Saturday, July 31, 2010

Cold Horn Intonation

Since I've played strings most of my life I associate "cold" with sharp and "hot" with flat. That the opposite is true for horns has been made obvious by experience, but I didn't know why. The explanation in this post made me realize I was thinking about the effect of temperature on the horn itself, not the air column inside it.

In Practical Hints on Playing the French Horn David Bushouse brings up another very practical aspect of playing the horn in tune, that of temperature.

"The tuning of wind instruments is affected greatly by temperature extremes. A cold instrument contains a cold air column which has greater density than warm air. Sound waves pass from air molecule to air molecule, and there are more molecules in the cold air than in the same volume of warm air. Therefore it takes longer for sound to travel in a cold air column, resulting in a slower velocity. This means the cold air column has a lower pitch than the same air column when warm."

This post by Prof. Ericson is one of a series he's been doing comparing and contrasting the positions taken by various texts on the issues facing horn players. While there is some agreement on some issues, there are a lot of different opinions on others, which tends to confirm my notion that the horn is the least settled instrument in the orchestra, both in terms of what the instrument is (single, double or triple) and the best way to play it.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Timepiece: Performance Notes

Here are the performance notes I came up with when I first sent off the Timepiece parts to Jonathan some months back. When I play music I've written with friends, I'm there to say how it to play it. Sending off parts to the U.K. for people I've never met to play is a different matter entirely. Posting them now so they'll be here to link in a future post about the limits of notation.

           Performance notes for Timepiece 

There is no Platonic ideal of performance in my head.
Beyond the pitches and the rhythms, all the notation may
be considered as suggestions rather than directions.

A major consideration throughout the composition was to
play with the wonderful diversity of timbres in a quintet.
When instruments are playing similar patterns, the hope is
for near perfect blends creating even more richness of
timbre. A mark of success would be for someone hearing it
not being sure from time to time exactly what instruments
were in the mix.

The slurs indicate phrases and need not be fully legato.

Beautiful, full and unforced tone at all times is more
important than dynamic variation. The dynamic markings
are what was needed to get the computer to play it back
something close to what was intended. The various blends
of timbres depend upon each instrument playing at the
volume level for best tone of any given pitch.

The rhythms, while regular (like a timepiece), shouldn't be
formal. A little bit of a jazzy feel or "groove" would be fine.
The final chord of each section is sort of like Big Ben tolling
the hour. Hold that fermata as long as is comfortable and
let the timbres ring out in a vibrant mix. In performance,
take your time moving to the next section so that chord
can reverberate in the ears and minds of the audience.
(Should there ever be a performance and there is sufficient
time, the sections are meant to be played 1, 2, 3, 2, 1, 3.)

The feeling tone of the piece is meant to be completely
positive. No angst, anger or depression. Playfulness and
joy, yearning and reverence, exhilaration and celebration
were more of what I had in mind. If you (and an audience)
feel uplifted after playing it, mission accomplished.

Timepiece: Influences

The most amazing thing to me about Jonathan West and the St. Clements Wind Ensemble deciding to perform Timepiece at the Fringe Festival in Edinburgh next month is that it's happening at all. The next most amazing thing has been how on target Jonathan has been about what composers have influenced my writing. I'd never realized how much my music suggests the composers I like. 

The first indication Jonathan had me pegged was in an email he sent after SCWE had worked on Timepiece once or twice, and in talking about Kyle Gann's The Planets he wrote, "it also reminds me a bit of Milhaud's "The Creation of the World", which is for a similar (but slightly larger) ensemble. I think you would enjoy the Milhaud, we played it in Edinburgh a couple of years ago."

In previous emails to Jonathan about Timepiece I'd refrained from mentioning that it was Milhaud's wind quintet Le Cheminée du Roi René that had awakened me to the possibilities of that particular ensemble, as it seemed a bit presumptuous for a nobody to be talking about the influence of Milhaud. I discovered that work back in the 80's and it's one of the few classical recordings I've listened to over time. Its episodic, informal nature and the wonderful uses of the timbres of the five instruments, together and in various combinations, make for a very refreshing listen. 

