Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

flowerbattblog: My hair is so nice today ♡ it sure…





flowerbattblog:

My hair is so nice today ♡

it sure is…love love love

Pop with a Shotgun (3)

149405.026.01.197_20150318_154040Devin McKinney on Leonard Cohen's DEATH OF A LADIES' MAN

foreignmovieposters: Cleo from 5 to 7 (1962). German poster by…



foreignmovieposters:

Cleo from 5 to 7 (1962). German poster by Isolde Monson-Baumgart.

HiLobrow’s Most Visited 2Q2015

pie_richclosetHere's what HiLobrow readers have visited most often.

The Theatre of Eternal Music – Dream House 78’17”





Superb music while writing a project in a beautiful home in Detroit.

“Where there is ruin; there is hope for a treasure.”

“Where there is ruin; there is hope for a treasure.”

- Rumi (via stardust-seedling)

Froth and Folly: Nobility and Perfumery at the Court of Versailles|The Getty Iris

Froth and Folly: Nobility and Perfumery at the Court of Versailles|The Getty Iris:

I just saw the film “A Little Chaos” on VOD. It stars Kate Winslet as a garden designer in the Court of Louis XIV, one of my favorite periods of history. This article on perfumes in the Court of Versailles is fascinating reading. 

Arthur + Eames













Arthur + Eames

False Machine (5)

enterprise-tosWhy does the ENTERPRISE look so cool?

Radium Age 100 (14)

kipling nightRudyard Kipling's WITH THE NIGHT MAIL

Light reading update

Overdue a light reading update. Basically, the month in summary: crest of relief when I dig in on a longish series that's good, then dismay when it comes to an end and I am not sure what to read next! Trying to get my act together for a productive week of work starting tomorrow, as that is the thing most likely to improve my mood and morale - this year has been unduly taxing, I am now operating at about 20% capacity, that's not good....

Just finished an advance copy of the excellent Lauren Groff's forthcoming novel Fates and Furies. I found the first half puzzling and a bit unsatisfying (it suffers by comparison with A Little Life, which on the face of it sets out to do some similar things), but the second half makes sense of the first - I wish there had been some way to have the reveal come sooner. Very good, though, regardless.

The latest Expanse installment is just as good as one might expect. I think I will reread the whole series from the start before the next volume, both because they are so intensely pleasurable and because the human element of the story sticks with me more consistently than the intricacies of the protomolecule.

Caymanian author Elke Feuer's Deadly Race, which I enjoyed very much (it's the second installment in a series, both are well-written and engaging but this one asks for less suspension of demographic disbelief in the matter of serial killer populations!).

Stephen King, Finders Keepers (an enjoyable read, good storytelling but the characters are forgettable, types rather than individuals).

Sarai Walker, Dietland (like a sort of inverse sequel to Fay Weldon's Life and Loves of a She Devil).

I liked the first two installment of Sarah Rees Brennan's Lynburn Legacy books so much that I decided to reread them in preparation for Unmade. I was sorry indeed as I read the last page: these books remind me more of Diana Wynne Jones than almost anything I've ever read, it gave me a pang!

Tim Lebbon, Coldbrook (certain similarities to the other book I recently read of is led me to suspect that he must have been as strongly influenced/impressed as I was by The Day of the Triffids in some earlier stage of life).

Then I came upon an amazingly good fantasy series by Robert V. S. Redick. Redick is my "friend" on Facebook, and posted a picture of a gecko there that captivated me sufficiently that I looked up his books: and they are so very good! Also there are four of them and they are LONG, so they got me through a tough week or so. The series is called the Chathrand Voyage, more information here: highly recommended.

I couldn't quite get in a groove after that (I have been reading a lot for work as well too, obviously, including some very interesting stuff about documentation and marginal annotation), so the rest of the list is more miscellaneous: a very brutal zombie novel by Mason James Cole, Pray to Stay Dead; four much more frivolous zombie novels (this kind of urban fantasy is so silly but so relaxing to read), Diana Rowland's White Trash Zombie series; Sarah Hepola's gripping Blackout (this Guardian excerpt captured my attention earlier in the month: not as complex and interesting a book as Caroline Knapp's drinking memoir, but extremely well-written and interesting to read); and Vendela Vida's The Diver's Clothes Lie Empty (I liked it, the writing is ravishing, but it is more novella than novel - reminded me a good deal of a couple books by Kate Christensen that were more substantial - and I found the late-stage double revelation needlessly melodramatic - one or the other thing would have been enough?).

My bedroom is stacked with dozens of half-read books, but I am too lazy to document that all here - will have to get subsumed into actual writing....

Light reading update

Overdue a light reading update. Basically, the month in summary: crest of relief when I dig in on a longish series that's good, then dismay when it comes to an end and I am not sure what to read next! Trying to get my act together for a productive week of work starting tomorrow, as that is the thing most likely to improve my mood and morale - this year has been unduly taxing, I am now operating at about 20% capacity, that's not good....

Just finished an advance copy of the excellent Lauren Groff's forthcoming novel Fates and Furies. I found the first half puzzling and a bit unsatisfying (it suffers by comparison with A Little Life, which on the face of it sets out to do some similar things), but the second half makes sense of the first - I wish there had been some way to have the reveal come sooner. Very good, though, regardless.

The latest Expanse installment is just as good as one might expect. I think I will reread the whole series from the start before the next volume, both because they are so intensely pleasurable and because the human element of the story sticks with me more consistently than the intricacies of the protomolecule.

Caymanian author Elke Feuer's Deadly Race, which I enjoyed very much (it's the second installment in a series, both are well-written and engaging but this one asks for less suspension of demographic disbelief in the matter of serial killer populations!).

Stephen King, Finders Keepers (an enjoyable read, good storytelling but the characters are forgettable, types rather than individuals).

Sarai Walker, Dietland (like a sort of inverse sequel to Fay Weldon's Life and Loves of a She Devil).

I liked the first two installment of Sarah Rees Brennan's Lynburn Legacy books so much that I decided to reread them in preparation for Unmade. I was sorry indeed as I read the last page: these books remind me more of Diana Wynne Jones than almost anything I've ever read, it gave me a pang!

Tim Lebbon, Coldbrook (certain similarities to the other book I recently read of is led me to suspect that he must have been as strongly influenced/impressed as I was by The Day of the Triffids in some earlier stage of life).

Then I came upon an amazingly good fantasy series by Robert V. S. Redick. Redick is my "friend" on Facebook, and posted a picture of a gecko there that captivated me sufficiently that I looked up his books: and they are so very good! Also there are four of them and they are LONG, so they got me through a tough week or so. The series is called the Chathrand Voyage, more information here: highly recommended.

I couldn't quite get in a groove after that (I have been reading a lot for work as well too, obviously, including some very interesting stuff about documentation and marginal annotation), so the rest of the list is more miscellaneous: a very brutal zombie novel by Mason James Cole, Pray to Stay Dead; four much more frivolous zombie novels (this kind of urban fantasy is so silly but so relaxing to read), Diana Rowland's White Trash Zombie series; Sarah Hepola's gripping Blackout (this Guardian excerpt captured my attention earlier in the month: not as complex and interesting a book as Caroline Knapp's drinking memoir, but extremely well-written and interesting to read); and Vendela Vida's The Diver's Clothes Lie Empty (I liked it, the writing is ravishing, but it is more novella than novel - reminded me a good deal of a couple books by Kate Christensen that were more substantial - and I found the late-stage double revelation needlessly melodramatic - one or the other thing would have been enough?).

