Savoring the moment is living in the here and now, enthusiastically.
Technical and Analytical Readings
- Thich Nhat Hanh and Lilian Cheung, Savor: Mindful Eating, Mindful Life (HarperOne, 2010).
- Lucian Freud, Naked Child Laughing (1963)
- Francisco Goya, Young People Laughing (1819)
- Rembrandt van Rijn, Bust of a Laughing Young Man
Music: Composers, artists, and major works
Manuel de Falla, Nights in the Gardens of Spain (Noches en los Jardins de España) (1916) (approx. 25-28’), is a set of three nocturnes for piano and orchestra – “a pure flight of fancy, rich, dark, and mysterious.” Each moment invites us into the time and place the music evokes. Excellent performances on disc are by Curzon & Jordá in 1950, del Pueyo & Martinon in 1956, Rubinstein & Ansermet in 1960, Haskil & Markevitch in 1960, Weber & Kubelik in 1966, Rubinstein & Ormandy in 1969, de Larrocha & Comissiona in 1971, de Larrocha & de Burgos in 1984, Osorio & de la Fuente in 1994, and Tryon & Woods in 2014.
Morton Feldman composed music without themes or rhythms. To appreciate it, the listener must strip away those expectations and just listen, centered in the present moment. A compilation of some of Feldman’s works called “The Ecstasy of the Moment”, is available, though rare and hard to find – unless you pay me a visit, in which case I will be happy to play it for you. Others of his works are more easily found on Amazon and other distribution sources, and on YouTube.
- Piano and String Quartet (1985)
- Three Voices (1982)
- Projections (1-5)
- Intersections: No. 1; No. 2; No. 3; No. 4.
- Durations (1-5)
- Vertical Thoughts: No. 1; No. 2; No. 3; No. 4; No. 5; No. 6 (1)
- Instruments: No. 1; No. 2; No. 3.
- Voices and Instruments
- Voices & Instruments II
- Voice, Violin and Piano
- Bass Clarinet and Percussion
- Voices & Cello
- Piano and Voices
- Vivaldi, La Senna Festeggiante, RV 693 (1726): three allegorical characters interact in a rumination on life.
- Raga Chhaya, a Hindustani raag for early evening – chhaya means shadow, or influence (performances by Dasgupta and Maitra)
- Jennifer Higdon, In the Shadow of the Mountain
- Monty Alexander, “The Montreux Years” (1993-2016) (85’). Alexander said: “Montreux was like going to the Olympics. Up to then, I was going about my business as a jazz performer, playing in real down-home clubs all over the US. The people there weren’t too interested in what you might call intellectual content, they just wanted the music swinging.”
Give me a golden pen, and let me lean
On heap'd up flowers, in regions clear, and far;
Bring me a tablet whiter than a star,
Or hand of hymning angel, when 'tis seen
The silver strings of heavenly harp atween:
And let there glide by many a pearly car,
Pink robes, and wavy hair, and diamond jar,
And half discovered wings, and glances keen.
The while let music wander round my ears.
And as it reaches each delicious ending,
Let me write down a line of glorious tone,
And full of many wonders of the spheres:
For what a height my spirit is contending!
'Tis not content so soon to be alone.
[John Keats, “On Leaving Some Friends at an Early Hour”]