D’Anglebert Allemande

Time to start posting some real content! I’ve been wanting for a while to start really using this web page, and also to try recording and performing more music. So the logical thing to do is to start regularly posting sound files! I don’t pretend that these are professional recordings by any stretch – they certainly won’t be professionally recorded! And my living room is far from an ideal acoustic. Any suggestions about microphone placement are welcome. (and yes, the clock is loud – you can hear it clicking away in the background)

I’m also thinking of all these recordings as ‘Works in Progress’. Just because I’ve recorded it doesn’t mean I feel it’s perfect, or even that it’s necessarily ready to perform. Sometimes I might post something just to spark discussion or to illustrate a point, or just because I think it’s neat!

So feel free to comment and to criticize,

To start with, here’s the Allemande from D’Anglebert’s suite in D-. It’s not note-perfect, and I’d really like to do a little more to vary the repeats, but the recording process has been really helpful in learning the piece.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Download the mp3 here, in case the flash player doesn’t work, or you just don’t like it!

Creative Commons License

Old Recordings

These recordings are from before this blog really existed. They used to exist on a separate page but the old must make way for the new! This post-dated blog entry is a better place for them.

Solo Harpsichord

François Couperin, from ‘L’art de toucher le clavecin’. Recorded at a solo recital in Saint John, NB, March 10, 2007.

  • Prelude in Bb (2.3M)

    Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Suite in A- by Louis Couperin. Recorded during the same concert.

  • Prelude à l’imitation de M. Froberger (6.49M)

    Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

  • Courante (2.43M)

    Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Suite in A- by J.J. Froberger. Recorded in a concert given by La Fiorenza, March 29, 2007.

  • Toccata (4.97M)

    Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

  • Allemande (3.73M)

    Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

  • Gigue (1.87M)

    Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

  • Courante (1.38M)

    Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

  • Sarabande (2.71M)

    Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Saxophone

Saxophone quartet by Alfred Desenclos. Featuring Chantale Dodier on soprano, Hélène Raymond on alto, Matt Dacso on tenor, and I’m playing baritone. this is the first movement.

  • Allegro Non Troppo (6.66M)

    Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Starting anew?

Time to get this web page back on its feet. I’ve upgraded wordpress again, and I’m ready to actually start posting things to it in the new year. Wish me luck!

WordPress upgrade

I upgraded wordpress again. Looks like it’s all working, but you never know with these things! Let me know if something’s broken.

I used a slightly different method for upgrading this time – I’m keeping a git repository, with one branch for the official versions, and another branch for my local changes (theme, plugins, and configuration). An upgrade just means switching to the official branch, wiping the old files, installing the new ones, committing the changes. Then I switch to the local branch, rebase on top of the new wordpress, and all my stuff appears magically on top of the old!

It’s rather overkill, since I don’t really have much of anything modified here beyond my custom theme and a single plugin, but it’s nice and quick! Also, keeping things in git means that there is an automatic backup, so if I break everything, as long as the .git directory stays intact, I can easily revert to the old one. I do with the database could be kept under the same control, but that gets a lot more complicated…

Thoughts on politics

So, parliament has been prorogued, and the proposed coalition government will have to wait another two months before having another try. What do I think of this?

First of all, I’m disappointed – I thought the coalition would be a fine way to salvage a functional government out of a deeply divided parliament. We have a horribly broken electoral system that results in a parliament that does not reflect voters’ preferences. We have a Conservative government now that received about a third of the votes – and it must be said that half of the eligible voters didn’t bother going to the polls at all, through apathy, or else because they knew their votes wouldn’t count for much of anything.

Proroguing parliament in this case is clearly just running from the vote that would bring down the government, giving the coalition a chance to try to govern in its place. That vote was already postponed (it was originally supposed to be Monday, the 3rd, I believe). I think it was Bob Rae who I heard saying that it was “Like a kid pulling a fire alarm so he doesn’t have to write a test.” This parliament hasn’t really had a chance to do anything at all yet – no bills had been voted on at all. It’s rather similar to the way Harper called the election for October 14th, actually – he dissolved parliament the day before three by-elections. This meant that the government managed to avoid the bad press that losing those elections would have given them (all three ridings favoured other parties strongly). It also meant that the other parties, at least in those ridings, would have to be campaigning for 3 months straight – certainly in my riding of Westmount-Ville-Marie, several parties were very low on money at the beginning of the real campaign, having budgeted for the length of the by-election campaign.