My bedroom is stacked with dozens of half-read books, but I am too lazy to document that all here - will have to get subsumed into actual writing....

The Sunday Series: Sunday June 28, 2015



The Sunday Series:

Sunday June 28, 2015

Till very recently I lived in Los Angeles, to be more specific, in the Silver Lake area, and I decided to move.   I feel I have been good for the city, but in return Los Angeles has been total shit to me.  I held a job for 25 years, and then suddenly, without any prior warning, was let go.  Damned for doing the right things and damned for the wrong.  I have always tried to do the right thing, but alas, like George Raft flipping one of his gold coins, I have to take the bad with the good.  Being human, I couldn't take the bitterness that started from my mouth to the stomach area, I just had to move and start a new life in a new location.  Also living in Los Angeles I felt like I wasn't in America, due to Japan and the rest of Asia was across from the large pond and my occasional visits to New York City, felt like I was visiting Europe.   It was then that I decided to move to Detroit, Michigan.



I got a job as a receptionist in a little recording studio on Grand Boulevard called Hitsville U.S.A. My job there, is to take care of their treasure trove of signed dated contracts, photographs, posters, and correspondence.   The thing is I want to make music and I found myself drawn to the recording studio on the first floor. It is a very small studio, but I have seen the space crammed full of musicians as well as the singer.  In the neighborhood, I found a girl group called "The Primettes.   They were singing in front of the Fisher Building on Grand Bouvelard.  As they were passing the bucket for donations, instead of money, I put in my business card inside the bucket - it read: Tosh Berman, Hitsville U.S.A.



Me and the three girls that make up the Primettes had coffee at Stella International Cafe, located on the ground floor inside the Fisher Building.  Since I was the record label guy (of sorts), I paid for their coffee.   For some odd reason, I can still remember how they liked their coffee.  Florence and Mary like it black, but Diana insisted on fresh cream and one little pack of sugar.  Diana stirred her coffee in a very slow and thoughtful manner.  I started to hum a melody in my head, and Florence sort of did a counter-melody to it, and Diane started to make up lyrics right there at the coffee shop.   I thought up of the title "Tears of Sorrow" which strikes me as a good dynamic and dramatic title.  Diane agreed and she started to play with the lyrics against the melody.

"A fresh cream in the tea
In a building of gold,
Can never take you away from me
Tears of Sorrow, Tears of grief
I do follow my heart"



From the coffee shop/Fisher Building, we walked to the Hitsville U.S.A. office & recording studio to see if we could record the song.  I found Earl in the studio and asked him to round up the musicians.  He got Joe, James (an incredible bass player), Papa Zita &Pistol on drums and Joe on guitar.  The beauty of America, is even though I was practically chased out of Los Angeles, but still, I was able to get a job as a receptionist here in Detroit, and there is even possibility of making a hit record.  My gut instinct tells me on I'm on a roll here.

After the successful session (my very first as a producer as well as a songwriter) I rushed the tapes to Archer Record Pressing on Davison Street.  I had to walk there, because I don't drive nor do I own a car.  This I feel is information I should keep secret from other Detroitians.   Within hours, we had our seven-inch single, backed by another song I wrote "Pretty Baby" on the flip side.   I went to the big boss Barry's office to show and play him the single.  Since I was not only an employee at his company, I was also a non-musician composer - in fact, I'm just the receptionist and I don't even have pretty legs if you get my drift.



There is something about Detroit that inspires one's soul - is it their water or air?  No, I think it is due that there is so much manufacturing in this city.  Cars, and of course music.  It is like Cupid took his bow out and the arrow hit bulls eye on the entire landscape of Detroit.  I could never tell if I arrived at paradise as it is opening up their arms to me, or is it the end, and I'm just seeing the rays of love leave the town.  Nevertheless, I'm here with a seven-inch single in my hand and I'm in Barry's office.



First thing he said to me when I entered into his office was "Who are you?"  Which comes to mind, that is a very good question.  Who are we all?  I told him that I'm the new receptionist, but I made a record with a new girl group and used the Funk Brothers as a back-up band, and that I co-wrote the song as well as produced it - all of course at Hitsville U.S.A.   He's impressed of course, so he OK's the release.    Barry as he sat behind his big oak desk, looked a lot like Che Guevara.  Since I worked here, I have seen him drive a diesel van, and I know he kept his gun in quiet seclusion - in many ways a humble man.  He has caused a panic in the air, or at the very least in Detroit.  I greatly admire him.  I wanted to tell him this, but he's not the type of guy to hear compliments from guys like yours truly.  He went downstairs to the studio with me, to meet the gals.

When he saw Diana, he froze.   I got the feeling something happened between them, but as I mentioned, Cupid for sure has his arrows pointed towards Detroit.  If you got that notion, I second that emotion.

Tom Hardy Lips Appreciation Post (╯3╰) i just…



















Tom Hardy Lips Appreciation Post (╯3╰)

i just…

3Q2015 Sneak Peek

Screen Shot 2015-06-28 at 3.34.49 PMHere's what we're planning for July, August, and September!

No Man’s Land (5)

cavern thumbBelow me was a dizzy chaos of grey.

Photo



katblaque: emkaymlp: bestpal: IM LAUGHING SO FUCKING…















katblaque:

emkaymlp:

bestpal:

IM LAUGHING SO FUCKING HARD

someone should make a mixtape filled with some of the most bizarre genres on here and give it to their crush with no context

THIS MADE ME LOSE IT

dear producers,please

oreilysamcro:

take this

image

and this

image

and this

image

and put in a same movie for me
sincerely thank you :)

“Sight moaty and dimmish”

Diseases incident to literary and sedentary persons!

“Sight moaty and dimmish”

Diseases incident to literary and sedentary persons!

The state of publishing

At the Guardian, Sam Leith argues that we're living in a golden age for the university press. I agree with everything he says - also I want to read some of these UP books he singles out for praise (might have to read a manuscript for the U of Chicago P so that I can get these for free - often honorarium from a press is a choice of a very modest sum of actual dollars or twice that amount in books! The Francis Barber book is already on my list and I am about to go and get it from the library):
In natural history and popular science, alone, for instance: Hal Whitehead and Luke Rendell’s amazing book The Cultural Lives of Whales and Dolphins or Brooke Borel’s history of the bedbug, Infested, or Caitlin O’Connell’s book on pachyderm behaviour, Elephant Don, or Christian Sardet’s gorgeous book Plankton? All are published by the University of Chicago. Beth Shapiro’s book on the science of de-extinction, How to Clone a Mammoth? Published by Princeton. In biography, Yale – who gave us Sue Prideaux’s award-winning life of Strindberg a couple of years back – have been quietly churning out the superb Jewish Lives series. Theirs is the new biography of Stalin applauded by one reviewer as “the pinnacle of scholarly knowledge on the subject”, and theirs the much-admired new life of Francis Barber, the freed slave named as Dr Johnson’s heir. Here are chewy, interesting subjects treated by writers of real authority but marketed in a popular way. The university presses are turning towards the public because with the big presses not taking these risks, the stuff’s there for the taking.

Against the 1%

Some funny food details in this FT lunch with Thomas Piketty, who seems to have been making a point by choosing a really mediocre lunch venue (I do understand the preference for quiet research time over lunch!): "the now tepid bolognese," "ripe and soothing" cubes of pineapple, "a rubbery crêpe au sucre"....

Air Bridge (18)

innes thumb"He is waiting for us — out there."

