As America slides ever closer to political absolutism, I find myself ever more attracted to musical absolutism. For many years now some of my favorite pieces of music have been Bach's more absolute works, such as the Art of the Fugue, the Keyboard Partitas, and the Cello Suites. Lately also I've been listening a lot to the 24 preludes and fugues by Dmitri Shostakovich (as recorded by Keith Jarrett). I've also just discovered the music of German bassist-composer Eberhard Weber, which I look forward to exploring more fully in the coming months. To me, there is something deeply calming about such absolute music -- no lyrics, no program, no flash, no bombast, just pure, unadorned musical thinking.

Peter Saint-Andre > Journal