- It's the first day of Succot. Yesterday several people from the community built a succah which is neither properly kosher nor structurally sound, but we had a lot of fun looking for branches and building our den in the sunshine. And I led an erev Succot service, which was cosy and homey and just the right emotional contrast to Yom Kippur. And yes, I still have the Eighth Day and Simchat Torah next week, but I feel like I've successfully done the hardest part of the major festival season.
- It's also the first day of the academic year. Campus is full and lively again and I don't start teaching til tomorrow. I have some trepidation about the coming term but I'm also really looking forward to the change of rhythm and to active teaching again.
- This is absolutely my favourite time of year, when the weather is often crisp and clear and the leaves are starting to turn and the air smells of fresh starts.
- I saw the super-blood moon eclipse! I hadn't intended to get up at 3 am to see it, but I just happened to wake up and I remembered that it was eclipse night, so I threw on some clothes and went outside, and there it was. It was a really clear night, the kind you never get when there's exciting celestial stuff you want to observe, and the moon was full and really did look red, and I saw just the sliver of it reappearing from shadow.
- Because of the start of Succot, I had a very truncated weekend in Cambridge. But I did get to spend a morning chatting to ghoti. And I went to the most amazing concert on Saturday night, with cjwatson. De Profundis are a very good all-male choir who do historically authentic Renaissance music, and they were singing sacred music from St Mark's Basilica in Venice, in Trinity chapel. I know about De Profundis cos megamole is one of their singers, but I would have definitely wanted to go to that concert even without that personal connection.
I don't quite have the vocabulary to talk about what was exciting about the concert, but it was extremely memorable. Partly just I love choral music and I love Early (ie pre-Bach) music, and partly it was very good musicians in an aesthetically and acoustically excellent venue. The specific thing I'm excited about was something to do with the way it was specifically polyphony rather than the melody and harmony I'm more used to in Classical-influenced music. I felt completely submerged in sound and sensory experience, and at the same time completely intellectually engaged by the fascinating complexity. I really wished there was a recording available so I could listen hundreds of times and pick up all the nuance, but it was pretty stunning as a live concert.
ETA: megamole linked me to a different group performing one of the pieces from the concert, which gives you some idea.