On Listening

This entry is part 6 of 7 in the series What We Talk About When We Talk About Music

A little over a year ago, someone posted this question on Quora: Why does John Coltrane’s music sound like someone just erratically blowing on a sax sometimes? The short version of my answer, I suppose, could be this: Except with the word “LISTEN” underlined and circled in red pen. But here’s the longer answer that I […]

Thoughts on Whiplash

Mrs. Jiwaku and I saw Whiplash a week or so ago (it’s in theaters here in Jochiwon right now), and I’ve been ruminating. Some thoughts, in no particular order, in a suitably pretentious (and very long)  list.

What do the Starfish Think?

I haven’t made an update here for the last few weeks, and a lot of long-promised (albeit probably not long-expected) posts languish unfinished. People are probably wondering if I went for a swim in the ocean and didn’t come back. Rest assured: I fear the ocean as much as I ever did, and am safe and […]

Baude Cordier, Pando, and The Lifecycle of Radical Music

The composition on the left is “Belle, bonne, sage,” composed by Baude Cordier, a musician who fell into the “Ars subtilior” school — that is, the “more subtle” school of music, which flourished briefly right around the end of the 14th century, in southern France and Northern Spain: you’ll see some sources call that “late medieval” and […]

Monk, Amblyopia & All

Wanting to check one detail about Monk’s life, I picked up my copy of Straight, No Chaser: The Life and Genius of Thelonious Monk by Leslie Gourse, and searched… and an hour later, I discovered I’d happily read a big chunk of the book. So far it’s a very balanced treatment, from what I can tell: […]