Then in a subsequent email Jonathan said, "By the way, thinking about Timepiece and running through it in my head has turned up some connections and similarities that might interest you. The use of the irregular time signatures, and the way they give a lopsided rhythm to the piece reminds me rather of the Six Dances in Bulgarian Rhythm from Bartok's Mikrokosmos. Also there is a bit of an echo of Satie's Gymnopedies, especially in Timepiece 2 and to a lesser extent in Timepiece 1."

When I was in conservatory slogging my way through piano juries, little of the assigned music really appealed to me and I was always on the lookout for music I felt more of a connection with. While I didn't work on the Bulgarian Dances Jonathan mentioned, I did find and work a lot with Mikrokosmos, and consciously used it as a model in writing music for adult piano beginners five years before writing Timepiece. That it was still in my mind, albeit unconsciously, years later, was a revelation.

As for Erik Satie, he is certainly amongst my top favorite composers, and that Jonathan was reminded of him by my music is a high compliment indeed. When I lived In San Antonio in the 80's, which was back before Southern Music moved to its new location, they would let me wander the stacks. Some of my most exciting finds were pieces of Satie piano music that hadn't yet been recorded. Those pieces, along with some of the more well known ones have always been in the mix when I spend time playing keyboard. 

The takeaway on this how it illustrates the involvement of the unconscious in music and music making, and how once it's pointed out it seems obvious. What we are conscious of doing is not all that we are doing.

Neuroscience of Musical Gesture

Given my long time belief that a lot of the power of music comes from its mimicry of, and entanglement with, physical gesture, this story in Psychology Today is a great find. 

I believe that music sounds like people, moving. Yes, the idea may sound a bit crazy, but it's an old idea, much discussed in the 20th century, and going all the way back to the Greeks. There are lots of things going for the theory, including that it helps us explain...

(1) why our brains are so good at absorbing music (...because we evolved to possess human-movement-detecting auditory mechanisms),

(2) why music emotionally moves us (...because human movement is often expressive of the mover's mood or state), and

(3) why music gets us moving (...because we're a social species prone to social contagion).

On the perceptual level there's this:

Visual and auditory information interact in the brain, and the brain utilizes both to guess the single scene to render a perception of. For example, the research of Ladan Shams, Yukiyasu Kamitani and Shinsuke Shimojo at Caltech have shown that we perceive a single flash as a double flash if it is paired with a double beep. And Robert Sekuler and others from Brandeis University have shown that if a sound occurs at the time when two balls pass through each other on screen, the balls are instead perceived to have collided and reversed direction. . . .

. . . Instead, vision and audition talk to one another, and there are regions of cortex responsible for making vision and audition fit one another. These regions know about the sounds of looks and the looks of sounds.

This story is an excerpt of a book due out in 2011 called Harnessed: How Language and Music Mimicked Nature and Transformed Ape To Man by Mark Changizi. I buy and read very few books these days, but this one easily makes the cut. In the meantime I've bookmarked his blog and will be going back to see if there are other excerpts. If he gets around to talking about Manfred Clynes and sentics I may have to turn in my "outlier" badge.

Horn Audio

One thing that always surprises me listening back to my horn playing recorded on the little Sony is how unlike the sound is to how I think it sounds. Here lately I tried adding in some reverb on the playback when making CDs and that went a long way towards making the recorded sound seem more like my experience of the live sound.

It might be that the Sony is not picking up enough reflected sound, perhaps due to having it to close to the sound source. 

It may well be that the single most important factor in recording the horn (or anything else) is mic placement. Perhaps more than most instruments, the sound of the horn is a mix of the direct and reflected sounds. 

Audio Note

Using audio equipment for performance or recording can be a boon to music making, but like every other aspect of music making, you need a good sense of what you want to do and how to go about it. The best text I've ever found on audio issues is Audio Made Easy by Ira White, ISBN 0-7935-7293-2. 

The edition I have is from 1999 and the only thing that's out of date seems to be him talking about DAT (Digital Audio Tape) as a possible mode of recording. These days that format has pretty much faded. The great value of this large format, 68 page book is that he goes through all the basic principles and equipment involved and gives you all the info you need to do things yourself. 

Over the years I've read it through several times and also looked up specific issues from time to time. It's a model for clear presentation of the basic essentials of a subject. 

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Music "Primes" Brain

Here are a few snips from this story on research coming out of Northwestern University:

Musical instruction can "prime" the brain to improve human skills in language, speech, memory and attention, U.S. researchers say. . . 