Jurgen (16)

jurgen thumbOf Compromises in Glathion

nitratediva: Ann Dvorak in Howard Hawks’s Scarface (1932). I…



nitratediva:

Ann Dvorak in Howard Hawks’s Scarface (1932).

I know that look. I”m still trying to perfect it.

Pop with a Shotgun (2)

american-flagDevin McKinney on: Neil Young's LIVING WITH WAR

Paul Thomas Anderson

PTA-camera-620x400Don't hate him because he's ambitious.

Alexandra Florea on the average central value of hyperelliptic L-functions

Alexandra Florea, a student of Soundararajan, has a nice new paper up, which I heard about in a talk by Michael Rubinstein.  She computes the average of

L(1/2, \chi_f)

as f ranges over squarefree polynomials of large degree.  If this were the value at 1 instead of the value at 1/2, this would be asking for the average number of points on the Jacobian of a hyperelliptic curve, and I could at least have some idea of where to start (probably with this paper of Erman and Wood.)  And I guess you could probably get a good grasp on moments by imitating Granville-Soundararajan?

But I came here to talk about Florea’s result.  What’s cool about it is that it has the a main term that matches existing conjectures in the number field case, but there is a second main term, whose size is about the cube root of the main term, before you get to fluctuations!

The only similar case I know is Roberts’ conjecture, now a theorem of Bhargava-Shankar-Tsimerman and Thorne-Taniguchi, which finds a similar secondary main term in the asymptotic for counting cubic fields.  And when I say similar I really mean similar — e.g. in both cases the coefficient of the secondary term is some messy thing involving zeta functions evaluated at third-integers.

My student Yongqiang Zhao found a lovely geometric interpretation for the secondary term the Roberts conjecture.  Is there some way to see what Florea’s secondary term “means” geometrically?  Of course I’m stymied here by the fact that I don’t really know how to think about her counting problem geometrically in the first place.

 


sphexoskepsis: I’ve never seen one hatch before. Score one for…



sphexoskepsis:

I’ve never seen one hatch before. Score one for paying attention.

nitratediva: How to shake a cocktail in style! From Just…



nitratediva:

How to shake a cocktail in style! From Just Imagine (1930). I just wrote a post about this bizarre, little-known pre-Code sci-fi musical.

Code-X (70)

bbqFood Protest

Limerickania (5)

3DBatman1966KNOCKA monocular knock's not beatific…

theimpossiblecool: “He who jumps into the void owes no…



theimpossiblecool:

“He who jumps into the void owes no explanation to those who stand and watch.”

Jean-Luc Godard.

jmmykppl: /// / / / / // / / / // / / // / / / // / // / / / /…



jmmykppl:

/// / / / / // / / / // / / // / / / // / // / / / / / // / / //

In anticipation of the release of his meatspace magentic tape debut on Disco Insolence, Jimmy Kipple Sound has assembled against miserable <3s; think of it as something like a one-off reanimation of his [more-or-less] year-dormant loose_ connections [internet] radio show.

Amidst the murk you’ll hear pieces of Bladerunner and pieces of hype about Bladerunner, that gloomily resonant extract from Keiller’s London, a number of pieces that clog up Jimmy Kipple Sound’s Soundcloud profile as well as a few that don’t, a remix of a Radio Free Ul-quoma track, and tracks from the Disco Insolence affiliated Chaz Dolo and Solvogen.

Check it out - there are, we would gently insist, worse ways to spend almost an hour.

// / / // / /  // / //// / //  / / / // / /  / // / / / / / / // / 

living-in-retro-world: Vintage Kitchen TV/Robot



living-in-retro-world:

Vintage Kitchen TV/Robot

James Kilik, 1950-2015

June 20, 2015
Art Alliance of Philadelphia

Thank you for being here with us this evening to celebrate the memory of Jim Kilik.

Early life

These thoughts are from Jim’s dad Gene:
In 1950 when Jim was born at the very tiny, now very large Overlook Hospital in Summit, the family was living in a newly built split level (built as one of the huge number to house the newly created families formed during and after WW2) in Florham Park, NJ.

His family, under the mistaken notion that children living in the cities and suburbs were deprived of the experience of country and farm living, decided when Jim was about five (his brother Michael was 4 years older) to move to a seventeen-acre Old MacDonald farm in Readington, NJ, where sheep, chicken (broilers and laying hens), ducks, a big vegetable garden, three dogs and about twenty odd cats shared the residence. (Literally: spring lambs usually were born during February snow storms and were kept in the kitchen with the mother for a couple of days. Nothing is dumber than sheep except the Shepherd who has moved from the city or suburb.) While Michael bought the whole idea of farm life, Jim ignored the whole adventure. He didn't move in a society centered around a barn. He was all business even then.

(And I’ll add in my own voice a story that I’ve heard Gene tell now and again that I really love, a little story about “Jimmy” as a kid – Jim was always a good baseball player, as borne out in more recent years by his enthusiasm for serious recreational softball. And the neighborhood kids – probably Young Gabe most of all – would ask Jim to come out to play ball. And Young Jimmy would say – “I can’t come out to play right now. I’m a busy kid!”)

Jim understood from the beginning that the family wasn't really cut out to be farmers, and eventually the rest of the family caught on, so next stop, the old house in Murray Hill, NJ, where Jim quickly got disillusioned with public schools and in about the third grade transferred to the Far Brook School -- a school that had the knack of bringing out the interests and talents, whatever they were, of the kids that accepted the freedoms allowed by the school, a move that changed his life.

The primary mover in the change of Jim's attitude was the music teacher, Eddie Finckel. Yes, and the old plastic clarinet that Jim's Uncle Allen had gathering dust since he put his musical talents with other discarded detritus in storage. There was no one like Eddie Finckel who could dig out the talents of every kid who came under his low-key but large expectations. So, naturally, when Eddie and his wife Helen started their Vermont summer camp, Jim was among the first to sign up. He was camper and then counselor and for at least one summer led a group of wonderful kids who performed under a charming but forgettable name. (Note: maybe someone here remembers what that group was called?) At camp there were a bunch of guys and girls like Hal Slapin who never lost touch with each other.

(And a nice other note on the Far Brook years comes from Jim’s classmate Lucy Marks, who remembers Jim performing a memorable Caliban in the Tempest production for their eighth-grade graduation: “every time I see that play I am reminded of how Jim growled, “I must eat my dinner. This island’s mine by Sycorax my mother. . .” Lucy also adds that her great love of the Mozart clarinet concerto is thanks to Jim, who would always oblige her by playing her favorite passage.)

After Far Brook came a short time at prestigious private high school in Morristown, a school that didn't suit Jim at all. He transferred to the public regional high school, Governor Livingston, where he played in the band and firmed up his wish to someday become a real musician. He also became friendly with boys in the neighborhood, mainly Gabe Allocco. He and Gabe, one summer, helped Gabe’s father, a first-class carpenter, tear off the multiples of rooves on the old house and install a new wood shingle roof that was closer to the original on the eighteenth century house.

In Jim’s life there were, as in most lives, ups and downs. In Jim’s there were plenty of ups but one terrible down: the death of his brother, Michael. Michael was on his way to do a good deed when he was in an accident that caused a coma that lasted a year before he died. Michael was 39.
Professional career

Jim graduated from the New School of Music in Philadelphia, where he studied clarinet and saxophone with Ronald Reuben of the Philadelphia Orchestra (he also worked with Loren Kitt and Kalmen Opperman). During a long and successful career as a freelance musician in the greater Philadelphia area, Jim played many different kinds of music; he was a member for 22 years of the Delaware Symphony, but also performed regularly with the Pennsylvania Ballet Orchestra, Peter Nero and the Philly Pops, Network for New Music, Relache and the Playhouse at the Hotel Dupont in Wilmington.

