Moments from Proust IV

“The Baron Laughs


Françoise Starts Again”

Albumleaf 186: December 3, 2021 (Bologna)

M. de Charlus, with a tolerant, genial, insolent smile, replied: “Why, that’s not of the slightest importance, here!” And he gave a little laugh that was all his own–a laugh that came down to him probably from some Bavarian or Lorraine grandmother, who herself had inherited it, in identical form, from an ancestress, so that it had tinkled now, unchanged, for a good many centuries in little old-fashioned European courts, and one could appreciate its precious quality, like that of certain old musical instruments that have become very rare.

Marcel Proust
Sodom and Gomorrah, p. 394
Translation: C.K. Scott Moncrieff and Terence Kilmartin

“After we’ve beaten them” [said Françoise] “we won’t allow one Englishman into France unless he pays three hundred francs admission, as we have to pay now to land in England.”

Such was, in addition to great decency and civility and, when they were talking, an obstinate refusal to allow any interruption, going back time and time again to the point they had reached if one did interrupt them, thus giving their talk the unshakeable solidity of a Bach fugue, the character of the inhabitants of this tiny village which did not boast five hundred, set among its chestnuts, its willows, and in fields of potatoes and beetroot.

Sodom and Gomorrah, p. 147

“Fast Horns”

Albumleaf 185: October 19, 2021 (Bologna)


An hour-long disc of my piano compositions inspired by Bologna now out from Deux-Elles Records.

For purchase here and streaming on all the platforms

You can also purchase a signed copy directly from me. See the SCORES page for my contact information.

Meantime, enjoy the music video we filmed last January here in Bologna!

“Two Draughts from Lago Lambin”

Albumleaf 184: September 10, 2021 (Bologna)

Moments from Proust. III. “Saint-Loup’s Watch”

Albumleaf 183: August 20, 2021 (Bologna)

I heard the tick of Saint-Loup’s watch, which could not be far away. The tick changed place every moment, for I could not see the watch; it seemed to come from behind, from in front of me, from my right, from my left; sometimes to die away as though it were a long way off. Suddenly, I caught sight of the watch on the table. Then I heard the tick in a fixed place from which it did not move again.

Marcel Proust
The Guermantes Way, p. 78
Translation: C.K. Scott Moncrieff and Terence Kilmartin

Moments from Proust. II. “The Restaurant at Rivebelle”

Albumleaf 182: June 14, 2021 (Bologna)

. . . this music that greeted our ears—arrangements of waltzes of German operettas, of music-hall songs, all of them quite new to me—was itself like an ethereal pleasure-dome superimposed upon the other and more intoxicating still.  [. . .]  But while I was humming softly to myself the notes of the tune and returning its kiss, the pleasure peculiar to itself which it made me feel became so dear to me that I would have left my father and mother to follow it through the singular world which it constructed in the invisible, in lines alternately filled with languor and vivacity.

Marcel Proust
Within a Budding Grove, pp. 534-535
Translation: C.K. Scott Moncrieff and Terence Kilmartin

Moments from Proust. I. Dreams of Travel and of Love

Albumleaf 181: May 3, 2021 (Bologna)

Thus, if I always imagined the woman I loved surrounded by the places I longed for most at the time, if I would have liked her to be the one who took me to visit them, who opened the way for me into an unknown world, it was not because of a simple chance association of thoughts; no, it was because my dreams of travel and of love were only moments—which I am separating artificially today as if I were cutting sections at different heights of an apparently motionless iridescent jet of water—in a single inflexible upsurge of all the forces of my life.

Marcel Proust
Swann’s Way, pp. 88-89.
Translation: Lydia Davis


Albumleaf 180: February 15, 2021 (Bologna)

A cutesy one for the music-theory geeks.

(A little circle of fifths and geometry, and you should get the idea.)


Albumleaf 179: February 5, 2021 (Bologna)


“Latemar Dream”

Albumleaf 178: January 16, 2021 (Bologna)

The coronavirus situation has confined us to Bologna for months now, and with each passing day I yearn more and more to travel–especially to non-urban areas like the mountains.

I have never been to the Latemar range in the Dolomites. But someone posted about them the other day on one of the “beautiful Italy” Facebook pages I follow, and the urge to be up high in some remote rifugio–to breathe in the pure air and see for miles and miles–hit me hard.