I went to a Capital City Symphony rehearsal last night. They are going to premier a piece of mine on Sunday called Velocipede. The atmosphere in an orchestral rehearsal is a wonderful thing. there is a real seriousness of purpose. Everyone there does this purely for the love of it. It is a community orchestra But there is nothing casual or cavalier about the attitude they bring to playing music. It is all business. Vicky Gau, the conductor, is a terrific rehearse-er. She has got great ears for finding the troublesome bottlenecks in a passage and coming up with just the right fingering or phrasing that will help. Looking forward to hearing the finished product on Sunday. ( 2:30PM and 4:30PM at the Atlas Theater, 1333 H St NE, Weashington DC )
My favorite pair of jeans just reached the turning point where they have gone from being perfectly comfortable and stylish enough- to being a beat-up pair of work jeans- I mean, for like working on the roof. I’ve been watching that white-ish, threadbare part of a knee get more and more fragile for the past month. I loved those jeans and wore them every day. And today.. they ripped and instantly went to being the jeans I will only wear to work outside in the yard. I’m glad this doesn’t happen with guitars. If you love your guitar and play it every day, it rewards you by becoming a better sounding ax. Not so bluejeans.
I just saw Frank Rich and Fran Lebowitz at the Strathmore Music Hall in a lecture sort of event. They sat in two chairs and talked about the State of the Nation. That was the show. Both their political stripes run bright blue. It was a Republican bashing boldly playing to the dangerous and hostile environment of Montgomery County, Maryland. Ha. They were both very funny. But what impressed me about both of them was their ability to speak in complete sentences. Even their short, pithy comebacks had a subject and a predicate. Frank Rich is from DC (Wilson HS) but is now a New Yorker and has been since he was the chief theater critic for the Times in the ’80s. Fran Lebowitz was not born in New York either. But I cannot imagine anyone being a more complete Manhattanite. Their comfort with language is astonishing. They both make their livings with the English language, yes. But how they manage to keep their thoughts so far ahead of their mouths and construct such elegant verbal masterpieces is beyond me. Their conversation is publishable. I can only think of a handful of raconteurs like this. Oscar Wilde. Gore Vidal, William F. Buckley, Johnny Carson, Carl Sagan, Hubert Humphrey… Ok, the list is actually very large. It certainly does not include me. I can’t get a full thought out of my mouth without a string of “ums” and “ahs”. Last night’s conversation was a virtual jam session of bon mots. There is no trick to it. Just be incredibly bright, know a lot and talk a lot. It is still impressive.
Everyone should be able to identify their favorite choreographer. No matter how little you know about dance, no matter how little you follow anything in the dance world. It is just like painting… if asked you probably have a few favorite painters. Miro? Picasso? Gauguin? Monet? My favorite choreographer was and still is Eric Hampton. He was the first choreographer whose work really spoke to me. Since then ( 20plus years) I have found others. But Eric’s work is still my baseline for *what I like* in choreography. It is an amazing great combination of classical ballet technique, modern movement and vaudeville-style physical slapstick. Last night’s retrospective at Dance Place was a feast for Eric Hampton fans.