I have heard many funny tales of these years, some of them not perhaps suitable for this sort of occasion (much alcohol was clearly consumed – and it is still slightly a regret that we were not able to host this gathering at the Pen and Pencil Club, which would have been a suitable venue but which isn’t set up to accommodate so many people at once!). Just a glimpse of their flavor will come from Jim’s friend John Hall’s reminiscence of when he first moved to Philadelphia in 1971 – he met Jim when Jim’s roommate lent him a place in their apartment in the 900 block of Pine Street while John looked for housing of his own. This is how John describes it:
The Pine Street apartment was the place where friends gathered on Friday nights (the only night when we took time from studying and practicing to socialize) before going out to a Pine Street pizzeria for hoagies, cheese steaks, beer, and pizza. A noteworthy and now-famous feature of this apartment was its attic, which Jim thoughtfully lent (rent-free) to our friend Todd Hemenway and wittily dubbed “The Winter Palace” since it had no heat, no running water, and broken windows so that the snow fell inside as well as out. Todd lived there for two years.
The other terrible “down” in Jim’s life

Gene wrote of one terrible “down” in Jim’s life. There was another that it’s important to remember this evening. Many of you know that Jim had to give up playing professionally in the spring of 2001. He had been struck by hand-focal dystonia – dystonia is one of the horrible afflictions that can strike professional musicians and others (in the mouth and embouchure, often, for brass players, but in Jim’s case in his hand). He followed with great interest Leon Fleisher’s activism and research around the problem of dystonia, participated in interviews for a documentary about dystonia awareness and was a very active supporter of the Dystonia Medical Research Foundation. Among other treatments he tried, Jim traveled to New York for a splinting trial – the theory was that by immobilizing the dystonic hand for two months it might “learn” or find new neural pathways on coming out of the splint. The leader of that trial, Dr. Steven Frucht, wrote these words to my mother after hearing of Jim’s death:
I have very vivid memories of Jim’s participation in the splinting trial. He was so engaged and willing to participate to help other musicians. I remember how astute his observations were about his condition, and how he understood the challenges facing similarly affected musicians.

It was a great privilege to meet and care for him.
Two important things to remember about Jim

When I think of the legacy Jim left behind, I think of his selflessness and generosity in two very important different domains: teaching, family and friends.

First, then, some thoughts on Jim’s teaching.

Jim was a longtime faculty member at Settlement Music School, as well as being on the faculty at Widener University in Chester.

These words come from Jim’s student Bill, a retired psychology professor at Temple who came regularly for coaching on the pieces he was playing with a local amateur orchestra and for summer music camps. Bill wrote this letter to Jim in February:
I wanted you to know how much your teaching and coaching has meant to me over the years. You are the first clarinet teacher who said to me (at various points in time) that you had been thinking about what the previous lesson had been about and now you had some additional suggestions. They were always on the mark. That alone set you apart from the ordinary “what do we work on this week” approach. You either knew the music I needed to learn (I was continually amazed at the range of your repertoire) or you got the score and a recording and proceeded to help me figure out how to play the piece . . . or at least how to be a bit better at faking it. That’s another unique feature about your teaching style: being willing to learn something new. Of course, the result on the student, me, was to make me work all the harder without feeling discouraged. Any number of times with a concert coming up I would bring the passage at hand and you would give me the encouragement that I was playing it just fine. A typical Kilik quote: “I don’t want to say anything because I will ruin it. It’s just fine.” Boy, those words helped me more than you can imagine. You know the repertoire and the techniques for both E-flat and bass clarinet. My being able to play (or attempt to play!) those instruments gave me entree into a literature that I never could have imagined performing on the standard clarinet. Your knowledge of the instruments from mouthpiece to bell helped me to get a far better sound and to gain almost enough information to ask Mark J. intelligent questions. Well, maybe not quite yet.
And this comment is from Rosemary Banks, the mother of one of Jim’s absolute prize students, Nzinga, who is now in her third year studying jazz at William Paterson University, after hearing from some other students and colleagues of Jim’s at a gathering at Settlement Music School last weekend:
I had always thought Mr. Kilik treated my daughter Nzinga very special by how vigilantly he taught her, and the support he gave outside the classroom. But yesterday I learned he did that with all his students, his friends, his colleagues. That makes me respect and appreciate his integrity and heart even more.

Nzinga and I always said that when she played in New York when she became a famous musician, she would send airfare and front seat tickets to Mr. Kilik. That was our dream. We are still in shock and terribly hurt that he is gone, but for us he will always be there in that front seat—very reserved and thoughtful, but obviously supportive with a kind of suppressed pride.

We will never ever forget him and we miss him so much!
These were Nzinga’s own words:
He was not only a great teacher but a great caring person as well. I had only hoped for him to see me reach the apotheosis of my playing so he could witness all his hard work put into action. He was the best teacher I have ever had and I wouldn't be where I am without him. He was always committed, never late, always went overtime on lessons and always believed in me. I can go on and on about his greatness.
And really capturing the essence of Jim’s gift as a teacher are a few thoughts from Danielle, another of Jim’s prize students from over the years (my mother remembers going with Jim to hear her play Messiaen’s Quatuor pour la fin du temps).
I really hope he knew what an important part of my life he was—a teacher and a mentor during such a significant part of my growing-up. I so clearly remember my first lessons with him in the basement of Jenkintown SMS. He taught me so much, including perhaps the most important lesson that I come back to so often in my teaching career: to take my own ego out of teaching. He was an amazing teacher and an amazing musician, but at some point he stopped playing at my lessons because he didn’t want me to pick up his own idiosyncrasies. When I went to college and had the option to continue studying with him, he told me it was time to get a different perspective. In my lifetime I don’t think I have ever seen a teacher who was able to make these kinds of decisions and I am so grateful to him. Not to mention the hours and hours of basically free lessons he gave me during summers whenever I needed help.
By emphasizing teaching, I don’t want to downplay Jim’s deep musicianship. I know many other friends and colleagues here who played with Jim over the years would say something similar, but in lieu of a complete roundup I will just share this comment from Mike Shaedel, pianist and Settlement teacher who played with Jim regularly, mostly through the Settlement Contemporary Players:
I enjoyed working with him so much. He was such a fine musician and a fine human being. He had a warm friendliness and seemed to operate completely outside the competitive spirit that often marks the music world. I appreciated that so much, it made working with him such pleasure!
Finally, there Jim’s legacy of generosity and warmth to friends and family. He was the partner my wonderful mother deserved her whole life and was lucky enough to find in the middle of both their lives.

I have many fond memories of Jim around the house – eating a banana for breakfast every day, on the rationale that the potassium in it was essential for heart health (when explaining this, he used to make a little gesture as of a creature keeling over dead like a canary in a coal mine); calling out “WHEEEEEE!” as he drove over a pothole, of which Philadelphia streets have very many (I should add, on the theme of generosity, that the reason I was so often in a car with Jim was that he was always eager to help my mom out by ferrying her visiting children around town as needed!); doing a 50-mile charity bicycle ride with me and my brother Michael and his lovely wife Jessi, who had a special connection with Jim (Jessi said recently that it was only in conversation with Jim that she learned that the “P&P” had an actual name, and that those letters stood for Pen and Pencil – they had both had stages of Philadelphia life, not at the same time, in which they regularly frequented that legendary joint). Jim had a huge amount of enthusiasm for softball, for bike-riding, for a whole host of errands and tasks that made my mother’s life easier.

