Utopian Turtletop. Monsieur Croche's Bête Noire. Contact: turtletop [at] hotmail [dot] com

Monday, January 26, 2004


Yesterday I wrote of how an encounter with beauty can sharpen the senses.  I rhapsodized on the beauties of a song by late ‘60s pop group the Cowsills, and I said I learned from the DJ the name of the song.

It turns out, my senses weren’t as sharpened as I had thought.  The name I reported hearing is not the name of the song.  The song is called “The Rain, the Park, and Other Things.”  It's embarrassing, and funny, how pride goeth. Despite the mistake, I'm still down with "The Symposium." Beauty can sharpen the senses. Can.


A childhood friend (since 5th grade), Emily Dietrich, a writer and pianist, wrote to say she remembers hearing the all-harmonics string quartet piece in our elementary school too.  "It sounded someway, some good weird way that I liked hearing."

Los Angeles-based professional opera bass-baritone Dean Elzinga wrote, in response to my post on 5/4 meter, that in Britten's "War Requiem," "There is a beautiful movement for the Tenor Solo: Movement V, Agnus Dei which is in a haunting 5/8 meter.” Dean e-mailed me a highly compressed recording of the movement, and it was, as advertised, beautiful and haunting. Thanks so much! 

Chicago playwright and actor and author Mickle Maher, an old friend, wrote to remind me of something I’d forgotten to mention “. . . about 5/4: When the first Mission Impossible came out, I was at Bennington, and a teacher of mine, Bill Reichblum -- theater guy, gave the eulogy at Growtowski's funeral, big brain, intense -- gave this reason for his distrust of the movie (which he hadn't seen and wasn't planning on seeing.) He said he suspected that the theme music for MI had originally been in 5/4, but for the movie (he'd seen the trailer) it was in 4/4. He had this confirmed by fellow faculty member Allen Shawn, the composer and little brother of Wallace. And for some reason he didn't like this change.” I haven't seen the movie, but the TV theme is indeed in 5/4. It's hard to imagine it in 4/4! I can imagine it in 3/4, but now I want to hear it! Very cool 5/4 tune.

Another old friend, John Logie, a professor of rhetoric and a blogger (blogologie, http://logie.net/ ) wrote to say why he dislikes a song I wrote about liking: “Old U-M Prof Stan Garner once spoke movingly and angrily about 'Touch of Grey.' While it's beautifully sung, he was furious with the (then Grateful) Dead for exchanging what he perceived as the more expansive idealism of the late 1960s for the song's refrain: 'I will get by/I will survive.' I had to agree. When Gloria Gaynor sang the latter, it seemed fierce, but with Jerry, et al. it bespoke a measure of surrender.”
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