Author: Parker Ramsay

Schubert

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HarpingOn

The sky is falling (or so I’m told). I feel as if I’m in a chapter of Thomas Mann’s The Magic Mountain, being sequestered in Cleveland (a city relatively unknown to COVID-19 so far, save the few documented cases brought from D.C. this week) as I watch the Eastern seaboard melt down from afar, and witness doomsdayers and naysayers alike bicker on social media about what the appropriate response should be. (Don’t get me wrong, I’m […]

On Tuning: A Brief Playlist

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HarpingOn

It’s a strange sensation to be in New York while technically being on tour. My pedal harp sits in Cleveland, my clothes remain in suitcases in Washington Heights (as I’ll be heading back to Ohio in 48 hours) and I think my organ shoes are in my office(?) so I can play for church on Sunday. For now, I’ve an enforced Sabbath of sorts, in which I finally have time to sit down and write, […]

St. Cecilia’s Day, 2019

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HarpingOn

I normally find outpourings of grief on social media to be self-indulgent and over the top, but today has been at once rough and joyous. Today, I remember Stephen Cleobury very fondly and with much gratitude, for no other reason than that he took a chance on me, appointing a kid from middle Tennessee whose childhood dream it was to be an organ scholar at King’s. Working for him was at once daunting and inspiring, […]

Var. I, II, III

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HarpingOn

The few times I’ve tried to blog over the last year, I’ve attempted to put distance between myself and my writing. I wanted my life my life and observations on music to somehow read as effortlessly and romantically as Stendhal or Goethe, when in reality my thoughts on music are about as graceful as a horrible episode from Lena Dunham’s Girls. But when you’re in your twenties, that’s precisely what the internet is for, on […]

Aria

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HarpingOn

Upon arriving at King’s, the first person to greet me at the front gate was none other than my old director of studies, Dr. Michael Sonenscher, an eminent historian of political thought and ideas. His quiet and pleasant demeanor hadn’t changed since the afternoons of my final year at Cambridge, in which I listened with some degree of awe as he would spout prodigious and encyclopedic knowledge of Hegel, Rousseau and Voltaire in his rooms, […]

The Goldblogs: An Introduction

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HarpingOn

Milan, Via dell’Unione. When making small talk, the following guidelines can be useful: (1) Not everyone shares your passions, (2) “T.M.I.” is a real and present danger. A few weeks back, a fellow writer recounted a brief stint spent working as a stripper at a bar in rural New Zealand. While initially fascinating, it wasn’t long before the intricate details of sociological details of gender and economics (i.e. male clients’ preferences and sheep-farming) in the island […]

Shanghai, Day 1: Schmelzer

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HarpingOn

Utter helplessness sets in when one is faced with the inability to read or verbally communicate. While Western expat cafes along Yongkang Road are all staffed by helpful and friendly Anglophones, upon stepping out, my attempts to order food are reduced to pointing, smiling and confessing on no uncertain terms that I am in this situations, totally ignorant. Indeed after one day in Shanghai, I’ve learned to recognize precisely four characters in Chinese (I think): I […]