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May 16, 2020

 

Here are two objects that I have carried around with me for most of my life, still in daily use. This composition was intended to create a balance between the vase and the metronome, and as a result the form is only partly evident as you see, particularly of the vase. 

I was a flute student in high school years when my parents gave me this metronome at the advice of my flute teacher, for playing long tones, and for its more typical use of measuring tempo. I use it continually, and on this day in fact, to gradually work up the tempo of a Telemann piece for unaccompanied flute. I have played these pieces for many years, but continue to learn new ways to interpret them. In the current time of house quarantine, playing the flute and working on new and old pieces with the help of the metronome can absorb hours of time in a mode that seems more of forward motion than static.

The yellow vase is from a time in late teen years when I lived with my grandmother to help her as she recovered from surgery. Every day I would take a short walk uptown to gather a few groceries for cooking dinner and to explore a bit. On one day of gathering groceries, I went for a moment into a fashionable clothing shop for women, and here was this vase, used as part of a display. It attracted me far more than the clothing in the shop, and I asked if it might be for sale. The shopkeeper checked and came back to tell me that I could buy it.  At the time, in the early 1960's, it was expensive, $30.00. I didn't hesitate, but went back to my grandmother's house with groceries to cook, plus this vase that I bought with my own meagre supply of cash. I have used it countless times for flower arrangements, on tables where sunlight could come through the window and like a prism reflect warm yellow light beyond the surface of the glass. I try to take care of both this vase and the metronome, since I have had them for such a long time. Any objects like these that we have had for a long time do not seem to be replaceable. 


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