Updates for Saturday, May 8th [2004]

Never trouble another for what you can do yourself.


Dear Friends,

I am undergoing a new correspondence with the somewhat strange man from the Radio Shanty, Professor Ludwig Von Meises. I enclude my first letter and his response which I recieved this morning, for your persual. Should you be desirous to know, I do well and spend my time freely with Natalie and tending to my turtle, Mr. Capitalism. I shall report more when I am disposed of less to do.

- TH. Jefferson

Dear Sir,

Your amusing stories about technology and science have bemused me and amused me both at once, so I would enjoy sharing your correspondence, as you suggested writing to this "e-mail" address of yours. A great way to send letters quickly, no?

I am perhaps behind the days on things, as certain men certainly are. This became most evident to me the other day, in discussions with my good friend Daniel. He was working on the computer, telling me again of all the fantastic things it can accomplish, to which I lend skepticism but interest as I know I am a man behind the times, so to speak. He told me it could download anything, the film of television, of motion pictures, of radio and song. So I indeed asked, if it is so absolute, then could it acquire for me some of my favorite old songs?

Surely, you jest, as I am an obscure purveyor of music. I can't imagine that there would be a recording of my brand of music, I would imagine such would be... vintage. So, I gave him a few titles. I list now some of the songs I hoped to find. The favorite passion of my soul possibly renewed, I thought, at the behest of my good friend. So I sat for a day and recorded all the titles of the compositions I favored most. I noticed most people don't have the instruments to play them for oneself, but with recordings I might relish in this music. So I waited for some kind of result, in much anticipation.

A segment of this list was as follows:

La buona figliuola del Piccini
Love in a Village
The Beggar's Opera
Cuckoo & Extravaganza
Geminiani's minuet

So, I awaited, day after day, when Daniel said indeed that he'd been looking, and hadn't found a single thing. A week passed, and I had no music to speak of to listen to, my hopes dashed that no one in history had recorded them.

So, what did I do? I decided to use this search facility for myself, when Daniel was away and I was deciding to record some thoughts. I looked up Vivaldi, and indeed, putting the term in I found hundreds of songs, all orchestrial and most from Vivaldi himself, others recompositions or from similarly named composers. I found others, like Haydn, Bach, Handel, Corelli, and plenty of vocals and instrumentals old and new. Instead of searching for the titles of their orchestras, as I had instructed Daniel, it was best to search for their names. If he even searched at all, 'twas something I did not know. I suppose the exactity of the search terms I gave him were simply not profound enough.

So, perhaps good gentleman, we might discuss music in this dialogue? I have little else to bring up, I have no violin and no piano to play, as I am barren where I am now. If not, I happily will listen to any story you might have of science or of your experiments you speak so frankly of.

Your most obedt. & most humble servt,

- Thomas J.

Dear Thomas,

Thank you for your letter, but I have not been much for music. The late German komponists of the old musikwissenschaft have gone to the annals of our history pages, and in their place I suffer poor retro-industrial grunge rock music. There isn't a German alive who knows how to play a violin. As such I have not been in the mood to listen to much song.

- Prof. Ludwig v. Meises

P.S. It has been my chief interest to befriend Von Meises, since I must research his involvement in ChronoTech if I hope to find my way home to my own time. This letter's effort, however sincere, seems not to have worked. Perhaps next time?

Editor's Notes:

TeeJ's first shot at making a friend doesn't strike the right cord.

This update is about music, and Jefferson was a very dedicated musician. He loved playing the violin and his family enjoyed a large selection of music to play and listen to. A 1783 catalogue of his music listed some of the artists and compositions referenced in this update, sampled from the appendix of "Thomas Jefferson and Music" by Helen Cripe.

Jefferson shared his talent for playing the violin with his wife, who played the piano, and was known for taking his violin with him on trips (perhaps the bond with his wife being the reason for his sentimentality towards music). He was said, by plantation overseer Edmund Bacon, to be "nearly always humming some tune, or singing in a low tone to himself". Monticello slave Isaac Jefferson said he was "always singing when ridin' or walkin'".

He even passed the gift to other generations, he gave his grand-daughter a guitar to encourage her talents, and gave his daughter this advice: "Do not neglect your music. It will be a companion which will sweeten many hours of life to you."

Music to Jefferson was "the favorite passion of my soul, and fortune has cast my lot in a country where it is in a state of deplorable barbarism." (from a letter to Giovanni Fabbroni Williamsburgh, June 8, 1778)

And yes, if you search for those artists on P2P, you should be able to find their works. By name, not by title.

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