Thursday, June 20, 2013

Assorted Updates

Good moods holding, more or less.  Everything well within acceptable parameters--I feel like I'm back on an even keel, moving forward.  Not sure what to credit for this, but it's quite a relief.


One sign of things doing better:  I've done a little scholarly reading.  Started with a book on American Jewish culture (background for a poetry piece I mean to do in the fall), and a bit of Robert Archambeau's The Poet Resigns, a collection of essays about poetry and criticism in contemporary America.  Oh, and Jennifer Kloester's biography of Georgette Heyer, for a talk I give (checks his watch) today!

More on that anon.


On the instrument front, for a Father's Day present I decided to put a new tailpiece on the mandola and start playing it with the klezmer band.  The bandleader wants me to keep doing chordal accompaniment, rather than melody, but down the line perhaps I can do some duets with our mandolinist, if I get good enough.

I'd hoped to put in a pickup, to make playing with the band less cumbersome, but the repair shop told me that an internal one wouldn't work; something with the bracing, evidently.  I can buy an externally-mounted pickup down the line, if I decide that's needed, but for now I'm just going to play into a microphone and see how that goes.

In any case, the instrument really sings, now.  More sustain, richer tone, a real pleasure to hear.  And the whole process of getting the tailpiece turned out to be a pleasure:  the visit to the little storefront folk instrument shop, the email exchange I had with the luthier who made the mandola, Walt Kuhlman, the simple prettiness of the shiny new gold (plated) addition to the instrument.

Now I just need to start practicing chords.  Dm, Am, E7, on the upbeat, to start.

"Dm:  it's not a key, it's a lifestyle."  --Naftuli Brandwein (I think)


Another sign of the upturn in my mood:  I've started reading the Stupid Motivational Tricks blog again.  Fewer motivational tricks in the recent posts, but I'm working my way back through them, to find useful nuggets.

More on those anon as well.  Now, off to the conference!

1 comment:

Mark Scroggins said...

The Brandwein quotation is a keeper!