Archive for Bach

03 28 2013 ConfusEs said say what?

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on September 27, 2013 by spinoza1111

Workout first thing at 7:00 AM: 150 midrising steps, movements with and without weights. Did not perform physio as planned owing to visitors.

Bach’s definitiveness poses a problem for “makarys” (makers). It was so over-the-top final as to cause us to ask a question “what follows?”.

ConfusesUs Said Say What?

I have been honored to have visits midday from Friends, who have checked up on my sanity but I can have Visitors any time you like. I am well aware that it is quite difficult to be a Visitor because of because of the mutual pain of scheduling and coordination. But the Visitor who travels to the Visitee is honored in Kong Fu Zi:

Xue Er:
The Master said, “Is it not pleasant to learn with a constant perseverance and application? Is it not delightful to have friends coming from distant quarters? Is he not a man of complete virtue, who feels no discomposure though men may take no note of him?”

Yeah yeah yeah, bo-ring old guy. And is he not wrong? asked the student Punk Ass Byotch of the Master of Today. Yeah, right, said the Master of Today, called ConfusesUs who gets poor student evaluations even tho’ they flock like lambs to his classes…you figure it out.

Any way, said ConfusesUs where was I. Yeah, I was wrong and they were right…from 2005 to 2008. During those years it was good to lie and it helped you to advance. And is not a watch that is on time only once per day useful and inexpensive?

By this time the students realized that they were getting their leg pulled, and to a man they said, that’s bullshit. We need a watch that is on time most of the time.

I go to the market and because I look so innocent they unload on me the watch not known to work.

Consider the watch not known to work and then replace “watch” by “employee”. Is hiring a man or woman like buying something? I bought a watch at Seiko and was not told it was one of those models you must move to recharge.


Change Record 09 30 2013 Title Unaccountably Messed Up in a Previous edit


23 Aug 2013: Seht! Wohin? Auf unsre Schuld.

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on August 22, 2013 by spinoza1111

30 minute workout first thing (4:30 AM: should nap after breakfast.) 150 lowrise steps, walking, 50 dance moves at apogee of walk, 250 supine weight moves. No pain prior but now experiencing about 6/10, was given painkiller only after the workout.

PAIN has an element of blank;
It cannot recollect
When it began, or if there were
A day when it was not.

It has no future but itself,
Its infinite realms contain
Its past, enlightened to perceive
New periods of pain.

– Emily Dickinson

The aptly named painkiller arrives in the control room of the brain with its tools and behind the main operators’ console starts pulling out circuit boards that “feel” pain while joking with the operators about the absence of my sex life. The painkiller wears a tight-fitting uniform made of some shiny fabric with a logo of a lightning bolt through the letter P. Ha ha. Watch it, guys.

Inches from me, a Chinese wife consoles her dying husband in Cantonese.


“Seht! Wohin? Auf unsre Schuld.” In the first chorale of the St Matthew passion, it is as if the Knaben-Chor (children’s chorus) creeps giggling underneath the stage, shushing each other as the grown-ups sing “Seht! Wohin? Auf unsre Schuld”, practically shouting “Seht! Wohin? Auf unsre Schuld.” (see, where!? Behold our guilt!) and as if to comfort us, the ghosts of happy children creep giggling under the stage, shushing each other, and then dance and sing.

Don’t get me wrong. A book about the Holocaust is titled “why did the heavens not turn black”. But

When my brother said
Your son is dead

The sun kept shining in the forest of Lamma where I live.

But God said out of the whirlwind, give me a break, ED. Come on, if the day had turned gloomy you would have moaned about that!

Workout 28 November 2012

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on November 28, 2012 by spinoza1111

Thirty minutes midday started with weight training to The Thin Red Line. Then Frei-Tanz (mit der Fischer undt Bauern!) to Michael Praetorius, a dance that had to be thought about to avoid excessive stress.

Undt then, our dearly beloved Incomprehensible Maestro unexpected arose from his afternoon repose and despite the infinitely delicate efforts of Messrs. Samson, and Ajax, “fleshed villains and bloody dogs” tho’ they may have been, to restrain him, the Maestro air-conducted Bach’s famous Kantata, Wauchet Auf, Sleepers Wake!

Out of his deep knowledge of the work the Maestro expounded on what he calls he “great wheel” of this work, like a great Baroque invention rolling down a hill.

Now preparing for a walk to smoke test these sandals.

Workout Log 2 July 2012

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on July 2, 2012 by spinoza1111

“Edward G. Nilges, Looking at Degas, Paris”, June 2008, pencil, pen, A4 size

Listen! 20 minute free dance with weights and vertical pushups with negative spine curvature first thing on another sunny morning. Then breakfast: two bananas and a dense rye bread with baking soda and maple syrup dip. No noticeable weight gain. Basically, solitary eating lowers appetite.

