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January 11, 2021:


Bruce Kimmel Photograph bk's notes

Well, dear readers, I am sitting here like so much fish, writing these here notes after writing all day and evening with only a few music breaks in between. I finished that Manon recording, which I just didn’t care for, performance and sound-wise, so I’m looking forward to the Beverly Sills version, which should be here soon. Then it was another Decca Entartete CD, this one Stefan Wolpe music. Most of this series has been truly eye-opening. And a couple have just not been to my liking – this one goes on that pile. This is a clang and bang CD, Kurt Weill on LSD and without any tunes, what I normally describe as music to become a serial killer by. I did listen to all three pieces. Zeus und Elida, described by the composer as “musical grotesque” – he surely achieved that goal, and then there’s a chamber opera that’s even more clang and bang. It gave me a headache. The only other thing I listened to is another Edward Thomas opera, this one based on Anna Christie by Eugene O’Neill, with a libretto by Joe Masteroff, the same team that brought you the opera of Desire Under the Elms. This one’s a chamber opera with a small band – a string quartet, piano, reeds, harp, bass, horn, percussion. Like Desire Under the Elms, the recording is produced by Thomas Z. Shepard and I must say I did not care for the sound at all. It’s hard to record a chamber band, very tricky. They don’t call this an opera at all, but a music drama. It’s an opera. Shepard loves his pan pots – he thinks moving people around the stereo spectrum makes drama and he loads it up with sound effects, as he normally does. This was done last year. And I will never understand producers who still take the Produced for Records by – there’s no LP of this, so no. The music has its moments – Thomas is a decent composer, but I don’t get why a composer would write a musical phrase that puts the musical emphasis on the wrong syllable of the word he’s setting – that’s just lazy. I think Desire Under the Elms is better than this, but it has some nice stuff and is probably worth hearing.

Yesterday was a short day. I was up at six-thirty after three hours of sleep, back in bed by seven-thirty and back asleep at eight, and not up until two-twenty and boy did I need that sleep. Once up, I answered e-mails, then went to Gelson’s to get the food for the day. I got the cheese enchilada thing and a small cube steak and a baked potato. I came home and ate the enchiladas thing whilst futzing and finessing the previous days sixteen pages. Once the food and futzing and finessing was done, I began writing new pages, about five of ‘em. Then I took the first music break. I sat on my couch like so much fish and dozed for a few minutes, didn’t really have time to watch a motion picture, so I wrote another four pages.

Then I made the cube steak and baked potato, and both turned out really well. It was too much food, but I’m in the writing mode and every year when I’m writing a new book this is what I do. I’m not as bad as usual but it’s annoying me. I have to stop and get back to my usual regimen and that will happen starting this day, no matter what.

After that, I took the second music break, then got back to work and wrote more pages. I stopped at thirteen pages so I can write the final two or three after I post these here notes and a take a shower.

Today, I’ll be up by eleven or so, I’ll do whatever needs doing, I’ll futz and finesse, I’ll write new pages, I’ll hopefully pick up some packages, I’ll eat something light and no more than 1,000 calories, I’ll write more pages, I’ll take a break and perhaps watch a motion picture, then more writing, and finally I’ll relax at some point.

Tomorrow will be more of the same, and then at five our time we start filming project one, which is called Tonight’s the Night. The script is broken down into sequences, alternating between songs and dialogue. They’re shooting the song sequences on their own, so we’re doing the ten dialogue sequences over the next two or three days, depending on how fast they go. I can’t wait. I’ll be there with them to give any notes I may have or to suggest pick-ups we should do. When I feel we have a sequence we’ll move on. Most of the dialogue sequences are only two to three pages, so I’m thinking we’ll probably get that part done in two days, but it could go to three. I think we’ll be completely done by Thursday. And of course, I’ll be writing every day, and on Thursday I’ll print the latest batch of 100 pages or more, Xerox them, and get them to Muse Margaret.

Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, be up by eleven, do whatever needs doing, futz and finesse, write new pages, hopefully pick up packages, eat, write, take a break, write, and then, at some point, relax. Today’s topic of discussion: What were your favorite ice creams as a kid – especially the kind you’d get from the ice cream man. Let’s have loads of lovely postings, shall we, whilst I hit the road to dreamland, wishing I hadn’t eaten quite so much food.

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