative note to your recent entries that I really like. These crises will do that to us, won't they? I'm glad you're taking good care of yourself, Beth.

How magnificent that you can lose yourself in music like this. (I am more than a little envious). Music is hugely important to me -- but I listen only. I don't (can't) play -- have a tin ear, sadly -- but reading you here, how I wish I could. I've just finished reading Louise Erdrich's The Last Report on the Miracles from Little No Horse* and her descriptions of the main character's ability to lose herself in the solitary, intensely powerful pleasure of playing chopin -- is breathtaking. The entire novel is simply gorgeous. I've just finished it and I want to begin again immediately, savouring her prose like I would a sweet, ripe, exotic fruit.

All this is to say -- how lucky you are to have this power and this solace. (And I'm glad to hear you're well and truly on the mend).


wondering if anyone would notice
One of us was bound to!

I am glad you are healing, Beth, and taking time. And that music (yes, it is physical) can play a part for you.

What Jenny said, about it inspiring gratitude. (It makes me, in particular, grateful for the existence of Beth. Or actually -- let's be precise -- aware of my gratitude. I was already pretty grateful.)

It's wonderful to hear that you are healing and finding yourself again in music and contemplation. Continue your own quiet path to health.

glad to hear your recuperation is proceeding apace, beth. perhaps you'd also enjoy listening to some piano pieces by toru takemitsu: neither minimalist nor maximalist, but ideally in-between. roger woodward's recording is quite nice.

(btw, that should be "lying low," in case it matters, and the correction won't affect meter or rhyme....)

be well!

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