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November 14, 2020:

BREVITY IS THE SOUL OF BREVITY

Bruce Kimmel Photograph bk's notes

Well, dear readers, I feel strongly rather than weakly that today’s notes should have brevity due to the extreme length of yesterday’s notes.  Yes, brevity is the soul of brevity and today’s notes will have brevity with perhaps some extra brevity on the side.  So, I’m sitting here like so much fish, listening to Sir Charles Groves do a lot of William Walton Shakespeare scores, which, if you’ve never heard them, are masterpieces of the highest order – Hamlet, Henry V, Richard III – he never got around to BK VI and now it’s too late for that, isn’t it?  Sir Charles was a wonderful conductor of British music and I especially loved his terrific LP of Bliss music, which gave me much bliss when it came out in the 1970s – A Colour Symphony and Things to Come and it’s just as good now as it was then.  Thankfully, there’s a fairly inexpensive Groves box that I got some years ago that has all this stuff in it and with original covers, too.  And I also did something I rarely do – listened to something I produced, in this case the Pasadena Playhouse production of Do I Hear a Waltz?, which I have not heard, I don’t think, since we did the album in 2000.  We recorded it in a wonderful studio in Burbank that, of course, is no more – O’Henry Studio.  We had a full orchestra – the exact number of players it was orchestrated for, and looking at the musician list, some pretty impressive players, many of whom I worked with regularly.  The cast was interesting, certainly – Carol Lawrence, Alyson Reed, Anthony Crivello and others.  I found Miss Lawrence delightful onstage and in the studio.  Alyson Reed is a wonderful person, but my memory of the session is that it was difficult to get everything we needed – but fun we had.  Listening to it twenty years later was interesting – the overture, at least on our recording – is terrible – I can’t believe that was the overture for Broadway, but I guess it was.  Once we get into the first song all is well – the orchestrations are wonderful, the band is great, and I have to say the sound is fantastic in terms of hearing every bit of orchestral detail.  Alyson is better than I remembered, Carol Lawrence has wonderful warmth, vocally, but the supporting cast, while perfectly okay, are not magical.  One female performer is just pushing too hard and I’m sure I probably spoke to her about it, but sometimes it’s difficult for stage performers to understand exactly how to pull back a bit for the studio without losing energy or character.  For some, it’s easy, for others, not so much.  Sondheim’s lyrics are fantastic, and I must say that I find Rodgers’ music mostly great – not all – for me he kind of gets bland with the male lead’s songs, but Leona’s music is great, and the up numbers are really fun.  Anyway, it was fun to hear it after all this time.  This is brevity?  This is long brevity, which is the soul of long.

Yesterday was an okay little day.  I got seven hours of sleep (again), got up, answered e-mails, had a couple of telephonic conversations, got a singer a track, moseyed on over to the mail place and picked up a little package, came home, ordered food from the California Chicken Café, which arrived about forty minutes later.  I got the one quarter chicken (all white meat), and a side of their wonderful chicken pasta salad.  They can be variable there, but this was a good day for them – the chicken was perfect and so was the pasta salad and really calorie friendly – the chicken was under 200 calories and the pasta salad around 400 at the most, so 600 at that point.  Of course, I had a couple of taffy candies to raise it up, and later I had some chips and salsa but the remaining chips in the bag were all little pieces, not regular chips.  But I think I got up to 1000 calories.  I didn’t really start project two – just wasn’t ready to do that yet – perhaps this weekend I’ll feel inspired to do so.

After that, the computer told me there was yet another update to Safari and the security system that required a restart – I hate it and it happens once a week it seems – so, I did that whilst I did work at the piano.  Once that was done, I did a few more things on the computer, then sat on my couch like so much fish and instantly fell asleep for an hour.  Once up, I did the usual thing.

Last night, I watched a motion picture entitled Dementia, and wouldn’t a better spelling be Dementshya?  This is a very strange movie.  Like one of the strangest movies ever made.  I watched it last year when we issued the great soundtrack by George Antheil – I had a DVD of it – horrible quality.  Well, it got released on Blu and Ray in the UK and I have to say the restoration or transfer or whatever they did is pretty spectacular, looking a zillion times better than the DVD I have.  They also include its other incarnation, Daughter of Horror, which deletes a few things and has narration by Ed McMahon.  That transfer is horrible, but it’s somewhat amusing.  Dementia has no narration – it plays without dialogue – and I’m not sure I even know what the story is.  But it’s fascinating to watch, especially looking good.  I’ll watch a few of the extras today.

After that, I looked for a couple of Blu-rays and DVDs in the garage that I cannot find – it’s so frustrating.  I wanted to watch some Alfred Hitchcock Shows and was looking for The Jar – the one set I found didn’t have that one, so I looked it up on Amazon UK and saw that I bought the complete series four years ago – so, where in tarnation IS it?  Guess I’ll have to start digging through the boxes that still have DVDs in them.  Then I listened to music.

Today, I’ll be up when I’m up, I’ll do whatever needs doing, I’ll think about starting project two, I will definitely choose the final two songs – I’m waffling on various choices – I’ll hopefully pick up some packages, I’ll eat – I’ve already pre-ordered food, a Chinese chicken salad from Stanley’s – haven’t had that in several weeks and Grubhub inadvertently sent me two separate credits for the cold pizza meal, so I used the second one and so it’s almost a free meal, just the tip and their fees but the food itself is basically free.  I’ll go rummaging in the garage, looking for what I’m trying to find, then at some point, I’ll watch, listen, and relax.

Tomorrow is more of the same, although my next three meals will be homemade.  Then next week will be very busy with many things to be done.

Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, be up when I’m up, do whatever needs doing, stop waffling and choose two songs, hopefully pick up some packages, eat, and then watch, listen, and relax.  Today’s topic of discussion: What is the single weirdest film you’ve ever seen and why was it the single weirdest?  Let’s have loads of lovely postings, shall we, whilst I hit the road to dreamland, happy to have given these here notes some needed brevity, which is, after all, the soul of brevity.

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