An active engagement with musical sounds not only enhances neuroplasticity, Nina Kraus, director of Northwestern's Auditory Neuroscience Laboratory, said, but also creates permanent patterns important to all learning. . . 

"A musician's brain selectively enhances information-bearing elements in sound," Kraus said, and "the nervous system makes associations between complex sounds and what they mean."

These efficient sound-to-meaning connections are important not only for music but for other aspects of communication, she said.

Monday, July 19, 2010

TT Quote

Here's a snip from Terry Teachout's latest post:

Neville Cardus, the English music critic, spent World War II in Australia. Most Aussies then were well behind the cultural curve, and Cardus learned to his dismay that the centerpiece of the first concert he was to review for the Sydney Morning Herald was Beethoven's Fifth Symphony, the "Mona Lisa" of classical music. What could he possibly say about a warhorse he'd heard at least a hundred times?

That night, though, he glanced around the concert hall and realized that at least half ot the audience had never before heard a performance of Beethoven's Fifth. "To those Australians, in the Sydney Town Hall, the Fifth Symphony was a revelation," he later recalled. "I found this a tremendous inspiration....the concert was for me an illumination and living proof that there are no hackneyed masterpieces, only hackneyed critics."

Want to save it because it gets at the issue of specialists losing view of what I've started calling the "common touch" elements of music. There's more to it than just this, but part of it is that specialists have rewired their brains in so well that they perceive music and its effects differently than the hoi polloi, and often seem unaware of the unintended consequences of that situation.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

The Kenwood Players

Down in the comments to this (terrific) post Jeffrey asks who "the group of eight" are I'd referred to and here's my response:

Hi, Jeffrey - My "group of eight" players meets once a week to help me proof arrangements printed out as part books for each individual instrument and player. Everybody has the melody and at least one (and usually two or three) other parts to choose from. The idea is to help people enjoy whatever technique they have - the target audience being folks denied entry into the necessarily elite world of school music, home schoolers, and folks who were/are in school music and want to use their skills in a more personally expressive way than playing in a large ensemble.

Two of the players are a retired minister and a retired public educator who played Eb tuba "back in the day", and they've both told me a number of times that this group is the most enjoyable and rewarding playing experience they've ever had in their 70 plus years. Our percussionist is a retired elementary music teacher. Our sax man played trumpet years ago and has taken up the tenor, alto and soprano in retirement. Trumpet and clarinet are a retired couple and the trombone is a cousin. The trumpet and trombone are pro level and can soar on improvisations. I play guitar and sing (with occasional horn and flute).

Part of all this also to inject more live music into the community (music therapy on a broad scale). We play at country churches, benefits for non-profits, a local assisted care facility, and community events. It's very frustrating to me that there are so many people with band instruments in their closets and a community concert band being the only real playing option, so they end up not playing at all.

I started out as a psychiatric attendant and group therapist and am a huge believer in the beneficial nature of small groups, and see combining that with music making as a near perfect pairing. We get compliments on our music, but also a lot on how obviously were all enjoying each other and making music together. I think the camaraderie we display has as much effect on the audience as the music we make.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Audio Note

At the Picnic in the Park this year the audio setup worked very well. One reason we got a better audience response was that more of them could hear us.

The basic configuration was two large keyboard amps up off the ground flanking the players who sat in a flattened semi-circle with me standing in the middle in the front. All the instruments and mics were behind the plane of those two amps. Also had a small keyboard amp facing forward, but back next to Judy and the drums. My guitar was plugged into that, along with a dynamic mic on Maggie's clarinet and a bit of the main feed going out to the big amps. Had a condenser mic front and center, but behind the plane of the big amps, for me to sing into and to pick up the group as a whole, and another for the trumpet and trombone to aim at during their solos. Also ran a line from the little amp into the mixer to go into the main feed. The two tubas had dynamic mics in their bells which were plugged into the mixer.

