Author: Parker Ramsay

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, […]

Space Purcell

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HarpingOn

I’m indoors, pretending the outside world doesn’t exist. Facebook seems a wash of video postings from Schubert’s Winterreise, sung by any one of a myriad of talentless English tenors with vocal nodules. No thanks. If you really, really want to feel some insincere winter bleak feels, have a listen to Klaus Nomi’s intergalactic rendition of Purcell’s “Cold Song” from King Arthur.

Trachis

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HarpingOn

My resolution for 2018 is “pay a bit more attention to the blog.” With any luck, I’ll be posting more frequently, and with less laborious prose. Over the last few weeks, I’ve kind of been getting into Sciarrino. I’ve got a piece of his in the oven for an audition tape, L’addio a Trachis (1980). It’s remarkably difficult to find much out about the work itself. Even when scouring Classical sources, the city of Trachis […]