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In Freezing Winter Night

The singularity of existence is a testament to the natural monotonicity of all things:
Computers are brains are atoms are galaxies.
Thought is art is communication is meaning.

But that is not the point.

The spontaneous generation of the human spirit is the breath of life.
One begets two—the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.


Jupiter Winter

Oh, Father Christmas
Come to us, come to us
Perfect and with us
Come to us, come to us

Oh, Mother Mary
Celebrate, celebrate
Brave sanctuary
Come to us, come to us

Explorations end in Christ
Decorations left behind
Where will you go, where will you go, where will you go?
Troubled heart, troubled heart, here with all

Oh, Christian winter
Call to us, call to us
Jupiter Winter
Regulus, Regulus

Oh, star of wisdom
Light of life, light of life
Casperous prism
Bride of life, bride of life

Disappointment to be had
Hold your temper too, my friend
Where will you go, where will you go, where will you go?
Troubled heart, troubled heart, here with all

(Sufjan Stevens)



Autumn is here! : whichmeans

coldwetness and cornlabyrinths!
carvingofsquash and coloredtrees!
creepycreatures and cornucopiasofjoy!

Blow the festal trumpets!
Bring forth the Great Pumpkin!


A New Dimension

When in our music God is glorified,
and adoration leaves no room for pride,
it is as though the whole creation cried

How often, making music, we have found
a new dimension in the world of sound,
as worship moved us to a more profound

So has the Church, in liturgy and song,
in faith and love, through centuries of wrong,
borne witness to the truth in every tongue,

And did not Jesus sing a psalm that night
when utmost evil strove against the Light?
Then let us sing, for whom he won the fight,

Let every instrument be tuned for praise!
Let all rejoice who have a voice to raise!
And may God give us faith to sing always

(Fred Green)


All the Trees of the Field Will Clap Their Hands

If I am alive this time next year,
Will I have arrived in time to share?
Mine is about as good this far,
I'm still applied to what You are

And I am joining all my thoughts to You
And I'm preparing every part for You.

I heard from the trees a great parade
And I heard from the hills a band was made.
Will I be invited to the sound?
Will I be a part of what You've made?

And I am throwing all my thoughts away,
And I'm destroying every bet I've made.
And I am joining all my thoughts to You,
And I'm preparing every part for You.

(Sufjan Stevens)


Ich habe genug

It is enough.
My only comfort is that Jesus is mine, and that I shall be His.
I hold him in faith, and already see with Simeon the bliss of the life beyond.
Let us go with him.
Ah! if only my departure were at hand, I would joyfully say to the world:
It is enough.

Slumber now, weary eyes, gently close in blessed peace.
World, I will tarry here no more, for thou impartest to me nothing of benefit to my soul.
Here I find only misery, but there, there I shall behold sweet peace, quiet rest.

(From J.S. Bach's Cantata BWV 51, Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen)


Not enough words

There are quiet moments in which the clarity of reality becomes so blindingly clear that I find myself wordless to express the truths which I feel I know. The pieces fall perfectly into place, and my mind bubbles with realizations, connections, and revelations.

I am alone in the universe, and the sky is open! There is nothing separating our bodies from the yawning cosmos!

But despite the fact that there aren't enough words to say any of these things, there is never enough time. Maybe this is enlightenment, or maybe I'm completely and hopelessly insane.



Those of you who have been in choir (or other classes) with me probably know that I despise "shushing," by fellow students in classroom settings especially (but not exclusively) when it is directed at me. I would like to put forth my primary reasons for this opinion in writing. Any opposing opinions are welcome.

#1. Acoustics:

Shushing is actually more audible than talking. This is why it is used as a means of grabbing the attention of surrounding people. I believe that many people misconceive that "shushing" is somehow more benign or less abrasive than talking, rendering it acceptable. In reality, it is louder, and more obnoxious than talking, and only makes the professor's words (which the shusher believes he or she is defending) less audible. Shushing is actually anarchistic, in that it attempts to solve a disordered problem with a more disordered one.

#2. Authority:

Students do not bear the responsibility to keep classroom order. The teacher is responsible for keeping order in the classroom. If the classroom is out of control to the point of handicapping the learning process, the teacher can and will take action to restore order. This is not a democracy—it is a monarchy, and as such, students who "shush" their peers are in effect attempting to assert an authority equal to that of the professor. This type of assertion is offensive, inappropriate, and in theory, more disrespectful than talking covertly during a lecture.

#3. Adequacy:

I have never seen shushing to be effective at silencing a classroom. People simply do not respond to this practice. It is generally reserved for small children, and as such is seen (perhaps subconsciously) as belittling. Furthermore, I have never seen a professor use the expletive "shhhh!" to silence a classroom. There are many more effective ways of accomplishing this goal (when employed by a professor).