Jim and my mother were devoted partners for twenty years, and in the wake of Jim’s cancer diagnosis in late December they got married officially in January. I wish we had had more time to celebrate that union. The final thing I want to tell you about, and I think it’s my favorite memory when I think of Jim, is just the way he used to say my mother’s name. “Caroline” – it was immensely fond, affectionate, yet it also had a tone of seriousness acknowledged her authority, and he definitely thought she had the final word on everything that mattered! My mother is all things that are excellent, but she is not eminently teasable, and I think Jim is really the only person who had license to tease her: as, for instance, about the habit that she and I share, of pouring a largish tumbler of whisky late at night before bed – Jim had a particular gesture that I really can’t reproduce, but that I categorize with the canary-in-a-coal-mine bananas-are-full-of-potassium motion, in which his eyes went very wide and his hands moved apart to signal the very massive nature of the tumblerful that tended to get poured!

And on that highly appropriate note, please get another drink and something to eat, and let us return to this excellent music and an evening of stories and reminiscences.

James Kilik, 1950-2015

June 20, 2015
Art Alliance of Philadelphia

Thank you for being here with us this evening to celebrate the memory of Jim Kilik.

Early life

These thoughts are from Jim’s dad Gene:
In 1950 when Jim was born at the very tiny, now very large Overlook Hospital in Summit, the family was living in a newly built split level (built as one of the huge number to house the newly created families formed during and after WW2) in Florham Park, NJ.

His family, under the mistaken notion that children living in the cities and suburbs were deprived of the experience of country and farm living, decided when Jim was about five (his brother Michael was 4 years older) to move to a seventeen-acre Old MacDonald farm in Readington, NJ, where sheep, chicken (broilers and laying hens), ducks, a big vegetable garden, three dogs and about twenty odd cats shared the residence. (Literally: spring lambs usually were born during February snow storms and were kept in the kitchen with the mother for a couple of days. Nothing is dumber than sheep except the Shepherd who has moved from the city or suburb.) While Michael bought the whole idea of farm life, Jim ignored the whole adventure. He didn't move in a society centered around a barn. He was all business even then.

(And I’ll add in my own voice a story that I’ve heard Gene tell now and again that I really love, a little story about “Jimmy” as a kid – Jim was always a good baseball player, as borne out in more recent years by his enthusiasm for serious recreational softball. And the neighborhood kids – probably Young Gabe most of all – would ask Jim to come out to play ball. And Young Jimmy would say – “I can’t come out to play right now. I’m a busy kid!”)

Jim understood from the beginning that the family wasn't really cut out to be farmers, and eventually the rest of the family caught on, so next stop, the old house in Murray Hill, NJ, where Jim quickly got disillusioned with public schools and in about the third grade transferred to the Far Brook School -- a school that had the knack of bringing out the interests and talents, whatever they were, of the kids that accepted the freedoms allowed by the school, a move that changed his life.

The primary mover in the change of Jim's attitude was the music teacher, Eddie Finckel. Yes, and the old plastic clarinet that Jim's Uncle Allen had gathering dust since he put his musical talents with other discarded detritus in storage. There was no one like Eddie Finckel who could dig out the talents of every kid who came under his low-key but large expectations. So, naturally, when Eddie and his wife Helen started their Vermont summer camp, Jim was among the first to sign up. He was camper and then counselor and for at least one summer led a group of wonderful kids who performed under a charming but forgettable name. (Note: maybe someone here remembers what that group was called?) At camp there were a bunch of guys and girls like Hal Slapin who never lost touch with each other.

(And a nice other note on the Far Brook years comes from Jim’s classmate Lucy Marks, who remembers Jim performing a memorable Caliban in the Tempest production for their eighth-grade graduation: “every time I see that play I am reminded of how Jim growled, “I must eat my dinner. This island’s mine by Sycorax my mother. . .” Lucy also adds that her great love of the Mozart clarinet concerto is thanks to Jim, who would always oblige her by playing her favorite passage.)

After Far Brook came a short time at prestigious private high school in Morristown, a school that didn't suit Jim at all. He transferred to the public regional high school, Governor Livingston, where he played in the band and firmed up his wish to someday become a real musician. He also became friendly with boys in the neighborhood, mainly Gabe Allocco. He and Gabe, one summer, helped Gabe’s father, a first-class carpenter, tear off the multiples of rooves on the old house and install a new wood shingle roof that was closer to the original on the eighteenth century house.

In Jim’s life there were, as in most lives, ups and downs. In Jim’s there were plenty of ups but one terrible down: the death of his brother, Michael. Michael was on his way to do a good deed when he was in an accident that caused a coma that lasted a year before he died. Michael was 39.
Professional career

Jim graduated from the New School of Music in Philadelphia, where he studied clarinet and saxophone with Ronald Reuben of the Philadelphia Orchestra (he also worked with Loren Kitt and Kalmen Opperman). During a long and successful career as a freelance musician in the greater Philadelphia area, Jim played many different kinds of music; he was a member for 22 years of the Delaware Symphony, but also performed regularly with the Pennsylvania Ballet Orchestra, Peter Nero and the Philly Pops, Network for New Music, Relache and the Playhouse at the Hotel Dupont in Wilmington.

I have heard many funny tales of these years, some of them not perhaps suitable for this sort of occasion (much alcohol was clearly consumed – and it is still slightly a regret that we were not able to host this gathering at the Pen and Pencil Club, which would have been a suitable venue but which isn’t set up to accommodate so many people at once!). Just a glimpse of their flavor will come from Jim’s friend John Hall’s reminiscence of when he first moved to Philadelphia in 1971 – he met Jim when Jim’s roommate lent him a place in their apartment in the 900 block of Pine Street while John looked for housing of his own. This is how John describes it:
The Pine Street apartment was the place where friends gathered on Friday nights (the only night when we took time from studying and practicing to socialize) before going out to a Pine Street pizzeria for hoagies, cheese steaks, beer, and pizza. A noteworthy and now-famous feature of this apartment was its attic, which Jim thoughtfully lent (rent-free) to our friend Todd Hemenway and wittily dubbed “The Winter Palace” since it had no heat, no running water, and broken windows so that the snow fell inside as well as out. Todd lived there for two years.
The other terrible “down” in Jim’s life

Gene wrote of one terrible “down” in Jim’s life. There was another that it’s important to remember this evening. Many of you know that Jim had to give up playing professionally in the spring of 2001. He had been struck by hand-focal dystonia – dystonia is one of the horrible afflictions that can strike professional musicians and others (in the mouth and embouchure, often, for brass players, but in Jim’s case in his hand). He followed with great interest Leon Fleisher’s activism and research around the problem of dystonia, participated in interviews for a documentary about dystonia awareness and was a very active supporter of the Dystonia Medical Research Foundation. Among other treatments he tried, Jim traveled to New York for a splinting trial – the theory was that by immobilizing the dystonic hand for two months it might “learn” or find new neural pathways on coming out of the splint. The leader of that trial, Dr. Steven Frucht, wrote these words to my mother after hearing of Jim’s death:
I have very vivid memories of Jim’s participation in the splinting trial. He was so engaged and willing to participate to help other musicians. I remember how astute his observations were about his condition, and how he understood the challenges facing similarly affected musicians.

It was a great privilege to meet and care for him.
Two important things to remember about Jim

When I think of the legacy Jim left behind, I think of his selflessness and generosity in two very important different domains: teaching, family and friends.

First, then, some thoughts on Jim’s teaching.

