Tonight also I flew from San Francisco to Dallas, reading a biography of Elgar most of the way. I am struck by how late in life he gained his fame, and how he had a tremendous vogue, and then fell from favor. He is among my favorites of the post-Romantics. His combination of cryptic prickliness, high-strung melodrama, and mystic bold heart intrigues. I noted that he spent much of his career teaching violin and doing little musical pieces for not much money in provincial towns, until his talent was recognized.
On these flights I listened to the following on my mp3 player:
A. Spark, A CBC radio podcast/show about technology
B. The Sniffer.ca, a two woman discussion about technology
C. Entertainment for the Braindead, a German woman who sings in English, accompanied by her guitar and household implements.
D. Emilie Lund, a Swedish woman who sings in English, accompanied by folk/pop instruments;
E. C. Reider, a creator of abstract music who created a quite varied exploration of sounds and melodic textures using only an old 808 drum machine;
F. Carl Sagan's Ghost, a wonderful light ambient set of pieces
G. Jeff Pearce, a guitarist/Chapman Stick player from Indiana, whose latest album contains gentle light ambient instrumentals
H. a BBC podcast about science' and
I. A skeptics podcast about science
The couple ahead of me on the way to the plane had a spider monkey. The Transportation Security Administration offical reported that the monkey gave her a hug. This creates for me a new theory that life is one big R.K. Naranyan novel, writ large.