The Alan Sondheim Mail Archive

August 7, 2012

Bygones (best)

I married my first wife in the late 1960s and three people, Rhoda,
Bill, and Jagdish, gave us a sarangi as a wedding present. I never
played it; it was far too difficult. It's inscribed


LOVE, Rhoda, Bill, Jagdish

That didn't happen, and the instrument remained at our parent's
house in Pennsylvania. Finally my sister took it and hung it on
the wall at her home in Toronto, and later, at her cabin.

Recently, I asked for it back and picked it up this past
weekend, when Azure and I went up for my niece's wedding. The
sarangi had never been played. One of the sympathetic strings
was broken. I brought it back, and have been tuning it up. The
inscription haunts me and I thought of playing a threnody to so
many lost years, lost friends, lost communities. I've been
morose and at the same time, wanted to make the sarangi sing.

I repaired two strings and a crack, tuned the main strings low,
to G, reset the position and angle of the bridge, untangled
everything, cleaned it up. I tried different bows, settled on
an old Indian one without tightening it. I wanted to play
something called bygones for myself, and as a welcome to the
instrument itself, and as a gift to Azure. It's all harrowing
and confused. Here's the music, errors and all, running over
four or five octaves.

Thanks to Azure and Margie and everyone who puts up with me.

Periodic Cicada final molting, Toronto, August 5, 2012

We were at a wedding and found a cicada in final instar attached
to the side of one of the wedding tables. It would have died if
it remained there; I put it in the garden, and it finished
molting in about half an hour. It seemed celebratory to watch
the process and photograph it. Here's to Laura and Zach and my
sister Margie and her husband Peter! And here's to the new-born
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items are from 04 Aug 2012.

Events Becoming (easier)

become1, long-form with accumulation of glitches
become2, short-form with accumulation of timbres
jagdishsarangi, image of the older sarangi I
  received as a wedding gift in the late 1960s

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