Day 1: Visiting Ranger Sierra at Pinnacles National Park

I had a great visit with ranger Sierra at Pinnacles National Park, the newest national park in the U.S. I hiked for two days, seven miles the first day by myself and seven miles the second day with Sierra. I thought I spied the endangered California condor, but it turned out it was just some turkey vultures.

Piano Repair Needed

IMG_4154_1O dear! My beloved Kawai upright piano has a problem with the retractable keyboard cover.

Here’s what the piano looks like:




IMG_4163_1The retractable cover has three hinges each with three screws on each side to attach the outermost section of the keyboard cover to the main portion of the keyboard cover. (Click on the photo to see a larger version.)



IMG_4161_1 IMG_4162_1The left and middle hinges are completely unattached from the outermost section of the keyboard cover, leaving the right hinge, which is only partially attached. In fact, the outermost section of the keyboard cover is close to falling off completely.








IMG_4151Here’s a closer look at all three hinges (left to right): IMG_4152 IMG_4153







All the hinges on the sheet music holder foldout section and elsewhere on the keyboard cover are fine.

I have some, but not all of the screws that have fallen out.

Shelter Notes

“Shelter” is a work of sensuous intensities and melancholic moods that coalesces out of a seemingly relaxed and ordinary environment.

I. Stomping Ground

Shelter’s first movement is influenced by old Jewish dance music that gradually increases in tempo until it reaches a frenzied culmination. The movement begins with a serious and expansive bassoon solo, punctuated by strings and echoed by English horn with a modified melody. The feverish force of the piece draws the listener ineluctably in. After attaining a whirlwind culmination, the first movement ends with a brief recapitulation of the initial theme and a final slow “olé”.

Note to players: Avoid the feeling of pushing the piece forward by playing on the back end of beats of increasing tempo. Also, tempo changes should not occur all at once at measure downbeats, instead starting within measures to progress toward downbeats.

II. Resting Place

The second movement starts in four waves of increasing length: beginning with only the first player, restarting with the first and second players, and so on, until all four players are playing. Then, the players echo their final wave more quickly with discordant embellishments. Next, polyrhythmic strings accompany a gradually descending bassoon solo that pauses dramatically before reaching its nadir. Following brief Arabian polyrhythmic flourishes, including a lush cello solo reminiscent of the prior bassoon solo yet synchonized with viola, the movement settles into a wide open sound texture created by hypnotic woodwind pulses. The cello addes some soulful caresses, repeated with viola harmony, to create a morbid landscape. The woodwinds come to a polyrhythmic forefront until the strings join them playing the previous hypnotic woodwind motif. The strings intensify their polyrhythms, eventually joined by bassoon and a soaring English horn. The woodwinds subside and the strings again play intense polyrhythms until the piece unwinds in four waves of decreasing length, losing one player each wave until the final tone.

Note to players: Make an effort to hold notes for full duration and to follow tempo and dynamic markings to convey the fully hypnotic effect of this piece.

Visit to Family in Seattle

I had a good time visiting family in Seattle.

First stop was Port Townshend to see my father’s home there.

Next stop Seattle to visit my mother (no pictures because she’s quite unwell) and my brother and his family.