Peter’s Crazy Aunt (Completed): This and Better May Do, This and Worse Will Never Do

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on January 29, 2012 by spinoza1111

Listen to Clifton Chenier, the King of the Bayou!
Listen to Glenn Gould who will not let thee go save thou bless him!

Edward G. Nilges, “Peter’s Crazy Aunt Dances on the Strand to the Music of Bach, and the Sweet Zy-Deco Sounds of Clifton Chenier, the King of the Bayou”, acrylic on canvas, 20 * 60 cm, January 29 2012 AMDG

Note: if the painting is truncated, click above on “Spinoza’s Blog” to see the post with other posts. I haven’t mastered how WordPress treats pix, nor how Apple handles them on a Powerbook.

I have decided to declare victory: this painting is done, and, as the Scots say, “this and better may do, this and worse will ne’er do”. The figure is colorful and this rather large (60 * 80 cm) canvas lights up the room with the way she leaps as an hart.

The numerous deficiencies cannot obscure the life in this thing nor its evocation of the bell-like tones of Poussin. Particularly noble is the twisting motion of the abdomen.

I am not bullshitting here. I like this painting and would pay big money for it if I were a collector. This artist, dammit, has thought about the play of light even if he manages to preserve every single mistake he makes, and he makes a lot, by means of translucent paint and cartoon transfer.

Besides, making art makes me feel good. Pity I didn’t put my foot down and do what I had to do years ago but there’s no point in crying over the past. Peter’s Crazy Aunt certainly doesn’t.

Zey vill laff at me at zee Zalon undt der Royal Academy but I shall show zem!

My next project is “Mama Kanumba del Cucamonga takes the Children to Power Station Beach” because I want to see the profile I drew realized in paint. I need to do more plein aire work on Lamma to get a better feel for our wonderful if abused natural environment, which is something I could only imagine when I was a kid in the Midwest, sketching maps of places, anywhere but around Lake Michigan, carved, unlike Lake Michigan, into all sorts of hidden coves and mysterious mountains.

Basically, the geologic youth of the Great Lakes isn’t their fault. They are big melting ice cubes from the recent past, whereas Lamma Island is the forbidden and mysterious peak of a great Mountain that used to oversee a Plain.

I like Peter’s Crazy Aunt’s expression, it isn’t crabby like the expression on my nude which I won’t post online…it is similar to PCA but naked, same overall colors, crabby expression. That’s because I was working full time when I painted on Dance of Victory.

I went dancing last night to an annual festival put on by a fellow Chicagoan. It was hard at first to foot it featly here and there like Ariel in the Tempest because I was on a wooden plank which moved slightly, it was cool (about 17 centigrade) and my feet were seizing up.

But o the power of music to move Helen, as William Kennedy wrote of Helen, in Ironweed, when she gets enough money for a hotel room and can play the Ninth symphony.

There was quite a large crowd of people and a bunch of Lamma kids who also danced. After the dance, three strangers congratulated my “performance” which surprised me because it wasn’t intended to be such, but, I was close to the band (Black Mariah). It gave them felicity which is the whole purpose of art. That was cool.

As I left I was cold and stiff. I started to walk down the steps like an old man but a far older man needed assistance. This always happens to me. On the MTR, a little girl gave me her seat last year but as soon as I, a weary Old Lo-Shih Teacher, took it, the Three Immortals, three really old Chinese guys, got on the train.

THAT is no country for old men. The young
In one another’s arms, birds in the trees
– Those dying generations – at their song,
The salmon-falls, the mackerel-crowded seas,
Fish, flesh, or fowl, commend all summer long
Whatever is begotten, born, and dies.
Caught in that sensual music all neglect
Monuments of unageing intellect.

An aged man is but a paltry thing,
A tattered coat upon a stick, unless
Soul clap its hands and sing, and louder sing
For every tatter in its mortal dress,
Nor is there singing school but studying
Monuments of its own magnificence;
And therefore I have sailed the seas and come
To the holy city of Byzantium.

O sages standing in God’s holy fire
As in the gold mosaic of a wall,
Come from the holy fire, perne in a gyre,
And be the singing-masters of my soul.
Consume my heart away; sick with desire
And fastened to a dying animal
It knows not what it is; and gather me
Into the artifice of eternity.

Once out of nature I shall never take
My bodily form from any natural thing,
But such a form as Grecian goldsmiths make
Of hammered gold and gold enamelling
To keep a drowsy Emperor awake;
Or set upon a golden bough to sing
To lords and ladies of Byzantium
Of what is past, or passing, or to come.

