Music, Wordplay, and Numbers

This new piece, Log Rhythm, is actually a tribute to my father. Not only did he love to play with music and words, but he also loved to play with numbers. My father was an engineer who loved music, wordplay, and numbers.  He could play a tune on any instrument that he picked up.  Mostly he played ragtime on our upright piano and comedic songs on the concertina. (I never played ragtime. I thought I was the next  Edith Piaf, composing and singing heartbreakingly dolorous songs as a teenager.) At Christmas we would go caroling around the neighborhood with my father leading the pack, playing the concertina.

In the early older years…

One of my most precious memories of the concertina was near the end of his life. My father lost his eyesight in his early older years to macular degeneration.  He still plays piano and concertina, but its quality did degenerate. (He would love that wordplay!) Deciding in his 70’s that he needed to take a tour of Ireland to experience where his people came from. We siblings all went with him, hovering around a bit too protectively. At one of our designated stops, the bus parked at an overlook.  There was a busker, playing Irish tunes on a concertina.  My father, waving his white cane,  wandered over and struck up a conversation.  Soon he was playing the man’s concertina.  For the tour to stay on schedule, it was time to leave.  The driver and the guide delayed the bus so he, and all of us, could have this experience.

Numbers and sleep

All his life, my father did not need as much sleep as the average human being.  But he was a kind and loyal husband and would often dutifully go to bed at a reasonable hour. This was especially important toward the end of his second wife’s life as she descended into Alzheimer’s Disease. It helped keep her calm and more anchored in time.  To pass the time as she slept, he would do LOGARITHMS in his head. He continued to play silently with logarithms into his nineties. He would also like the wordplay of Log Rhythm! Go take a look at it!