"Well, if you're wondering what happened, so am I"

Many, many thanks to the producers—and, of course, the ever-perspicacious pundit of a host—for lending six minutes of television to some full-on, rambling music nerdery. For a brief moment, my life turned into something out of a Jacques Tati movie, which was quite pleasantly surreal.

As of right now, the top comment on this clip comes courtesy of Colbert Nation commenter "lord goll," who writes
Comments on this site are becoming quite ephemeral—just like Beethoven's dating life.
I giggled pretty hard at that.

Northeast Regional

After a brief hibernation, First Four Notes-related activities are picking up again. First, I'll be speaking at the Boston Public Library on January 17—holy cats, that's tonight—at 6:00 PM. Then, next Tuesday, I'll be heading into Gotham for a lunchtime talk, starting at noon, at 92Y Tribeca. Joining me for some prefatory four-hand piano peril will be noted sophisticate and upright citizen Ethan Iverson—who will also be hosting an informal preview on Monday night.

Beethoven cat? Beethoven cat.

The nearest snow is sixty miles away from here

The First Four Notes, by way of a slightly unreliable narrator (me) will be on The Diane Rehm Show today. In the words of our unofficial national mantra, check your local listings.

Also, the book has spurred another bit of thoughtfulness, this one courtesy of Eileen Reynolds and the L.A. Review of Books. Concrete and chromium adorn ya!

Raise a glass

Happy 242nd birthday to Ludwig van Beethoven!
It is the process [of creativity] that motivates every human activity, from the Sunday Sermon to the Happy Hour at the local bar. Only the consciousness of the fact differs. If you know it incredibly well you write Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. If you refuse to even consider it, than cocktail hour may be your most important experience. This is not to suggest that Beethoven's cocktail hour might not have been momentous.

—Keith Jarrett (liner notes
for Concerts, 1982)

By the time I get to

A reminder that I will be in Phoenix, Arizona tonight, December 12, at 6:30 PM, talking with T. A. Frank of Zócalo Public Square. (Click that link for details.)

Also, The First Four Notes has recently attracted notice from the Washington Times and Bookforum. Thank you!


The First Four Notes and its author have had a busy week. On Tuesday, I had the pleasure of reading (and manhandling the keyboard) at the Greenwich Library; thank you to everyone who came out, especially in far-from-ideal weather conditions. Then, yesterday, my that's-a-great-face-for-radio tour continued with a visit to WBUR's Radio Boston, which you can now listen to on their website.

There's also a brief interview with me in this week's issue of The Phoenix; many thanks to Debra Cash for making my thoughts sound coherent and linear. Not easy!

If that still isn't enough Ludwig van for you, then do come out to the People's Republic of Cambridge, Massachusetts tonight, November 30 at 7:00 PM at the Harvard Book Store for another reading.

All is Bright

"A Fifth of Beethoven," played by the St. John's Steel Band. For a Christmas Eve service! Good tidings.