So the government has been granted a reprieve – but what for, really? I think it’s obvious that the very first act of the new session of parliament in January will be to vote against the government. There’s just no way that Harper can restore confidence in himself or in his party (practically the same thing, the way he runs things). So why delay the inevitable? What can be accomplished in two months without a sitting parliament? Rather little, I think. The only thing I can think of is that, in January, the Governor-General would be more likely to just call a new election rather than let the coalition have a try.

That said, I don’t really lay the fault with the Governor General. While I wish she had decided otherwise, it’s a difficult decision to make. Normally, the Prime Minister decides that prorogation is desired, advises the GG of this, who then makes it official. The only way she could really refuse this request would be to say that Harper is no longer the prime minister, since he does not enjoy the confidence of the house. That’s a tough call to make though – on the one hand, all non-conservative MP’s (with the exception of the two independents) had written to her to say they did not support the government, clearly indicating a failure of confidence. On the other hand, it had not yet been formally recognized by a non-confidence vote in the house – this would have happened on the 8th, had the prorogation request not been granted. Technically, he is still the Prime Minister, and while not constitutionally obligated to grant his request, there’s a lot tradition behind the practice.

I’d say, though, that this is one of those very rare occasions where the GG should have been more than a rubber stamp. The office has become more and more of a symbolic one, just doing whatever the PM requests, and this is more in that direction. If she just follows tradition and precedent on all decisions, what’s the point of the position at all? Do we really need a purely symbolic head of state? I’d say that her role is really precisely to step in and work outside the well-established rules of the house, and do what’s right for the country, and for the system as a whole. Letting the government run from a confidence vote, preventing parliament from doing its job is not what I want to see.

So we’re left with an ineffective government for another two months, one that’s bound to collapse within days of parliament resuming in January. Stephane Dion will have even less time to serve as Prime Minister, since he has committed to stepping down as soon as a replacement is chosen. I can’t see this decision as being good for Canada in any way. It looks to me like Harper’s just hoping that something happens in the next little while that somehow makes him look good, so that they election that’s bound to happen soon won’t hit his party too hard.

edit: One unlikely, but interesting possibility is that the opposition coalition could call an emergency session of parliament to vote down the conservatives… I really don’t know the specific legalities involved, but it’s something I’d love to see happen!

Fall pictures

Various pictures from the fall – gardens, woods, and baking.
(more…)

moop moop moop

It is 7:30AM. I’m awake because my neighbour has left for the weekend again (if not longer) and neglected to turn off her alarm clock which sits right across the wall from my bed. It has been beeping for the past 45 minutes now. ARGH. I might be sleeping on the couch for the next few days.

wp upgrade

Just a quick note that I upgraded wordpress. I don’t expect to see any problems, but you never know!

Announcements

Have I been too busy or too lazy to post? A bit of both, I think.

There have been a lot of things going on though! In general, September happened, and all sorts of things have started up again. I’m doing some teaching (including some math tutoring and piano lessons, both of which are firsts for me), both choirs have started up, the usual computer work is continuing and some more has been added on.

Most of my time has been spent preparing for an upcoming concert though. October 19th, Sari and I will be in Fredericton for the first in a series of three concerts devoted to Bach, and featuring all six sonatas for violin and harpsichord, along with a bunch of famous solo harpsichord music. This first concert will have the B minor and A major sonatas, the Italian Concerto and the first French Suite. A fun challenge for me! I’ve played a lot of the music before, but I really feel that I’m much more prepared to tackle it than I was when I first tried it. Of course, when I last played the Italian Concerto and French Suite, I had only been taking harpsichord lessons for a year or two, so I should hope I’ve improved since then!

I’m really looking forward to this performance, and i hope the familiar repertoire brings in some new people. We’re working on some more advertising too, so expect to see posters and brochures appearing around Fredericton in the next week! If anyone in Fredericton has any suggestions of good places to put them, please let me know and we’ll make sure they get there.

Vermont

A trip to Vermont to visit friends and hike on the Long Trail.
(more…)