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Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Jack-in-the-box. By John von Daler

                Most of us love surprises. Not big, unpleasant ones like, say, slipping on a banana peel, but something more like a jack-in-the-box that fascinates you enough to keep you pushing it into place and letting it loose again time after time. The small joy of that smiling face hopping out of its case has no logical reason; it's a pleasant emotion, fear turned into farce.

                Among composers I often look for someone who will surprise me in that way, someone who will lead me down what looks like a well-trodden path only to dash off in another direction thumbing his nose pleasantly. Eric #Satie is such a composer. His piano works fascinate me with all their tiny springs, even when they are sad. He continues, despite the number of times I have heard his works, to jump out of his box and charm me every time.


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