Musical Muscle Memories


I (semi-unexpectedly) spent the last three days almost entirely unplugged. First, because a late September snowstorm knocked out all power at the office until surprisingly late in the weekend. And second, because we embarked on an exciting three-day Hunter Education course with all of the boys. Yep, you heard me. ALL. THE. BOYS. As a result of the [Read More...]

Food for Thought (and for the Ears)


This comes from Ola Gjeilo, a contemporary Norwegian composer I’ve been exploring of late: There isn’t anything wrong with dissonance, as conflict and discord is a natural part of life and necessary for all positive development and maturation. And in most areas of society, conflict is something we very much want to resolve. But in a great deal of avant-garde art, the [Read More...]

A Furtwängler On Every Street Corner


I’m a sucker for Improv Everywhere. They’re a blast. (And their mission statement moonlights as a description of The Susanka Seven. “Prank collective that causes scenes of chaos and joy in public places?” I’m living that every day.) But their latest offering hits new heights of awesome, even for them. For our latest mission, we put a [Read More...]

Tending to My Own Garden


This piece from Mary DeTurris Poust (and her follow-up thoughts) has been making the rounds. It’s hit a real chord (or nerve, or home-run) with many, and produced a great deal of commentary that I find both timely and helpful. And it’s reminded me of my own frustrations over the question of how to respond to the shepherding deficiencies we see all [Read More...]

Palate Cleansing with Cantus


After last week’s excitement, I feel like I could do with a bit of non-controversy. Something calming. Something straight-forward. Something like this: That’s Cantus, a Minneapolis-based, nine-member vocal group described by some as “the premiere men’s vocal ensemble in the United States.” I don’t know how to make a judgement on that particular claim — does [Read More...]

REMINDER: “The Hollow Crown” Starts Tonight!


At last! Tonight at 9PM (check your local listings), PBS’ “Great Performances” will unleash the first part of the Beeb’s Sam Mendes-produced “The Hollow Crown.” Described as “a lavish new series of filmed adaptations of four of Shakespeare’s most gripping history plays; Richard II, Henry IV (Part 1), Henry IV (Part 2), and Henry V,” it is an event over which I have been obsessing ever [Read More...]

The Laughter of Learning


Homeschooling a whole mess of boys is a huge challenge. And I say this knowing full-well that I can only grasp the reality of that statement tangentially; my beloved, patient wife bears the real brunt of its truth. Something that makes it measurably easier, however, is the willingness of the older boys to help their [Read More...]

Peter Bellerby, Globemaker


I’m fascinated by people who make things with their hands. Probably because I’m as bad at creating things with my hands as anyone ever, so successful hand-crafters seem like gods to me. Enter the godlike Peter Bellerby – a Londoner who really, really wanted to give his father a globe for his 80th birthday, but just couldn’t find [Read More...]

Leonard Cohen’s “Show Me The Place”


Thanks to Steven Greydanus’ musings on this Fred Stobaugh piece from a few weeks ago, I’ve been listening to Leonard Cohen’s “Show Me The Place” almost non-stop ever since. I love it. Absolutely love it. Though I’m not entirely sure why I love it so. Musically, it’s pretty straightforward (aka, plain). And I’m not at all sure what [Read More...]

The Family That Views Together…


The weekend was insane. Again. Some day soon, I’ll come to the realization that all weekends spent with a family of seven boys are insane, but today is not that day. One upside of the aforementioned-and-ongoing insanity, however, is that it brings the highlight of the weekend into sharp-and-grateful relief: Watching the first few episodes [Read More...]