Hilltop Diary, Nov. 4, 2020

It has been an eventful couple of weeks at Hilltop, but also a time to buckle down and work.  We managed to go buy a pile of pumpkins in various sizes and colors at a country stand not far from us. Crystal carved a face in one of them, and I baked its seeds for snacking. On Halloween night itself, we were guests at some friends’ house and gave out treats there, and of course ate too much.

Enough cold finally came in that we could have a fire in the fireplace in our den a couple of nights, which we always enjoy. I got to use my new axe to chop some logs that were too big, a scary beast that Crystal gave me for my birthday in September. Then it got warm enough outside to sit out in the sun a few afternoons; and of course we “fell back” to what I call Daylight Wasting Time, when it gets dark way too early in the afternoon. During this time I did another pass through my entire novel and revised some things, which took a week or so, and I finished proofreading/ revising the conductor’s score to the fourth movement of my new symphony, and I began editing the players’ parts. Along with this has been my online teaching, today on the life and music of Johannes Brahms, and my article on English composer George Butterworth was published today by The Epoch Times. CLICK HERE if you want to read it online in their Arts section. Here is a captivating realization of a photo of Brahms as a young man, made to appear as a modern photograph, next to a reminder of how we usually picture him a bit older.

Brahms Young and Old

Of course, we are presently experiencing the “adventure” (to put it kindly) of the U.S. election and are just ready for it to be over, no matter who wins. Crystal and I both prefer to avoid conflict and disagreement, and we have friends of every political persuasion. I try to look at people as a whole person and all of their interests, gifts, and trials. As a composer, I am happy that my music is completely apolitical and intended to bring beauty, peace, and joy to every person of every opinion and culture. A few days ago, my last album, “The Sea Knows” reached 230 thousand streams in 70 countries on the Spotify platform, which is very gratifying in that respect. I would like to at least try to leave the world a little more beautiful place than I found it, as I’m sure you would like to do.

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