Jim was a longtime faculty member at Settlement Music School, as well as being on the faculty at Widener University in Chester.

These words come from Jim’s student Bill, a retired psychology professor at Temple who came regularly for coaching on the pieces he was playing with a local amateur orchestra and for summer music camps. Bill wrote this letter to Jim in February:
I wanted you to know how much your teaching and coaching has meant to me over the years. You are the first clarinet teacher who said to me (at various points in time) that you had been thinking about what the previous lesson had been about and now you had some additional suggestions. They were always on the mark. That alone set you apart from the ordinary “what do we work on this week” approach. You either knew the music I needed to learn (I was continually amazed at the range of your repertoire) or you got the score and a recording and proceeded to help me figure out how to play the piece . . . or at least how to be a bit better at faking it. That’s another unique feature about your teaching style: being willing to learn something new. Of course, the result on the student, me, was to make me work all the harder without feeling discouraged. Any number of times with a concert coming up I would bring the passage at hand and you would give me the encouragement that I was playing it just fine. A typical Kilik quote: “I don’t want to say anything because I will ruin it. It’s just fine.” Boy, those words helped me more than you can imagine. You know the repertoire and the techniques for both E-flat and bass clarinet. My being able to play (or attempt to play!) those instruments gave me entree into a literature that I never could have imagined performing on the standard clarinet. Your knowledge of the instruments from mouthpiece to bell helped me to get a far better sound and to gain almost enough information to ask Mark J. intelligent questions. Well, maybe not quite yet.
And this comment is from Rosemary Banks, the mother of one of Jim’s absolute prize students, Nzinga, who is now in her third year studying jazz at William Paterson University, after hearing from some other students and colleagues of Jim’s at a gathering at Settlement Music School last weekend:
I had always thought Mr. Kilik treated my daughter Nzinga very special by how vigilantly he taught her, and the support he gave outside the classroom. But yesterday I learned he did that with all his students, his friends, his colleagues. That makes me respect and appreciate his integrity and heart even more.

Nzinga and I always said that when she played in New York when she became a famous musician, she would send airfare and front seat tickets to Mr. Kilik. That was our dream. We are still in shock and terribly hurt that he is gone, but for us he will always be there in that front seat—very reserved and thoughtful, but obviously supportive with a kind of suppressed pride.

We will never ever forget him and we miss him so much!
These were Nzinga’s own words:
He was not only a great teacher but a great caring person as well. I had only hoped for him to see me reach the apotheosis of my playing so he could witness all his hard work put into action. He was the best teacher I have ever had and I wouldn't be where I am without him. He was always committed, never late, always went overtime on lessons and always believed in me. I can go on and on about his greatness.
And really capturing the essence of Jim’s gift as a teacher are a few thoughts from Danielle, another of Jim’s prize students from over the years (my mother remembers going with Jim to hear her play Messiaen’s Quatuor pour la fin du temps).
I really hope he knew what an important part of my life he was—a teacher and a mentor during such a significant part of my growing-up. I so clearly remember my first lessons with him in the basement of Jenkintown SMS. He taught me so much, including perhaps the most important lesson that I come back to so often in my teaching career: to take my own ego out of teaching. He was an amazing teacher and an amazing musician, but at some point he stopped playing at my lessons because he didn’t want me to pick up his own idiosyncrasies. When I went to college and had the option to continue studying with him, he told me it was time to get a different perspective. In my lifetime I don’t think I have ever seen a teacher who was able to make these kinds of decisions and I am so grateful to him. Not to mention the hours and hours of basically free lessons he gave me during summers whenever I needed help.
By emphasizing teaching, I don’t want to downplay Jim’s deep musicianship. I know many other friends and colleagues here who played with Jim over the years would say something similar, but in lieu of a complete roundup I will just share this comment from Mike Shaedel, pianist and Settlement teacher who played with Jim regularly, mostly through the Settlement Contemporary Players:
I enjoyed working with him so much. He was such a fine musician and a fine human being. He had a warm friendliness and seemed to operate completely outside the competitive spirit that often marks the music world. I appreciated that so much, it made working with him such pleasure!
Finally, there Jim’s legacy of generosity and warmth to friends and family. He was the partner my wonderful mother deserved her whole life and was lucky enough to find in the middle of both their lives.

I have many fond memories of Jim around the house – eating a banana for breakfast every day, on the rationale that the potassium in it was essential for heart health (when explaining this, he used to make a little gesture as of a creature keeling over dead like a canary in a coal mine); calling out “WHEEEEEE!” as he drove over a pothole, of which Philadelphia streets have very many (I should add, on the theme of generosity, that the reason I was so often in a car with Jim was that he was always eager to help my mom out by ferrying her visiting children around town as needed!); doing a 50-mile charity bicycle ride with me and my brother Michael and his lovely wife Jessi, who had a special connection with Jim (Jessi said recently that it was only in conversation with Jim that she learned that the “P&P” had an actual name, and that those letters stood for Pen and Pencil – they had both had stages of Philadelphia life, not at the same time, in which they regularly frequented that legendary joint). Jim had a huge amount of enthusiasm for softball, for bike-riding, for a whole host of errands and tasks that made my mother’s life easier.

Jim and my mother were devoted partners for twenty years, and in the wake of Jim’s cancer diagnosis in late December they got married officially in January. I wish we had had more time to celebrate that union. The final thing I want to tell you about, and I think it’s my favorite memory when I think of Jim, is just the way he used to say my mother’s name. “Caroline” – it was immensely fond, affectionate, yet it also had a tone of seriousness acknowledged her authority, and he definitely thought she had the final word on everything that mattered! My mother is all things that are excellent, but she is not eminently teasable, and I think Jim is really the only person who had license to tease her: as, for instance, about the habit that she and I share, of pouring a largish tumbler of whisky late at night before bed – Jim had a particular gesture that I really can’t reproduce, but that I categorize with the canary-in-a-coal-mine bananas-are-full-of-potassium motion, in which his eyes went very wide and his hands moved apart to signal the very massive nature of the tumblerful that tended to get poured!

And on that highly appropriate note, please get another drink and something to eat, and let us return to this excellent music and an evening of stories and reminiscences.

James Kilik, 1950-2015

June 20, 2015
Art Alliance of Philadelphia

Thank you for being here with us this evening to celebrate the memory of Jim Kilik.

Early life

These thoughts are from Jim’s dad Gene:
In 1950 when Jim was born at the very tiny, now very large Overlook Hospital in Summit, the family was living in a newly built split level (built as one of the huge number to house the newly created families formed during and after WW2) in Florham Park, NJ.

His family, under the mistaken notion that children living in the cities and suburbs were deprived of the experience of country and farm living, decided when Jim was about five (his brother Michael was 4 years older) to move to a seventeen-acre Old MacDonald farm in Readington, NJ, where sheep, chicken (broilers and laying hens), ducks, a big vegetable garden, three dogs and about twenty odd cats shared the residence. (Literally: spring lambs usually were born during February snow storms and were kept in the kitchen with the mother for a couple of days. Nothing is dumber than sheep except the Shepherd who has moved from the city or suburb.) While Michael bought the whole idea of farm life, Jim ignored the whole adventure. He didn't move in a society centered around a barn. He was all business even then.

(And I’ll add in my own voice a story that I’ve heard Gene tell now and again that I really love, a little story about “Jimmy” as a kid – Jim was always a good baseball player, as borne out in more recent years by his enthusiasm for serious recreational softball. And the neighborhood kids – probably Young Gabe most of all – would ask Jim to come out to play ball. And Young Jimmy would say – “I can’t come out to play right now. I’m a busy kid!”)

