Nostalgia Ascending

As published on http://www.cutcommonmag.com   After seeing the program for this Melbourne Symphony Orchestra concert, I thought I knew what I was going to write about. Featuring Ralph Vaughan Williams’ The Lark Ascending with Richard Tognetti, and Sergei Rachmaninov’s Symphonic Dances, it seemed clear what was going to happen: the Lark would trigger imagery ofContinue reading “Nostalgia Ascending”

Postcard from Zürich

As published on http://www.rehearsalmagazine.com   In a tunnel underneath Zürich International Airport, as you and your fellow shower-craving, be-cankled travellers are shuttled from terminal to baggage claim, flickering images of an archetypal Heidi burst onto the walls as cowbells jangle lazily. Startled out of your grumpy long-haul obliteration, your senses will awaken just in timeContinue reading “Postcard from Zürich”

To Sleep, Perchance to Not Dream

I’m envious of good sleepers, those fresh-faced, sleep-anywhere blessed, for whom merely putting their head to the horizontal is like the closing of a laptop screen. I’ve never been good at it, and I blame my moth-eaten memory on this inability. It wasn’t always a hindrance though. I used to love my bed-at-12/wake-at-6 rhythm, notContinue reading “To Sleep, Perchance to Not Dream”

Ponticello, Baby Cello, Marshmallow, Spy

Often it begins with a fist bump. Streaming into the room like two turtle-shelled lemmings, backpacked baby cellos almost as tall as they are, comes two 8-year-old girls. Let’s call them Kate and Amy. Two attractions stand in opposite corners of the room: their teacher, brave-faced but with the darting eyes of the overwhelmed, andContinue reading “Ponticello, Baby Cello, Marshmallow, Spy”

Music, the Consoler

This article is very Proustian. As in, I’m writing it while sick and lying in bed. There aren’t really any other similarities. It won’t feature unending sentences that will overwhelm your short-term memory or make you hungry for madeleines or your childhood. If you have to re-read sentences to grasp the meaning, that’ll be myContinue reading “Music, the Consoler”

Thoughts on MSO/Ives 4th Symphony

As published on http://www.cutcommonmag.com   I bet that quarter-tone piano would have sounded amazing. Well, there’s a thought I could never have predicted would wind its way, earnest and devoid of sarcasm, across my mind. Actually it seems like I’ve begun with a joke, a straight-from-the-style-guide strong open, attempting to grab your attention and piqueContinue reading “Thoughts on MSO/Ives 4th Symphony”

Hey you, dishwasher heart

As published on http://www.cutcommonmag.com   At the back of a stage dense with seated bodies, a man in fancy dress wanders sheepishly, paper in hand. He has made his move slightly early and must pause, lean on steps nonchalantly, check music, wait, put music on stand, insert earplugs. Wait. His presence sparks a wave ofContinue reading “Hey you, dishwasher heart”