In conclusion, we know that shushing is acoustically flawed, socially inappropriate, and pragmatically ineffective. Therefore it is utterly useless in three dimensions. If you are a "shusher," despite the fact that you have almost certainly have noble intentions, please remember that you are only exacerbating the problem of extraneous noise, and potentially offending your colleges. If your ability to hear in a class is inhibited by talking, please politely verbally ask those sitting near you to stop talking.



Apparently, this evening, a congressman yelled "Lies!" at Mr. Obama during his address. Everyone seems outraged. Check out this video.

Now, I ask, what is so wrong about this? Perhaps the individual had good reason to believe that the president's words were untrue. Should he be silenced in the name of courtesy? It seems to me that courtesy has no place in a political system operating under principles of republicanism and democracy. Should not every last word of the president be questioned without mercy? I see no reason why his office should elevate him to immunity from a bit of rude criticism. If the people have a disagreement with the president, let them speak!

Such controversy fosters transparency, and positive change. One only has to observe the British Parliament to find that the people of a country long since peacefully freed from the bonds of monarchy know how to remain comfortable with open defiance.



Let all things their Creator bless,
And worship Him in humbleness.



the blood of Christ

I saw a squirrel eating a rabbit


the bread and meat crushed inside my mouth
the blood of Christ
the music in my ears (written yesterday)


Destruction is often

that which is most necessary
that which is most satisfying
that which is most beautiful


Jazz Attitude II

Today has been a wild day. Yet, a part of me lives for such days... it's part of what makes me human, what makes me an artist, and what makes me a scholar.

Simply as a formality, I will say that I absolutely endorse movement by performing musicians. I absolutely love Jazz, and I love what Jazz performers do when they play. It is a wonderful thing when musicians can "cut loose" and feel music in all its cathartic glory. I also love hearing applause when I walk onto the stage. It makes me feel accepted, supported, and welcomed. That's why we clap for people.

My last blog intentionally "pushed buttons." Way too many of them. And I didn't clarify my position very well. Frankly, I probably got what I deserved. I don't think anyone should have to answer to angry professors for things that happened on Facebook, but this is a new world of global connection—where everyone can read everything, and I should have been prepared.

Meditating on today's events, however, I realized something. "Damage control" is not all I'll be doing this week. I'll also be opening up lines of communication between professor and student, and between Jazz and classical. Students will talk about this. Professors will talk about this. Each of us will learn something wonderful about ourselves and about music.

I have already learned so many things, even from angry, scathing emails. I have learned wonderful, marvelous things that will change me as a musician and as a person forever. Isn't this what school (and life) is all about?


The Jazz Attitude

First of all, I would like to point out that I hate clapping for musicians when they arrive on stage. It doesn’t make any sense. They haven’t done anything yet. And, more importantly, they might not deserve applause.

But that’s not what this blog is about (as you can probably guess from the title). First, let me say that I have nothing but the utmost respect for Jazz. It’s a style of music that I enjoy greatly as a listener, and one which mystifies me both in theory and practice. Those of you who are jazz musicians, please comment. I am curious especially about your thoughts/justifications.

Why is it that jazz seems to elicit a complete lack of self-control and tact during performance? Why must jazz musicians dart about the stage, tapping their feet, mumbling nonsense to themselves, contorting their bodies, and making disconcerting facial gesticulations that warn either of sexual euphoria or epilepsy? In all other fields of music teachers emphasize physical balance and unobtrusive behavior which will focus the audience on the music—players even dress in black uniforms to minimize their physical presence.

I understand that jazz has an affect which implies “nonchalance.” But imagine a classical bassist who sang to himself while playing and thrashed around his body throwing it completely out of alignment and destabilizing his center of gravity. He simply would not be taken seriously. This type of behavior would be discouraged by any teacher. Yet in the jazz world, it seems to be encouraged.

I think it’s likely that I’m missing something integral here, and I am completely out of line. Tell me what you think.



It occurs to me (not so suddenly) that I want to be a certain kind of person. It just so happens that I am not that type of person.

Ought I be who I want (ought) to be, not simply who I spontaneously happen to be? A friend of mine once said that we are each trapped by our identity, and I told him I disagreed. I can be whoever I want.

It's time to start being who I want to be, and not who I am.

People are supposed to change people, and I want them to change me. Music is supposed change people, and I want it to change me. God is supposed to change people. I want to let Him change me, too.


( )

emotion, logic,(precident?), revlation, action

what should I do?

i am (trapped) between two worlds, waiting the arrival of a reality that probably doesn't exist.


The Deliciousness of Pears

Often I am shocked by the deliciousness of pears.

Although I am keenly aware that I enjoy eating them very much, I frequently express surprise when I bite into one and find that it is not only sweet and savory, but also juicy and refreshing.

This mingling of pleasure and marvel is both strange and wonderful.