Letters from the Muse Room #26 (March 2021)

The “Muse Room” is the room in my house where I make music and my wife makes visual art. Published the first Friday of odd-numbered months, each issue of Letters from the Muse Room includes news and updates about my music, as well as something that has inspired me creatively over the past month.

Dear friends,
Welcome to the second Letter of 2021! I hope you didn’t miss receiving a letter last month too much. The past two months have brought some crazy weather to Kansas City — sub-freezing temperatures for what felt like weeks on end (leading to frost on the inside of a window in the Muse Room, above) and then temperatures in the 70s this week. Spring is close!

[Trees at UMKC.]

When I was attending grad school at UMKC, this was one of my favorite sights every spring.

Did you see any of my social media posts over the last two months? I shared a couple of quotes, a brilliant poem, and some music I listened to (more on that last one below). (Oh, and Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring — the whole thing — played on electric guitars.)

[Rite of Spring On Guitars.]

If you think about it, Rite of Spring really was metal, in its time.

You can follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. And in the coming months I’ll have more of my own music to share.

The reason I didn’t have much of my own music to share, over the last two months and also in this email, is that something unexpected happened — my family moved! We had been planning to move in the summer, but things fell into place quickly and surprisingly, and here we are, as of last week, in a new house.

So we’ve been busy packing, moving, unpacking, organizing, reorganizing things that our two-year-old just unorganized, etc. for the last couple of weeks. But I promise I will have more to share on May 7! And watch the socials in the meantime.


While our moving process sped up, I also found some time to slow down. I received a box of CDs from a friend last year, and I made it one of my goals for 2021 to listen through all of them.

Regular readers of this newsletter will know that I am a football fan. (Let’s not talk about this past Super Bowl.) Readers of the newsletter from the first issue will also know that I have two kids. Watching football and taking care of kids don’t always mix, so my typical time for uninterrupted watching is Sunday Night Football, after the kids go to bed.

[SNF on NBC.]

With Sunday Night Football done for the season, but my Sunday nights still free, I decided I’d use them to listen to these CDs. So the last few Sunday nights I’ve sat on my couch, enjoyed a nice glass of wine or bourbon, and listened to music.

[38 CDs in all!]

(One of the CDs I listened to was highlights from Bach’s Anna Magdalena Notebook, which inspired this post.)

I’ve really enjoyed it. Having the box of CDs makes me listen to music I might not otherwise seek out, and taking the time to just sit and listen has proven to be an oasis of peace and calm and joy in my week that is otherwise too easy to miss.

I hope you can make time for beauty in your own life, and I hope it provides peace and joy for you too.

Be well.

AJ Harbison

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