New music tonight

2016/11/29 § Leave a comment

This evening, I will be releasing new music.

The album is called Storm Over Miami, and finds its influence in the soundtracks of the 80’s. Jan Hammer, Scarface, italo-disco, etc. I put a lot of time into this project and I’m hoping the response will be overwhelming positive.

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A devastating W. H. Auden quote

2016/11/25 § Leave a comment

Just as we are all, potentially, in Adam when he fell, so we were all, potentially, in Jerusalem on that first Good Friday before there was an Easter, a Pentecost, a Christian, or a Church. It seems to me worthwhile asking ourselves who we should have been and what we should have been doing. None of us, I’m certain, will imagine himself as one of the Disciples, cowering in agony of spiritual despair and physical terror. Very few of us are big wheels enough to see ourselves as Pilate, or good churchmen enough to see ourselves as a member of the Sanhedrin. In my most optimistic mood I see myself as a Hellenized Jew from Alexandria visiting an intellectual friend. We are walking along, engaged in philosophical argument. Our path takes us past the base of Golgotha. Looking up, we see an all too familiar sight – three crosses surrounded by a jeering crowd. Frowning with prim distaste, I say, ‘It’s disgusting the way the mob enjoy such things. Why can’t the authorities execute people humanely and in private by giving them hemlock to drink, as they did with Socrates?’ Then, averting my eyes from the disagreeable spectacle, I resume our fascinating discussion about the True, the Good and the Beautiful.

– W. H. Auden, A Certain World: A Commonplace Book

“Gratefulness”: a poem by George Herbert

2016/11/24 § Leave a comment

Thou that hast given so much to me,
Give one thing more, a grateful heart.
See how thy beggar works on thee
By art.

He makes thy gifts occasion more,
And says, If he in this be crossed,
All thou hast given him heretofore
Is lost.

But thou didst reckon, when at first
Thy word our hearts and hands did crave,
What it would come to at the worst
To save.

Perpetual knockings at thy door,
Tears sullying thy transparent rooms,
Gift upon gift, much would have more,
And comes.

This notwithstanding, thou wenst on,
And didst allow us all our noise:
Nay thou hast made a sigh and groan
Thy joys.

Not that thou hast not still above
Much better tunes, than groans can make;
But that these country-airs thy love
Did take.

Wherefore I cry, and cry again;
And in no quiet canst thou be,
Till I a thankful heart obtain
Of thee:

Not thankful, when it pleaseth me;
As if thy blessings had spare days:
But such a heart, whose pulse may be
Thy praise.

via Robert Tracy McKenzie at Faith and History

Alan Jacobs on the recent American political whiplash

2016/11/23 § Leave a comment

Donald Trump spends eighteen months stoking the fires of racial and ethnic resentment and now says that it is time to bind up the nation’s wounds. Meanwhile, people who two weeks ago denounced Trump as a villainous cynic for even suggesting that the election could possibly be rigged are declaring that the election was rigged.
The reversals are giving me whiplash.
I can’t avoid the conclusion that if there’s one thing almost all Americans share, it’s this: their ethical and intellectual standards are, collectively, a wholly owned subsidiary of their political loyalties.

-Alan Jacobs“Flipping the Script”

David Bowie performs Life On Mars live on The Late Show, 1980

2016/11/22 § Leave a comment

David Bowie performing “Life On Mars” on The Late Show. It imbues something new and quite of the time, which is great for a song that was already nine years old.

Bowie asterism

2016/11/21 § Leave a comment

David Bowie died of liver cancer on January 10, 2016. Supposedly, on the very same day, Studio Brussell contacted the MIRA Public Observatory (both being Belgian organizations) with the idea of giving Bowie his very own asterism, a sort of galactic homage.

Philippe Mollet of MIRA made the following statement:

Studio Brussels asked us to give Bowie a unique place in the galaxy. Referring to his various albums, we chose seven stars – Sigma Librae, Spica, Alpha Virginis, Zeta Centauri, SAA 204 132, and the Beta Sigma Octantis Trianguli Australis – in the vicinity of Mars at the exact time of his death. The constellation looks like an exact copy of the iconic Bowie lightning.

In conjunction with a string of stars mapping out Bowie’s Aladdin Sane lightning bolt, Studio Brussell also made a site called Stardust for Bowie. The site is made up of an interactive image of the asterism in which you may pick your favorite Bowie song, along with a short personal message in the shape of a star. It’s cool. If you like Bowie’s music, you should check it out.

MIRA said this of the distinction between constellations and asterisms:

The constellations are pieces of the sky: the whole sky has been divided in 88 official constellations. Compare that to a map of the United States: the boundaries of the 50 States are mostly straight lines, drawn horizontally and vertically. The same goes for the constellations. […] But what most people call “constellations” are actually “asterisms”, the lines connecting different stars (for example the Big Dipper, or the Tea Pot in Sagittarius,…). […] Those “line figures” are not official, they are just an easy way to help people find their way in the sky (for example, we use the Big Dipper to find the North Star). So that means every one can make his/her own asterisms.
And that was what we did: we –invented a “Bowie-asterism” as a tribute to the artist.