austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

I've got daisies in green pastures

I haven't gone to very many musical events, even though I was well-situated for them during my Singapore years. Basically I didn't think ahead long enough to connect knowing of the existence of something I might enjoy to the fact that I was free for them and therefore I could, by the proper use of time and preparation, go to one. You know how I am. But visiting my aunt and uncle, well, they have Philharmonic tickets, and are delighted to have the chance to dress up and go out, and invited me along. And I was happy to go since put that way I didn't have to do anything on my own except to dress up for it, and I've been dressing myself for literally years now.

That said, classical-style music is maybe not the optimal choice for me since I haven't got much of a sense of what's good and what's not, and I tend to reduce classical-type compositions in my mind to ``background music for cartoons'' or ``background music for silent movies.'' In fact, one piece sounded enough like it might go behind some reasonably fast-paced silent scene that I nearly chuckled. I was relieved to see the person who wrote the program directly mentioned there were parts that sounded like parody of the piano accompaniment of silent movies (which the composer knew well), and that gave me something that sounded moderately intelligent to talk about during intermission.

After the concert there was a short session to chat with the conductor and with the piano soloist that about a tenth of the original audience stuck around for. I didn't ask any questions -- see above; I couldn't think of anything intelligent to say -- but I was strangely relieved again when a person asked about the size of the pianist's fingers and arms affects one's playing style. The reason her answer relieved me was because she mentioned that as a piano player she sometimes looked at the Tom and Jerry cartoon where Tom is playing Franz List's Hungarian Rhapsody Number Two, you see, and had thought about the bit where Tom's finger stretches out to hit that isolated high note ...

Trivia: Lowell Observatory director Vesto Slipher announced Clyde Tombaugh's discovery of Pluto on 13 March 1930 because it was the 149th anniversary of the discovery of Uranus as well as the 75th birthday of Percival Lowell. Source: Pluto and Charon, Alan Stern, Jacqueline Mitton.

Currently Reading: Roman Britain and Early England, 55 BC - AD 871, Peter Hunter Blair.


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