Not sure why, but if I got too close to the vocal mic, the sound went wonky, with sort of a treblely ringing, but being 8 to 12 inches away gave a great sound. The setup worked well because it helped us hear each other as well as helping the audience hear us. Besides getting compliments on our playing, there were a few on how well the sound system was working. I was particularly proud of there not being a single feedback screech from setting up and turning on to turning off and packing up. I think if you let one of those nasty sounds erupt from your system, everyone is sort of on guard for a while and not able to be fully open to your sound.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Juan Diego Flórez on Voice

Opera Chic just scored a major interview with Juan Diego Flórez (a major league operatic tenor) and this bit jumped out at me. He's talking about his manager, whose help managing his voice (which roles he should sing) is far more important than managing opera performance dates.

Ernesto has been valuable because he’s someone with a good pair of ears, and someone with a good pair of ears hears you much better than you’re able to hear yourself. Of course, it’s hard to understand yourself how your voice is perceived. For singers, we have an ear that hears ourselves outside and inside. For instance, when you have a cold and your ears are blocked, you hear yourself more on the inside. So it’s a constant balance of the ear’s inner and outer parts, and singers tend to think of their voices in a different way. So it’s good to have somebody who you can trust and who understands your voice. I think now, I have a very good idea of how I sound and what my voice is like and this is a very good thing.

Narrowing the gap between how you think you sound and how others perceive your sound is a vital part of making a healthy connection with an audience as a performer.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Horn Diary

All things considered, I'm pleased with where I am with the horn right now. I'm guessing there was a quicker way to have gotten here, but I'll never know. At any rate, I got through this past community band concert without any egregious errors, and what errors there were, were more of omission than commission. 

My strategy was to play for sure only the parts where I wasn't doubling the trumpets or trombones, as there are full sections of each of them and only me for a horn section. I tried to convey this intent to the conductor early on, but it didn't register, so I fingered all the notes when he wanted to drill something in rehearsal with me and the trumpets and/or trombones, but put very little lip into it. He usually got so caught up in correcting errors with the other instruments, my not playing didn't seem to register.

On the plus side of the ledger, the times here and there where there was a horn solo or integral harmony part, I was there, and to my ear in the concert, at least at times, adding something to the overall sound of the band. Having heard Clara M and the C'ville horns at the spring concert really digging into the articulations was a revelation that gave me something to shoot for this time.

With great joy I dropped the band music immediately after the concert and have been working on some hunting songs from old Europe, along with a couple of hymns we'll be doing in churches this summer, and the little Renaissance Tunes arrangement and the Trumpet Tunes arrangement I did for the Kenwood Players.

For quite some time now I start every session with a lot of F horn. I remain convinced that there is something about the F horn that gives the player easier access to the heart of the horn sound. The music I'm playing is right in the middle of the horn range and built around the harmonic series, so the intervals just seem to naturally pop out. I also find playing an entire melody or harmony part far more comprehensible than all the little snips and snatches you get in band music that make very little musical sense on their own.

Last Friday only Crawford, who has symphonic experience and has exceptional tone on his E flat tuba, was to only one to come to Friday rehearsal. We just played through all our  music as duets and had a fine time. There's a chance I have achieved baseline adequacy with the horn. 

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Horn Diary

The Mouthpiece Honeymoon Syndrome  

The last entry mentioned my wanting to go back to the Farkas deep cup (DC) mouthpiece after using the medium cup (MC) since the meltdown. I ended up back with the MC because I got fooled by the mouthpiece honeymoon syndrome one more time. In an exchange with Bruce Hembd a while back, he confirmed that this is a real issue experienced by other (real) horn players.

Basically what happens is you come across a mouthpiece different from the one you're currently using, the new one works fantastically well, you switch over, only to have the bottom fall out around 10 days to two weeks later. Back this spring I actually got into the third week before all the wonderful things turned to not so wonderful things.

What seems to be the case is that while your embouchure "set" for the initial mouthpiece can work even better on another mouthpiece, the foundation isn't there, so (for me) the part of the embouchure touching the mouthpiece gets out of whack with all the rest of your physical involvement with the instrument.

It's not as bad as a complete meltdown, but leaves the seemingly unanswerable question of whether you should go through the whole rearrangement in hopes of coming out ahead of where you are. I decided to go back to the MC, and bought a medium deep cup (MDC) to try out over time.

Voice Diary

I record most of the performances of the Kenwood Players and then make a CD for each player. That means listening closely all the way through twice, always noticing things that weren't as evident to me in the real time of the performance. The recording of the last week's performance is the first time I didn't physically cringe at least once listening to my voice. One of the most amazing things to me about the Kenwood Players is that I've ended up being a vocalist they feel is good enough to perform with in public.

