Tag: Desert

Desert Rains


DesertRainThis evening, God picked up the blue bowl of the desert sky and gently set it upside down, the pale orange inside glowing faintly overhead. Rain drizzled gently, steadily from the pale orange bowl high overhead.

The rain moved quietly across the desert valley floor. No great gusts of wind, bright flashes of lightening, or cracks of thunder heralded the soft rain, that gently settled the dust and soaked slowly into the hard-packed desert floor, gradually forming puddles just deep enough to dampen a walker’s sneaker-clad feet. Mind you, the wise desert dwellers deployed a compact umbrella or donned a rain-resistant poncho, and kept a weather eye out for drivers peering through windshields poorly cleared by seldom used wipers in poor repair. What a perfect evening for soaking in the scent and sound of gentle desert rains.

Cloudburst — only a paper cloud?


“Tell me, burnt earth: Is there no water? Is there only dust? Is there only the blood of bare-footed footsteps on the thorns?” “The wilderness and the wasteland shall be glad for them, And the desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose.”

Eric Whitacre is a conductor and composer with matinee-idol good looks, personal magnetism, a slick marketing strategy, and arguably common sense, too: he recommends young composers not waste time acquiring training in academic theory beyond what they need to write music that sounds good. Whitacre is beloved in the choral world, but also, sometimes, disdained — for being overrated (he is, although overrated can still be good), for being gimmicky (also true, though his gimmicks often land), and for writing music “suffused with a sense of easy spiritual uplift… Everything [is] maximally radiant and beautiful, and beautifully sung. And that [is] the problem.”

If that’s the problem, it’s a problem many composers would like to have. Or at least it’s a problem many performing musicians wish the composers whose music they have to perform had. Our disdainer continues, “Whitacre is so sincere I suspect he would glow in the dark.”

Arizona Ranchers Prevent Another Bundy-style Standoff — Jon Gabriel


Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy was in a tense standoff with federal agents over the weekend. He wanted to keep grazing his cattle on the federal land his family has used for decades. Washington, D.C. wanted him to pay for those rights or they would seize his livestock.

After Bundy supporters flocked to the scene and a media spectacle followed, the feds backed off — at least for the time being. Much of the reporting has been contradictory, but the government claimed to be protecting the desert tortoise in the area. D.C. claims the reptile is endangered by grazing cows, while Bundy calls this nonsense.