Jim understood from the beginning that the family wasn't really cut out to be farmers, and eventually the rest of the family caught on, so next stop, the old house in Murray Hill, NJ, where Jim quickly got disillusioned with public schools and in about the third grade transferred to the Far Brook School -- a school that had the knack of bringing out the interests and talents, whatever they were, of the kids that accepted the freedoms allowed by the school, a move that changed his life.

The primary mover in the change of Jim's attitude was the music teacher, Eddie Finckel. Yes, and the old plastic clarinet that Jim's Uncle Allen had gathering dust since he put his musical talents with other discarded detritus in storage. There was no one like Eddie Finckel who could dig out the talents of every kid who came under his low-key but large expectations. So, naturally, when Eddie and his wife Helen started their Vermont summer camp, Jim was among the first to sign up. He was camper and then counselor and for at least one summer led a group of wonderful kids who performed under a charming but forgettable name. (Note: maybe someone here remembers what that group was called?) At camp there were a bunch of guys and girls like Hal Slapin who never lost touch with each other.

(And a nice other note on the Far Brook years comes from Jim’s classmate Lucy Marks, who remembers Jim performing a memorable Caliban in the Tempest production for their eighth-grade graduation: “every time I see that play I am reminded of how Jim growled, “I must eat my dinner. This island’s mine by Sycorax my mother. . .” Lucy also adds that her great love of the Mozart clarinet concerto is thanks to Jim, who would always oblige her by playing her favorite passage.)

After Far Brook came a short time at prestigious private high school in Morristown, a school that didn't suit Jim at all. He transferred to the public regional high school, Governor Livingston, where he played in the band and firmed up his wish to someday become a real musician. He also became friendly with boys in the neighborhood, mainly Gabe Allocco. He and Gabe, one summer, helped Gabe’s father, a first-class carpenter, tear off the multiples of rooves on the old house and install a new wood shingle roof that was closer to the original on the eighteenth century house.

In Jim’s life there were, as in most lives, ups and downs. In Jim’s there were plenty of ups but one terrible down: the death of his brother, Michael. Michael was on his way to do a good deed when he was in an accident that caused a coma that lasted a year before he died. Michael was 39.
Professional career

Jim graduated from the New School of Music in Philadelphia, where he studied clarinet and saxophone with Ronald Reuben of the Philadelphia Orchestra (he also worked with Loren Kitt and Kalmen Opperman). During a long and successful career as a freelance musician in the greater Philadelphia area, Jim played many different kinds of music; he was a member for 22 years of the Delaware Symphony, but also performed regularly with the Pennsylvania Ballet Orchestra, Peter Nero and the Philly Pops, Network for New Music, Relache and the Playhouse at the Hotel Dupont in Wilmington.

I have heard many funny tales of these years, some of them not perhaps suitable for this sort of occasion (much alcohol was clearly consumed – and it is still slightly a regret that we were not able to host this gathering at the Pen and Pencil Club, which would have been a suitable venue but which isn’t set up to accommodate so many people at once!). Just a glimpse of their flavor will come from Jim’s friend John Hall’s reminiscence of when he first moved to Philadelphia in 1971 – he met Jim when Jim’s roommate lent him a place in their apartment in the 900 block of Pine Street while John looked for housing of his own. This is how John describes it:
The Pine Street apartment was the place where friends gathered on Friday nights (the only night when we took time from studying and practicing to socialize) before going out to a Pine Street pizzeria for hoagies, cheese steaks, beer, and pizza. A noteworthy and now-famous feature of this apartment was its attic, which Jim thoughtfully lent (rent-free) to our friend Todd Hemenway and wittily dubbed “The Winter Palace” since it had no heat, no running water, and broken windows so that the snow fell inside as well as out. Todd lived there for two years.
The other terrible “down” in Jim’s life

Gene wrote of one terrible “down” in Jim’s life. There was another that it’s important to remember this evening. Many of you know that Jim had to give up playing professionally in the spring of 2001. He had been struck by hand-focal dystonia – dystonia is one of the horrible afflictions that can strike professional musicians and others (in the mouth and embouchure, often, for brass players, but in Jim’s case in his hand). He followed with great interest Leon Fleisher’s activism and research around the problem of dystonia, participated in interviews for a documentary about dystonia awareness and was a very active supporter of the Dystonia Medical Research Foundation. Among other treatments he tried, Jim traveled to New York for a splinting trial – the theory was that by immobilizing the dystonic hand for two months it might “learn” or find new neural pathways on coming out of the splint. The leader of that trial, Dr. Steven Frucht, wrote these words to my mother after hearing of Jim’s death:
I have very vivid memories of Jim’s participation in the splinting trial. He was so engaged and willing to participate to help other musicians. I remember how astute his observations were about his condition, and how he understood the challenges facing similarly affected musicians.

It was a great privilege to meet and care for him.
Two important things to remember about Jim

When I think of the legacy Jim left behind, I think of his selflessness and generosity in two very important different domains: teaching, family and friends.

First, then, some thoughts on Jim’s teaching.

Jim was a longtime faculty member at Settlement Music School, as well as being on the faculty at Widener University in Chester.

These words come from Jim’s student Bill, a retired psychology professor at Temple who came regularly for coaching on the pieces he was playing with a local amateur orchestra and for summer music camps. Bill wrote this letter to Jim in February:
I wanted you to know how much your teaching and coaching has meant to me over the years. You are the first clarinet teacher who said to me (at various points in time) that you had been thinking about what the previous lesson had been about and now you had some additional suggestions. They were always on the mark. That alone set you apart from the ordinary “what do we work on this week” approach. You either knew the music I needed to learn (I was continually amazed at the range of your repertoire) or you got the score and a recording and proceeded to help me figure out how to play the piece . . . or at least how to be a bit better at faking it. That’s another unique feature about your teaching style: being willing to learn something new. Of course, the result on the student, me, was to make me work all the harder without feeling discouraged. Any number of times with a concert coming up I would bring the passage at hand and you would give me the encouragement that I was playing it just fine. A typical Kilik quote: “I don’t want to say anything because I will ruin it. It’s just fine.” Boy, those words helped me more than you can imagine. You know the repertoire and the techniques for both E-flat and bass clarinet. My being able to play (or attempt to play!) those instruments gave me entree into a literature that I never could have imagined performing on the standard clarinet. Your knowledge of the instruments from mouthpiece to bell helped me to get a far better sound and to gain almost enough information to ask Mark J. intelligent questions. Well, maybe not quite yet.
And this comment is from Rosemary Banks, the mother of one of Jim’s absolute prize students, Nzinga, who is now in her third year studying jazz at William Paterson University, after hearing from some other students and colleagues of Jim’s at a gathering at Settlement Music School last weekend:
I had always thought Mr. Kilik treated my daughter Nzinga very special by how vigilantly he taught her, and the support he gave outside the classroom. But yesterday I learned he did that with all his students, his friends, his colleagues. That makes me respect and appreciate his integrity and heart even more.

Nzinga and I always said that when she played in New York when she became a famous musician, she would send airfare and front seat tickets to Mr. Kilik. That was our dream. We are still in shock and terribly hurt that he is gone, but for us he will always be there in that front seat—very reserved and thoughtful, but obviously supportive with a kind of suppressed pride.