I never sang as a child through high school, and when taking up the guitar in college it was transferring my piano finger skills to finger picking that occupied me the most. Any singing was just humming the melody enough to hear where the chord changes were. 

A couple of years after college I spent some months backpacking, traveling with guitar, through southern South America with a friend fluent in Spanish, sticking to the back roads. Chile was where we started out, and the first time I ever sang in public was around a small bonfire outside a small village on the coast. I remember doing Dylan's "Hard Rain". Jim asked one of the villagers what he thought and the reply was "se pasa" (it passes). 

What has always made my singing cringe worthy to me (and family and friends who have known me mostly as a non-singer) has been the weirdly inauthentic moments when the emoting overpowers the technique and the psychodrama implodes the music.

In this latest recording there are lots of errors of intonation and rhythm, but none made me cringe. I hope that's because I'm finally able, after nearly 40 years of trying, to have the singing be inflected by the emotions rather than visa versa. But then again, it could just be my ear has become numb to my neuroses.

Then there's the whole issue of two very close friends I got to know after I began to sing, both of whom much prefer what they call my "old voice" of before my working on it so much here the past ten years or so. 

photo - bull frog with the old hay barn in the background

Friday, July 9, 2010

Empowering Players

Just this afternoon got word from Jonathan that the St Clements Wind Ensemble has, after two (more than just reading through) rehearsals, decided to go forward with performing Timepiece at the Fringe festival in Edinburgh in August.  I. Am. Over. The. Moon.

Part of it has to do with why I write music. I think the error of the 20th century modernists was assuming radical change was needed to refresh the repertoire. There's all kinds of stuff yet to be written in what I'm going to start calling "common touch" harmonies and rhythms that the modernists flew right past in their quest to be ever so much cooler than the plebes. I use rhythms that are more complex than simple 3 or 4 to the measure, but which still have a recognizable bounce and shape. My harmonies are all tonal, but "modal" gets used as a descriptor, and I do love Gesualdo. 

Also, I'm not sure I completely buy into the whole cartharsis thing. There are times it can work wonderfully, but there are other times that's not what I'm looking for. I do not need music to feel the negative emotions like anxiety, depression and anger. I most of the time want music to reinforce positive emotions in fresh ways. My sense of audiences who've heard my music is that I'm at least partly successful.

But this I why I'm so happy. Below, Jonathan comments:

When rehearsing a new piece, particularly a newly-composed piece where you haven't had any opportunity to listen to recordings, the music emerges only gradually. Initially, you are just concentrating on counting and getting the right notes in the right places. Only after that do you have time to give attention to balance, phrasing and eventually structure and overall interpretation.

And the interesting thing about this process in chamber music is that it is a collaborative process. All the participants have something to contribute to the interpretation, we are not just ciphers working according to the controlling mind and interpretation of the conductor.

That my music can be used for this level of music making - and that it engages the players enough to want to continue working to see what they can make of it - is a whole new level of validation, both in terms of my notions of where music can go and of my notion that small ensembles are part of the answer to lot of Greg Sandow's questions. All the small ensembles (regular and irregular) keeping the culture of homemade music making alive need fresh material, and the latest twitch out of the twelve tone enclave ensconced in the academy isn't very helpful.

And maybe it's because we just went through the Fourth, but this really struck a chord with me:

. . . we are not just ciphers working according to the controlling mind and interpretation of the conductor.

This made me realize I'm more of the democratic/republican way of thinking than the authoritarian/totalitarian when it comes to music making. I've always had trouble with authority figures for whom I could deduce no really good reason for their having authority other than the quirks of samsara. To my mind, it would be a sign of a more vibrant music making culture if what Jonathan is talking about here were simply assumed, and it was the surrender of liberty involved playing for an autocrat that needed explaining.

photo - yard violets, which our Vermont readership (who asked me to write a wind quintet in the first place) insists are flowers and not weeds.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Picnic in the Park 2010

Here's a shot of the Kenwood Players at the Picnic in the Park this past Monday. The temperature was nearly 100 degrees and the heat index was higher. We played an early set from 5:30 until 6:15, then the A Touch of Dixie group (me on banjo and a vocal) played from 6:45 until 7:15, then the community band played the national anthem at 7:30, the community chorus sang, and then the band played from 8:15 until 9:00. The Kenwood Players then did a short set between 9:00 and the fireworks at 9:30.

