Author: Parker Ramsay

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 knlw. 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 […]

Nabokov

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HarpingOn

After charming the border agents at Gatwick, I headed straight to the Chinese embassy’s visa centre on Old Jewry. (For reasons too boring to list here, I had to obtain a Chinese visa during my visit to the UK. Life lesson: while the prospect of international travel and performing is glamorous, the realities without fail, are less so.) The shittiness of my latest return to the UK Might be on par with the time I […]

Russia

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HarpingOn

So, has anyone else noticed that the Trump election/Russia story keeps going… nowhere? I’m the first to admit that Trump’s performance in office is really less than ideal. But once again the vitriol about the Presidency seems to be descending into senselessness. For instance, the FBI, once the source of the cock-up which got Trump into office (thanks, Comey), is now supposedly the most reliable source of information that will supposedly protect our democracy. Indeed, […]