Author: Parker Ramsay

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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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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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 […]

Ovid

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Only in Manhattan does one celebrate achievements such as successfully spreading possessions across four small pieces of real estate (two offices, one storage unit and one apartment), rather than simply having a single piece of real estate that can fit everything you own. Over the last few weeks, my partner and I have undertaken the task of consolidating the libraries of two bibliophiles. After building countless cardboard boxes, filling them to maximum capacity and moving them […]

Ricercar (1/6)

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Having left New York for the wilds of New England, a man returns home to take his dog to the park. September’s mildness has brought relief to the dog owners of the Upper West Side who, having shaken off summer’s oppressive heat, saunter through Central Park with ease and comfort, free to ponder in silence the prescience of autumn’s hues. The dogs chase and wrestle on the lawn, and the man paces alone at distance, […]

Luzzaschi

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HarpingOn

It’s my first full day at Avaloch Farm Music Institute, a place which can be described simply as a musician’s paradise. Rural New Hampshire’s isolation offers both seclusion and quietude, and the immediate proximity of practice studios to one’s bedroom and dining hall offer the opportunity to focus and work with as much or as little interruption as you wish. A Grove Dictionary of Music sits at one end of the barn, a sign that […]

An Interview (7)(8)(9)

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Rather than spending time on the blog, I took a few weeks to interview several figures in the harpsichord world about what it is about the instrument itself that makes them tick. I’m grateful to VAN Magazine in Berlin, for taking these pieces on, as I find many articles and profiles on harpsichordists (including several of my own) to focus on how the instrument it physically approached by human hands, and not necessarily on its […]