Saturday, October 12, 2013

PREPARING FOR THE NEW WAVE OF CLASSICS AT MILLER SYMPHONY HALL - The 2012-2013 Season and Memories of a Friend

Saturday, October 12th (a.k.a. "Tonight"!  Just like Tim Skold says), marks the beginning of the Classics season at Miller Symphony Hall in Allentown, Pennsylvania.  I thought we should recapitulate the amplitude of last season to get ourselves salivating for this weekend's concert.  This was the first time that I was able to attend the entire "assorted collection" of concerts and it was surely the sweetest perfection.  Honestly, some great rewards came out of the supernovastic baton of Diane Wittry.  I am also grateful that she did not pull a John Cage and try to make us sit and enjoy the silence.  Ready for more Depeche Mode jokes?  Wait, you didn't notice?  Start Catching Up (81-85)!  [Is he really going to keep talking like that for this whole blog post?  Truthfully, I haven't decided.]  

I've been looking so long at these pictures of Conrad Tao that I almost believe that they're life like.  In fact, I start to wonder if the pictures are all that I can perceive through sensation.  When Tao opened the past season with Rachmaninoff's Concerto No. 3, his energy was "bigger, brighter, and whiter than snow."  The audience was literally grateful to him.  It was as if he Cured all of their ailments in life.  They gave more sincere applause than I have ever seen at the hall, and then he slipped away (quietly).  I opened my eyes, and I didn't see anything but my picture of Tao.

Sometimes I wonder if every day is halloween because I meet miraculous individuals that seem completely unreal such as Ji Won Song.  She had won the 2012 Schadt String Competition and was granted the opportunity to play Tchaikovsky with the Allentown Symphony Orchestra.  Song was extremely young and spoke with a marvelous optimism towards music and life.   I wanted to tell her what good things I saw in her future, but she made me laugh so much that I forgot what I was saying.  But whatever, it's over the shoulder.  

Moving on to the upcoming event, I was thinking that maybe just once I'll get to hear Awadagin Pratt play piano.  Luckily, "I will get what's coming to me."  I guess I just don't understand about the complexities in his mind and thought that I could figure a bit out through his musicianship.  Check out his resume.  It's so vast that it "points the finger at my insecurities."  + He was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania!  We are indigenous to the same native habitat!  Ya know, at the beginning of this paragraph I was jokingly claiming to have been longing to see him, but now I really am quite excited to hear him play.  Sometimes I just "say those thousand things I think I have to say."

Are Friends Electric?  I've been wondering for 34 (errr… 25) years.  I wanted to touch on something that shook my gentility (and I'm sure it was the same for everyone in the local arts community).  A few months ago, we lost our dear friend, Maureen Joly, who was an employee at the hall for many years.  I say with complete sincerity that Maureen was one of my favorite people I've met in my 25 terrestrial years.  She is most relevant to me as the person who initiated my involvement with the Allentown Symphony Association and thus significantly impacted my life.  I walked into the hall about three years ago, headed to the office, and wandered around until I found someone.  Maureen was working away.  I was scruffy, had 2.5 feet of long hair, and was heavily dressed for my winter walks.  People often looked at me rather strangely when I had my eccentric rocker image (especially outside of cities).  Maureen never looked at people weird or judged them harshly though.  To her, I was just another individual that was interested in the arts, and she gave me her full attention.  A few days later I received a call from the executive director, Sheila Evans, so I was completely sure that Maureen did not turn around and say "Some crazy caveman came into the office"!  I miss her dearly, and I have not fully figured out how to cope with her disappearance.  The point of this is - I don't write all these articles about the classics out of boredom.  I write them because I sincerely believe that people's lives will be better if they spend time at Miller Symphony Hall.  Obviously I listen to New Wave at home much more than I listen to Classical music.  I come for the caliber of artists, staff, and patrons that I can build relationships with to the point that I hurt inside if anything happens to one of them.  You might be surprised what kind of personalities are hanging around - like Dan, one of the creators of Ace Kilroy, who works in the box office or sound guy Kevin who can pretty much make anyone laugh at will.   Come out tonight or tomorrow afternoon and say hello.

Oh and also - I decided to dedicate my upcoming single, Living Art, to the memory of Maureen Joly. It's a sort of feminist/equality anthem and Maureen was one hell of a strong woman, so I thought it appropriate.  

"There's a knock on the door and just for a second I thought I remembered you."
"I stop when I stare too much, afraid that I care too much."