Mahler & Me

We made the drive to the Fort Wayne International Airport yesterday to drop my wife off. She flew down to Raleigh, North Carolina for training. It’ll be an all week affair down south, so the children and I are left to our own devices. There will probably be lots of nothing happening, which I’m grateful for. It’s close enough to the end of the school year that nobody has anything going on after school. My wife’s birthday is tomorrow, so she’ll be celebrating 41 years of livin’ south of the Mason/Dixon line this year. The kids were bummed about this(especially our son), but after bribing them with books, toys, and a new comforter(as well as fries and shakes) everyone seemed content for the moment.

Fear not little ones, for we shall celebrate your Mama’s birthday when she returns. We pick her up at 9:40pm Friday night, but I imagine we will do that celebrating thing Saturday or Sunday. We did, however, have a pre-birthday lunch at the always tasty Polito’s in Mishawaka, IN after our oldest daughter’s band competition on Saturday. Rigatoni in vodka sauce, Philly Cheese Steak, deep dish pizza, spagetti in marinara sauce, and a stromboli were served, as well as some excellent breadsticks.

So back to yesterday, I treated myself to a couple “my gal’s gone, so I need to buy something to fill the emptiness” records. The first was, of all things, a Gustav Mahler album. To be exact, it was Bruno Walter conducting The Columbia Symphony Orchestra. It’s on the Odyssey Label via Columbia Records. The piece is Mahler’s Symphony No.9, and up to the point I saw the vinyl in the bin I really knew nothing about Mahler or his damn symphony. Truth is, I bought this record on the look alone. The album art completely sold me. Columbia had a way with art design back in the day, and especially with their jazz, classical, and more avante garde artists. This one, with its cube design, photos of the artist, and the giant number “9” amongst clouds, mountains, and trees really grabbed me. Hell, this could’ve been a Muppets album and I would’ve snagged it. Whoever was the art direction head for Columbia back in the day, kudos to you my friend. Kudos to you.

So you’re wondering “How is it, man?” Well, it’s full of that pomp and circumstance you would expect to hear from a late 19th century Austrian late-Romantic composer. “I. Andante comodo” and “IV. Adagio: Sehr langsam und noch zuruckhaltend” are my favorite movements, but it all flows with an intense, emotional rapture that the Austrians are known for. I will listen to this quite a bit, and not just because I love the sleeve design(though I will stare at it quite a bit.)

I also picked up Oneohtrix Point Never’s Commissions II, the RSD 2015 release I couldn’t get my hands on last weekend. It’s a totally different experience than his other albums. Side one is falling into industrial territory, with “Bullet Hell Abstraction I” exploding through the speakers like Skinny Puppy or Nitzer Ebb on a Wendy Carlos bender. It’s intense and stuttering, like buzzsaws set to destroy. “Suite from Magnetic Rose” is a 19-minute epic that takes up the whole of side two and it’s beautiful and vast and like a stroll through the milky way. It’s Daniel Lopatin at his best.

Okay, so that’s where I’m at. I’ll miss m’lady this week, but she’s getting some training that will ultimately help her do her job even better. I’ve got some new music cooking up myself, and with some new mastering software I’ll be getting these tunes ready to share with all of you. Look for that very soon.

All right, get back at it.

10 thoughts on “Mahler & Me

  1. I always find some music eases my mind when I’m missing my wife, so picking up records is always a must. Anyhoo, best of luck for the week ahead,sir!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love the sleeve design. Mahler I know a bit about because he was a friend’s favourite composer, I like the snowy one (4th? – well I did say ‘knew a bit about’) and I like the complexity he stirred into the classical pot.

    Records are good therapy, for whatever ails you. Its a scientifically proven fact, probably.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It’s definitely a proven fact, maybe. Either way, it’s my remedy for what ails me.

      I’m new to Mahler, but if the 9th is any indication, I’ll be visiting everything before it. Love the drama in his music. You can hear the difficult personality in the movements.

      But tomorrow is all about doom metal. Yes it is.

      Liked by 1 person

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