In the last post, I mentioned having a Clash song (London Calling) stuck in my head as I waited for a symphony performance to start. Because writing something down makes one think about things longer than they often deserve, I've since been hung up on this musical oddity which is my brain's playlist. Where does this tendency to cross genres come from?
There is a simple answer to this question: It's Duane Rosengard's fault.
When I was a teenager my family lived near a summer music camp. College students from all over the country auditioned to be in this summer orchestra, the Colorado Philharmonic. They stayed in a rustic lodge and performed three days a week. They were very dedicated musicians, but they were college students and spent a lot of time listening to music and partying.
My parents were heavily involved in this orchestra and my sister and I went to nearly all of their concerts. We also hung out a bit at the lodge, where I was introduced to music like King Crimson, Devo, the Talking Heads, the Police and oh so much more. I also remember listening to Salome with Michael Gast (now principal french horn at the Minnesota Orchestra) and understanding opera for the first time. So in one room you'd hear the B52's and in another room you'd hear a cellist practicing Respighi. See? This is normal.
I remember Duane specifically because he hooked me up with some new music my senior year of high school. He's now playing with the Philadelphia Orchestra (according to a bit of internet stalking). He was also doing some songwriting back then - making him the first person I knew who wrote music.
Every once in a while I'll be listening to the classical station and will recognize the name of a soloist as someone I knew from Colorado. Really, there were amazing musicians in that orchestra. And delightful human beings. Who wouldn't want to grow up and be like them?
Except I can't play so much as a zither, so I have to settle for listening to the music they listen to.
And Duane, if by some bizarre coincidence you find this post, thanks.
(Sorry for the internet stalking.)