Sunday Music

Due to circumstances this Sunday Music is a Monday Music. I hope you enjoy it nevertheless.
It’s a short piano piece by LISZT (Ger., Eng.), Trübe Wolken, or Nuages Gris, Grey Clouds, performed by Andreas BOYDE (Ger., Eng.). There is a very interesting version by RICHTER on youtube, but I did not link it because the coughing and wheezing of the audience is really annoying, exquisitely timed to spoil the most intimate moments. And in Andrè LAPLANTE‘s (Eng.) version it’s the pianist himself who snirfles through three wonderful minutes. I found it so disturbing when I realised that I was not longer listening to LISZT, but waited for the pianist to wheeze again. BOYDE’s performance lasts a bit over three minutes, than follows a terrible mood-killing advertisement, so be warned. (Best click “stop” at 3:05.)
The weather changed, I have headaches. The heat nearly killed my beloved computer. Things need to be done, written, phoned yadayadayada … I think I’m a bit in a mood. Grey clouds in the sky, rain & distant flashes last night, still hot today – its extraordinary quiet all around, no rush from trains or the autobahn, no traffic on the village street, maybe they all went South to sizzle on Italy’s beaches, Teutonengrill in full swing.
Looking at the news is particularly depressing, seemingly every hormon-driven completely brainless dumbo,  who can use a gun, feels the need to parade his hero-ness & worthiness around, best achieved by killing innocents, bystanders and people who dare not be part of the idiot’s religion / party / peer group / whatever.
The “enlightenment” came to a grinding stop 500 meters East of Vienna, there barbarism begins. Where is the promised comet ? The silly thing is long overdue, its time for a global reset.

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Sunday Music

An odd week it was – either nothing happens at all, or all happens at once. My highlight was the afternoon with Cuthswyth. And then there is the Tin Foil Hat Compo at IDV‘s – tough competition, with entries ranging from minimalism to exuberant, baroque display of artistry and craftsmanship.
The next week will find me busily writing applications, and mails to societies in the Americas that can be possible customers for my genealogical researches – Franconians of the world, look at this humble fellow !

This Sunday Music is a Pièce en forme de Habanera by Maurice RAVEL (Ger., Eng.), composed in 1907 as vocalise for bass and piano, often set for piano and violin, here arranged for flute and harp ; flute Emmanuel PAHUD (Ger., Eng.), harp Mariko ANRAKU (about her, and here too).
I hope you like it. Let’s hope the coming weeks brings good things, or at least, clarity.

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Cuthswyth

I’m still a bit … emotional. I spent the better part of this afternoon in very peculiar company, with Cuthswyth and Kylian, Hieronymus and Duns, from Scotland. We will not come together in this form, in this lifetime again, that is for sure. If I weren’t too shy (and had my white gloves with me) I could even have touched them !

Cuthswyth abbatissa was the abbess of a nunnery, possibly Inkberrow (Eng.) near Worcester (Ger., Eng.). She lived between 650 and 700 and can be found in two contemporary documents. She possessed a book from Italy, the comment of St. Hieronymus (Ger., Eng.) about the book of Ecclesiastes (Ger., Eng.) – not the newest edition, it is written about 500 p.Chr.n. For reasons unknown she felt the need to write her name into this book. In fact she wrote “Cuthsuuithae boec thaerae abbatissan”, and repeated the “abbatissan” again in the line below. See for yourself here. Who says that in the early missionary time scribes were only males ? There is evidence for female scribes, see this article by Dr. J. A. KOSTER – who mentions of course Cuthswyth. And if all this “dating” is nearly correct it would make this humble piece of paper one of the oldest existing evidence or proof for written “English”. Beowulf was written down circa 975, but eventually composed in the 8th century.

Kylian’s book is a bit larger, it’s an Evangeliar dating from the 9th century. They showed us M.p.th.f.66, not M.p.th.f.65.

The reason behind all this is that the Dombibliothek is finally digitized and available via the web (list here – enjoy ! ). The work will continue, but it is a milestone for the whole project.
And what we were allowed to see – in this form not again in my lifetime, it is more or less unrepeatable – were some of the cimelia. Access to the books is now possible via the web, the digital representations are state of the art (if your screen is calibrated the colours are true ; it is possible to take measures that are correct – the wizardry behind all this is impressive ; and yes, they made some backups, four to be precise) – and now they are allowed to rest. This evening they will be put back into the safe place and they will stay there. This public show was the last for years to come.
It was a bit emotional for me, when I slowly realised what I was seeing. They had no vitrine. It took place in the manuscript reading room, a place I visit since the early eighties. The books were placed on some higher tables on blue velvet. The head of the departement showed very carefully but full of pride some rare illuminations around – like a priest showing the sanctissimum, a monstranz … I had no idea what I was to see when I went there, so Cuthswyth was a bit of surprise.

A Man Who Makes Baskets

On my visit to the country fair this caught my attention :

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Koerbe 1

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Baskets made from splint, Spankörbe. He made them there.

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Koerbe 2

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I had asked him before I took the photograph. He visits the fair every year, but is not sure about the coming year. He’s in his late seventies and has no successor, and in his village he is the last Spankorbmacher. He does not work with willow, he makes no wicker baskets. The stuff you see in the next picture in the foreground is what he uses, gespantes Holz.

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Koerbe 3

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He said that the actual making of a basket is in the end the shortest part of his work. Preparing the wood takes much longer.
The craft is still taught (here), but I think it’s a small school.
I especially liked that he just came with his baskets, a chair and his tools & materials. No coffee tables, no banks or free lunch for the “important” guests, just a man who makes baskets.