Monthly Archives: March 2015

Book Review: Plainsong, by Kent Haruf

I, like many Americans, am a sucker for well-told tales about small towns. In that regard, Plainsong does not disappoint. Kent Haruf has crafted a beautiful story of decency and togetherness, simply told, without a hint of bombast or sentimentality. It is a book of few words and myriad actions, demonstrating in starkly evocative prose the capacity of the human heart for everything from the worst kinds of violence to the purest kindness.

Chicken Ranch Casserole Recipe

Usually I don’t post recipes, but occasionally my kitchen adventures end in triumph. This is one of those times.

Book Review: Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain, by Oliver Sacks

Dr. Sacks has devoted a large part of his career to bringing the relationship between music and the brain into the public consciousness, and this book is a distillation of his core message: music is not simply an aesthetic pastime; it is essential to the human experience, down to the very physical structure of our brains.

On Creativity

“Whether you’re a writer, a sculptor, a designer, or a banjo-player, showing up, staying open-minded, asking for help, and not being obsessed with the tools at your disposal will ultimately make you a better creator.”
— Jory MacKay, “Demystifying the Muse”

I’ve been thinking a lot about those four “elements” of becoming a better creator in the context of musicianship. Whether it’s practicing, working with a chamber group, teaching/taking a lesson, or performing, the qualities MacKay lays out are essential to the musical process.