Bloggy blog blog blog

Kurt’s confronts the world with a writing style has been described as “agressively pedantic,” “pretentious,” and “irrefutable.”

Re-visiting J.S. Bach’s Partita No. 2

Re-visiting J.S. Bach’s Partita No. 2

In the middle of Lent, I had the chance to re-visit J.S. Bach's Partita No. 2 which I used as a prelude for our Palm Sunday service at St. Paul's KCMO. It was a piece I had learned in my late teens, and I wanted to visit it again to see how much I had changed. I...

Iris Murdoch on Art

Iris Murdoch on Art

I'm still working my way through an Iris Murdoch reader. She has to be one of the clearest and most astute systematic thinkers of the 20th century. It's just an amazing mind. This passage is lengthy, but worth the read. She has been sailing twixt the Scylla of Kantian...

Playing Vox Balaenae

Playing Vox Balaenae

As an undergrad at the University of Tampa, I had the good fortune to have the Spectrum Contemporary Ensemble in residence and giving concerts each semester I was there. The ensemble was an ad hoc group led by percussionist Dave Coash and cellist Lowell Adams. Both...

How I became a jazz pianist

How I became a jazz pianist

When I was a young music major, no one ever really told me that I wasn't allowed to listen to other kinds of music, but being a "classical" player, I thought my listening was now restricted to works within the canon. During my first year in college, I raided my...

Playing Finzi with Josh Lawlor, baritone

Playing Finzi with Josh Lawlor, baritone

English music has a strange history. During the time of the Tudors (and even sometime before that) England was the center of some of the most exciting musical experiments and compositional activity in the world. When taste changed, they sort of let Handel take over,...

Iris Murdoch and Bryan Magee

Iris Murdoch and Bryan Magee

I've just read a transcript of an interview between Bryan Magee and Iris Murdoch. The interview is particularly interesting now that we are living in the midst of a culture where so many musicians are trying to use their art to advocate for social issues. Magee points...

Let’s Talk About Music with Sergio Barer

Let’s Talk About Music with Sergio Barer

A few months ago, I had the pleasure of sitting down with composer/pianist Sergio Barer to talk about some of my more recent compositional output. I don't always like to do this because composers talking about their own music tends to bore me to death. However, a...

Carol Ragnarok 2020 Covid Edition Week 4 Recap

Carol Ragnarok 2020 Covid Edition Week 4 Recap

I had a conversation with John Conahan in late November in which I said, "I'm not sure if I want to do this again. I feel like I'm re-treading too much old ground." John convinced me to do another CarolRagnarok by saying, "It's just supposed to be fun and stupid and...

Carol Ragnarok 2020 Covid Edition Week 3 Recap

Carol Ragnarok 2020 Covid Edition Week 3 Recap

The entries continued for week 3. Here's a quick recap in case you missed anything. It was like fire.   We started off with my Herbie Hancock O Come Emmanuel John responded with a Benjamin Britten Silver Bells. I came back with a Fats Waller Hark the Herald. John...