BeauSoleil live: Cajun up close

Sometimes the music-making machine in me, as an adult [still] beginner on the violin, slows down to a crawl and needs a jumpstart. A little shake up the equation. Striving less, ironically. Taking a little time off, relaxing, sitting back and observing more. So. I didn’t practice my violin the other night (okay, the whole … Read moreBeauSoleil live: Cajun up close

Alban Berg’s palindrome genius

Palindrome: noun, Greek origin. A word or sentence that reads the same forward as it does backward. One of the things I’ve come to appreciate about my subscription to the San Francisco Symphony is the opportunity it provides me to sit and thoughtfully consider music I might never have chosen to listen to on my … Read moreAlban Berg’s palindrome genius

Retreat to Esalen

Today I go to Esalen. I say this in the way a kid repeats to himself in a dazed, reverent tone, tomorrow is my birthday, or today is the last day of school. Ironically, my son was reciting the latter just yesterday. We both were, repeating it to each other in incredulous tones, as if afraid that someone or something … Read moreRetreat to Esalen

Maggie Shipstead’s astonishing ballet novel, Astonish Me

The choreography is old-fashioned, but as Rusakov circles the stage doing high, perfect coupés jetés en tournant, his technique is not fusty but pure. His movements are quick but unhurried, impossible in their clarity and difficulty and extraordinary in how they seem to burst from nowhere, without any apparent effort or preparation. But the beauty … Read moreMaggie Shipstead’s astonishing ballet novel, Astonish Me