WB Yeats

State of Peter’s Crazy Aunt as of 2 Jan 2011

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on January 3, 2012 by spinoza1111



Edward G. Nilges, State of “Peter’s Crazy Aunt Dances on the Strand to Bach, and the Zydeco Sound of Clifton Chenier (The King of the Bayou)” as of 2 Jan 2012, acrylic grisaille on canvas 60*80 cm

Edward G. Nilges, Detail of State of “Peter’s Crazy Aunt Dances on the Strand to Bach, and the Zydeco Sound of Clifton Chenier (The King of the Bayou)” as of 2 Jan 2012, Gimp modification of acrylic grisaille on canvas 60*80 cm

Edward G. Nilges, Chiaroscuro Study, Detail of State of “Peter’s Crazy Aunt Dances on the Strand to Bach, and the Zydeco Sound of Clifton Chenier (The King of the Bayou)” as of 2 Jan 2012, Gimp modification of acrylic grisaille on canvas 60*80 cm

Edward G. Nilges, Colour Study, Detail of State of “Peter’s Crazy Aunt Dances on the Strand to Bach, and the Zydeco Sound of Clifton Chenier (The King of the Bayou)” as of 2 Jan 2012, Gimp modification of acrylic grisaille on canvas 60*80 cm

The Da Vinci code a piece of s*t but Magdalene is Mary in the important sense, that of the heart.

Palestrina. The purity of Quattrocento Italian painting, translucent layers on a gesso ground, became painting on brown perhaps owing to the Reformation and its notion that there is no salvation through works. The gesso cannot be pure white.

Palestrina, nonetheless. The polyphony of Fra Angelico’s layers.

Tiziano Vecelli (Titian) said, svelatura, trento o quaranto, glazes [of colour], 30 or 40, but I say, grisaille, 30 or 40.

The color study above shows me that red needs to be in the mid tones.

The Old Masters knew all about Cubist planes, for a plane of shadow here is painted by me with a round bristle brush to unify her shoulder and her leg, and it overlaps her bikini top, belly and shorts. It is then answered with another plane of purest white that joins her arm with the left twisty torso, which expresses the Chakra of Joy (Freuden) in Sorrow (Klagende).

Peter’s Crazy Knucklehead Flibbertigibbet Aunt Dances to the Music of Bach and CJ Chenier’s Zydeco on the Strand

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on December 6, 2011 by spinoza1111


Edward G. Nilges, “Cartoon for Peter’s Crazy Knucklehead Flibbertigibbet Aunt Dances to Bach, and the Zydeco Sounds of CJ Chenier, on the Strand”, 6 Dec 2011, pencil, about 1m*3/4 m.

The “cartoon” for a painting is a pure line drawing. You poke holes in the lines and rub charcoal over the cartoon, placed over the canvas, and then connect the dots. You need to be careful for the transferred drawing will change, sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse.

Or, you buy an expensive projector which I could also use in teaching and project the image on the canvas. This can be done with a small image but you need to “scale up” to see what issues arise, here, the proper balance of her arms…not in a photorealistic sense, for photo-realism assumes we are all the same shape, but in the sense of communicating a movement, what it would feel like, male or female, to be able to dance freely to the Zydeco boogie of CJ Chenier, to Parksy’s music on the strand (beach) or to Bach.

Usually this is communicated by painters alla prima but it amuses me to be perverse and paint her like a saint in a mediaeval painting, with line and light pouring down on a painting constructed in layers. Zizek says that a Saint does precisely what she wants at all times. ‘Course, we don’t necessarily want to smoke and carry on. Just carry on is all. Getting that sucker right is as hard as drawing her thigh. Harder.

My ex wife once said to me, “Edward, every other thing you say is ‘I want'”. This does not make me a saint, for what I wanted thirty years ago was crap. But we do have to cultivate the wantin’ bone. Safwat you listening’? Yeah I bet you are…

Taking into account a Lamma Island friend’s complaint that in earlier drawings, the ankle didn’t seem to support the en pointe. I said, like Baron Munchausen, that she’s dancing on the Moon (low gravity, get it? Nyuk nyuk) but decided to thicken the legs. I don’t think she’s en pointe, but instead, she merely leaps, and pauses.

There is a razor’s edge in her face between a saint and a simper. One model is Watteau’s La Camargo, dancing in the fading light on the Isle of Cythera.

A Razor’s Edge

“The sharp edge of a razor is difficult to pass over; thus the wise say the path to Salvation is hard.”

There is a razor’s edge between rattling out Gibbons like Wanda Landowska, over-emphasizing speed, and Glenn Gould’s sacramental disclosure. Wanda makes you think of an old painting, beautifully. But Glenn makes you think of how brave your granny was when she broke her hip.

In line drawing there is a razor’s edge.


I went on Sunday’s Slutwalk Hong Kong to show solidarity with women that are hassled for dressing comfortably in our tropical heat, because I almost got beat up at the Oak Street Beach in 1995 for wearing Speedos, and even my presumably intelligent friends had nightmares when I wore cutoffs.

I did a dance performance to Bach and Gluck and discovered that I’ve the wind to tell stories as I dance, so, to Gluck’s overture to Orfeo I told the story of Orfeo, moral, don’t ignore the little lady on your wedding day, she might get bitten by a snake.