We all played well, and the crowd was nicely appreciative of all the bands and the chorus. I want to do a few separate posts on various things, this one being to give context. This event was the culmination of a lot of work by a lot of people, and for me it was a testing ground for lots of things I've been trying to accomplish, and overall there's a solid sense of success. Here's a snip from an email Charles Torian, the conductor of the community band, sent out.

Please allow me to thank you for the fine season we have enjoyed together. Monday's performance 'took the cake' in terms of your playing especially well in severely adverse conditions. It's been a long time since I've had to work in those temperatures, but you met the challenge with grace, an uncomplaining demeanor, and a real excellence in your pitch, which could have been a major disaster if you hadn't maintained the control you exhibited. I was proud to be able to accept, on your behalf, the applause of the audience as it increased during your program.

Maestro Charles sat right behind the Kenwood Players during our first set, the first time he'd heard us. He was very complimentary of the little arrangement I'd done for the group that strings together "Yankee Doodle", "Shortenin' Bread", and "Oh! Susanna." He also really liked the way the tubas were amplified, and suggested that in the future we might try that for the community band. 

Besides being our first director who has committed to the long term leadership of the band, Charles is a fine arranger. He's working on translating some brass band music from the Civil War era into something the band can play. Also, Orange is the home of President Zachary Taylor as well as James Madison, and a Taylor family member has asked the community band to play over at Montpelier in November at an event celebrating President Taylor. Charles, with his knowledge of historical music troves down in Richmond, has found some piano music written in honor of Zachary Taylor and is working out some arrangements for the band to play. All the historical stuff is great, but having music created just for our little group is terrific.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Timepiece ~ A Wind Quintet

(proposed program note for Timepiece)

I've been a Registered Music Therapist since 1980 and first got into composing by writing piano pieces for adult beginners more suitable for their larger hands and mature sensibilities than the children's pieces usually on offer. Then over the years I also began to write music for myself and friends to play, mostly involving flute, alto flute, cello and piano.

In 1994 a flute playing friend asked me to write a piece for the wind quintet she'd just joined and I jumped at the chance because that ensemble combines the intimate expressiveness of a small chamber group with such a powerful palette of tonal colors. The title derives from two of the three movements having unusual time signatures, which allows for creating fresh and innovative music while remaining fully in the tonal realm.

A late draft of Timepiece got a small public reading and was never heard again as some members of that quintet moved away and it never reformed. Last year on Jonathan West's horn blog I read of his interest in finding new music and got in touch. On getting a receptive response I sent him the parts to try out, leaving the final editing for live performance in his capable hands. Were it not for the St. Clements Wind Ensemble, this music would still just be some ones and zeros on my computer. I am immensely grateful to them for bringing it to life.

Lyle Sanford
Orange, Virginia

This very exciting. When Jonathan got in touch recently to say the SCWE had rehearsed the piece and decided to perform it, I felt then it was already a success, their liking it enough to keep working on it.

Were there no demands on my time and I could do whatever I wished, I'd spend a lot of time composing. There's nothing quite like creating new music. Always the first time I hear it performed it's a little like dreaming while awake, with my conscious mind getting hints of my unconscious mind encoded in the music. 

Friday, July 2, 2010

More on The Planets

Back a while ago I sent Pliable at On An Overgrown Path a CD of Kyle Gann's The Planets, being very curious as to what he'd think of it. He just got back from traveling and put up this post and Kyle has responded with this one. My previous posts on Kyle are here.

A lot to say about all this, but two things are at the fore. I'm very much on the fringe of both Kyle Gann's and Pliable's worlds, and their knowledge of music is way beyond mine. It's wonderfully validating that Pliable seems in agreement with me as to the importance of The Planets. Just to make another connection, I think what's so important about this music is that it so well meets the needs Greg Sandow blogs about.

The other thing is that the internet still amazes me. Here I am out in rural Virginia, just out the back door from James Madison's Montpelier, on dial-up, helping connect two of the biggest and best music bloggers out there. The geezer in me is floored.