We will never ever forget him and we miss him so much!
These were Nzinga’s own words:
He was not only a great teacher but a great caring person as well. I had only hoped for him to see me reach the apotheosis of my playing so he could witness all his hard work put into action. He was the best teacher I have ever had and I wouldn't be where I am without him. He was always committed, never late, always went overtime on lessons and always believed in me. I can go on and on about his greatness.
And really capturing the essence of Jim’s gift as a teacher are a few thoughts from Danielle, another of Jim’s prize students from over the years (my mother remembers going with Jim to hear her play Messiaen’s Quatuor pour la fin du temps).
I really hope he knew what an important part of my life he was—a teacher and a mentor during such a significant part of my growing-up. I so clearly remember my first lessons with him in the basement of Jenkintown SMS. He taught me so much, including perhaps the most important lesson that I come back to so often in my teaching career: to take my own ego out of teaching. He was an amazing teacher and an amazing musician, but at some point he stopped playing at my lessons because he didn’t want me to pick up his own idiosyncrasies. When I went to college and had the option to continue studying with him, he told me it was time to get a different perspective. In my lifetime I don’t think I have ever seen a teacher who was able to make these kinds of decisions and I am so grateful to him. Not to mention the hours and hours of basically free lessons he gave me during summers whenever I needed help.
By emphasizing teaching, I don’t want to downplay Jim’s deep musicianship. I know many other friends and colleagues here who played with Jim over the years would say something similar, but in lieu of a complete roundup I will just share this comment from Mike Shaedel, pianist and Settlement teacher who played with Jim regularly, mostly through the Settlement Contemporary Players:
I enjoyed working with him so much. He was such a fine musician and a fine human being. He had a warm friendliness and seemed to operate completely outside the competitive spirit that often marks the music world. I appreciated that so much, it made working with him such pleasure!
Finally, there Jim’s legacy of generosity and warmth to friends and family. He was the partner my wonderful mother deserved her whole life and was lucky enough to find in the middle of both their lives.

I have many fond memories of Jim around the house – eating a banana for breakfast every day, on the rationale that the potassium in it was essential for heart health (when explaining this, he used to make a little gesture as of a creature keeling over dead like a canary in a coal mine); calling out “WHEEEEEE!” as he drove over a pothole, of which Philadelphia streets have very many (I should add, on the theme of generosity, that the reason I was so often in a car with Jim was that he was always eager to help my mom out by ferrying her visiting children around town as needed!); doing a 50-mile charity bicycle ride with me and my brother Michael and his lovely wife Jessi, who had a special connection with Jim (Jessi said recently that it was only in conversation with Jim that she learned that the “P&P” had an actual name, and that those letters stood for Pen and Pencil – they had both had stages of Philadelphia life, not at the same time, in which they regularly frequented that legendary joint). Jim had a huge amount of enthusiasm for softball, for bike-riding, for a whole host of errands and tasks that made my mother’s life easier.

Jim and my mother were devoted partners for twenty years, and in the wake of Jim’s cancer diagnosis in late December they got married officially in January. I wish we had had more time to celebrate that union. The final thing I want to tell you about, and I think it’s my favorite memory when I think of Jim, is just the way he used to say my mother’s name. “Caroline” – it was immensely fond, affectionate, yet it also had a tone of seriousness acknowledged her authority, and he definitely thought she had the final word on everything that mattered! My mother is all things that are excellent, but she is not eminently teasable, and I think Jim is really the only person who had license to tease her: as, for instance, about the habit that she and I share, of pouring a largish tumbler of whisky late at night before bed – Jim had a particular gesture that I really can’t reproduce, but that I categorize with the canary-in-a-coal-mine bananas-are-full-of-potassium motion, in which his eyes went very wide and his hands moved apart to signal the very massive nature of the tumblerful that tended to get poured!

And on that highly appropriate note, please get another drink and something to eat, and let us return to this excellent music and an evening of stories and reminiscences.

gifsboom: Video: Excited Baby Bunny Enjoys His Milk.







gifsboom:

Video: Excited Baby Bunny Enjoys His Milk.

Radium Age 100 (13)

fatal eggs thumb bulgakovMikhail Bulgakov's THE FATAL EGGS

False Machine (4)

thoth thumbThoth, Anax of Ýdron

(via 7 Contemporary Artists Influenced by Alchemy and Magick)









(via 7 Contemporary Artists Influenced by Alchemy and Magick)

Pop with a Shotgun (1)

hqdefaultDevin McKinney on: Betty McQuade's "Midnight Bus"

Journey’s End: Rushkoff and the Collapse of Narrative

Very nice analysis of Present Shock's "Narrative Collapse" chapter, and how it impacts movies and storytelling, from writer Sean P. Carlin. Here's a taste:

A narrative unfolds over time, and carries us to a logical, conclusive endpoint; Rushkoff, in essence, asserts that our conventional sense of continuity—of linear narrativity—got disrupted by seismic events like 9/11 and the Information Age (“The new inventions and phenomena that were popping up all around us just didn’t fit into the stories we were using to understand our circumstances” [ibid., 15]), as well as hijacked by advertisers and politicians that manipulated us to the point of disillusionment with false premises and promises.  (That is a gross oversimplification of but one aspect of Rushkoff’s elegant thesis, and I encourage anyone interested in further exploration of the subject to read Present Shock, or at very least check out this brief video lecture Rushkoff conducted for PSFK.)

With a narrative arc that is possibly no longer compatible “with a presentist culture” (ibid., 39), as Rushkoff posits, what’s arisen in its place is a sort of “postnarrative” approach to storytelling (bear with me on this one because it’s a very cool, eye-opening notion), in which there are either no stakes or consequences (he cites The Simpsons as an example), the viewing experience itself supplants linear plot progression as the entire point of the program (Beavis and Butt-headMystery Science Theater 3000), or, the movement’s current permutation:  sprawling ensemble shows like LostGame of Thrones, and The Walking Dead, which “are less about what will happen next, or how the story will end, than about figuring out what is actually going on right now—and enjoying the world of the fiction, itself” (ibid., 32).

“And like a fantasy role-playing game, [Game of Thrones] is not about creating satisfying resolutions, but rather about keeping the adventure alive and as many threads going as possible.  There is plot—there are many plots—but there is no overarching story, no end.  There are so many plots, in fact, that an ending tying everything up seems inconceivable, even beside the point” (ibid., 34).

That is postnarrative storytelling in a nutshell.  To be clear:  It isn’t necessarily that it’s epic in scope and ensemble-driven—Lord of the Ringswas that, and that’s a classically structured hero’s journey if ever there was one—it’s that it adheres to an altogether different organizational pattern and corresponding set of audience expectations than the mythic arc that has given shape to virtually every story since Classical Antiquity.  There’s no moral.  There’s no conclusion.  There’s no catharsis in The End because there is no end built into the overall design of the narrative experience.  In short:  This isn’t your great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandfather’s campfire yarn.

More at Sean P Carlin's blog.

Nat Hiken

Nat+with+bilko+castRiotous, often subversive satire.

George Russell

george-russellRevelatory ways of relating chords to scales.

itscolossal: Vincent van Gogh Possibly Identified in Newly…





itscolossal:

Vincent van Gogh Possibly Identified in Newly Discovered Group Photo of Famous Artists from 1887

thingsmagazine: The Blue Meanie



thingsmagazine:

The Blue Meanie

oursoulsaredamned: La mort et les sacremens.Death and…



oursoulsaredamned:

La mort et les sacremens.

Death and sacraments: Death, as a skeleton dressed in 18th century costume, half-length, surrounded by seven roundels representing the sacrament Etching, pasted on blue paper

© The Trustees of the British Museum

Next Page »