Wednesday, February 24

I think then no one can admire the beauty of the body more than I do, and it is of course a comfort to find beauty in a friend or a friend in beauty. But this kind of beauty is dangerous. Then comes the beauty of the mind, such as genius, and this is greater than the beauty of the body and not to call dangerous. And more beautiful than the beauty of the mind is the beauty of the character, the "handsome heart."

-- Gerard Manley Hopkins, letter to Robert Bridges, 25 October 1879

Friday, February 19

Man is his own star; and the soul that can
Render an honest and a perfect man,
Commands all light, all influence, all fate;
Nothing to him falls early or too late.
Our acts our angels are, or good or ill,
Our fatal shadows that walk by us still.

-- Francis Beaumont and John Fletcher The Honest Man's Fortune

The Honest Man's Fortune (link)

Saturday, February 13



Saturday, February 6

Except in a vacuum, silence does not exist. Outside laboratory conditions, perfect sine tones and absolute white noise can't be found. The harmonic series is another elegant conceptual construction that we believe should exist. We hear portions of the harmonic series all the time, in our musical instruments and occasionally in the larger world around us. But we never hear it in full, mathematically pristine form.

The harmonic series, sine tones, white noise, absolute silence: these ideals of sound tantalize the mind's ear. But the world is richer, subtler, more nuanced and more complex than we imagine. Almost nothing we hear conforms to the patterns we construct.

-- John Luther Adams, from "A Composer's Journal, Part II–Studio Notes," February 9, 2005 The Place Where You Go to Listen

Wednesday, February 3

We can think about art. We can write and talk and argue about art. We can use art as a vehicle to convey our ideas and our beliefs. But at a certain point, art has to stand on its own. To support real meaning, art must first and foremost be itself.

-- John Luther Adams, from "A Composer's Journal, Part II–Studio Notes," January 30, 2005 The Place Where You Go to Listen