Author: Parker Ramsay

An Interview (7)(8)(9)

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HarpingOn

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 […]

Hai-Q’s

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HarpingOn

While the MTA’s performance has been notoriously underwhelming lately, I’m lucky to live near the reliable Q line for the summer. That said, my commute is by no means uninteresting… Prospect Park: Pigeons pecking puke While I wait for the Q train. (Yum.) #Sunday. 7th Avenue: Self-awareness check: Your DIY pedicure on the train? Please don’t. Atlantic Avenue/Barclays: No 2 or 3 trains Into Manhattan. EVER. Mwaha-haha-ha. Dekalb Avenue: Colgate saliva On the train floor. […]

Charleston, 4am

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HarpingOn

It’s 4am and I can’t sleep. My attempt to whiz through some Thomas Pynchon has been about as successful my brief affair with Infinite Jest. I don’t particularly want to read Middlesex or The Virgin Suicides either. Around midnight, while I was going back through scores and registration sticky notes, Netflix won out over Amazon Prime in the competition for mindless distraction. It’s got The Godfather readily available for streaming. I admit a certain amount of dread about […]

Zubarán

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HarpingOn

While I have many faults, there is one which comes up every time I head to an art museum: no matter what I’m looking at, I will likely end up drawing a parallel between the artwork in front of me and a piece of music I know. Blends of colors and indeterminacy in impressionistic paintings always lead me to one or another piece of Debussy. The balance of strict proportion and high ornamentation in 18th […]

May Day Mezcal

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HarpingOn

As is often the case after an evening concert, my partner and I stopped by our local taco shop on West 72nd Street for a quick bite before walking the dog. I love the place, even though there’s nothing remotely Mexican about it. Owned run by a Korean family, absolutely none of the ingredients are homemade (including the frozen steak they reheat) and any chili or semblance of spice comes in the form of countless […]

Couperin

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HarpingOn

If you go to church, you’ll know that your organist was somewhat occupied last week. During Holy Week, the standard schedule of one or two services per week is upended entirely. There are perhaps two services on Maundy Thursday, a long service on Good Friday (lasting up to three hours or more), a service late Saturday evening, and as many as three services on Sunday morning (the earliest of which may well be at six […]

Monteverdi

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HarpingOn

The Xuhui district of Shanghai is perhaps equivalent to New York’s Upper West Side. Tall luxury apartment buildings are interspersed with art deco condos separated from their sisters over in the French Concession, a juxtaposition of old and new. Down the street in one direction, there’s a Paris Baguette and a Starbucks. In the other, a Franco-Japanese coffeehouse next to a museum. Thai and Euro-fusion restaurants abound in the neighborhood, though the food of choice […]