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Summer Redux

I’ll ring in the new season (and bring the notebook back to life) with a short update on this summer’s activities, spurred into action by Sunday’s MoMA visit to take in their summer Richard Serra exhibit, in celebration of Better Half’s birthday. Those Torqued Ellipses are just as spectacular and awesome (in the literal sense I suppose, in that that they inspire awe) whether in the MoMA Sculpture Garden with skyline rising beyond, or up at DIA:Beacon, stuffed into weird and creepy spaces. But the highlight might have been learning that Serra beat me to the title by about 35 years. His might be better.

Mid-summer brought the Tanglewood premiere of As the scent of spring rain…, with the Boston University Tanglewood Institute Young Artist’s Wind Ensemble, conducted by H. Robert Reynolds. As a BUTI Baby myself, this was a really fun reunion. Family and old friends, a fantastic performance in that stunning hall (on my birthday no less), and a raucus composer-forum/master class with the young BUTI composers, now taught by the professor at BU who actually interviewed me when I was a pre-frosh, composer/monster-pianist Martin Amlin. What I would give to go back to that Summer of 1990. Sheesh.

This August was also nearly undone by an upheaval of boxes, with a move from the apartment-studio to a workspace a half-mile away – a new location for all OK Feel Good Music-related work. With a window (imagine!) and a fancy new address on Union Square, you can just smell the productivity. Well, that may be the garbage in the alley below, but it’s still a fascinating lifestyle change for me, going to the ‘office’.

On summer reading, I highly recommend what turned out to be the sleeper hit of my bedside table (no, not that one, although, it was awfully good): Edmund Morris’s short biography of Ludwig Van, Beethoven: The Universal Composer. Who knew that the biographer of The Gipper and T.R. could have so much fun with The Maestro? Given as a holiday gift for the reader who enjoys music, I thanked politely and put it aside. But on a whim I curiously picked it up this summer and was hooked. Who can resist Morris’s turgid purple prose, his exaggerated surmises into Ludwig’s subconscious, his breathless & panting claims to understand the man’s mental state on any particular afternoon. Great stuff. I even ended up doing some lovely score study on pieces that were completely unknown to me.

But the frivolities of summer quickly morph to work and upcoming projects. Fortunately these are all excellent gigs, and are going well. Only one summer activity remains – but the question looms: Do these legs still have the distance?…

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