One day in middle school, walking out of the lunchroom down a long, sunny hallway, I saw my father emerge from the band room where he taught instrumental music. He spotted me and pivoted, approaching with another music teacher alongside and holding a thick, green glass Coke bottle in his hand. It was half full.
There aren't many better ways to access the magic and mystery of existence than dreaming. My all time favorite came to me this summer. I was out behind a farmhouse somewhere at twilight. A cow grazed in a field. He wore a vest made of acorns. Girls in uniforms wandered past, offering loaves of warm bread. A dog in a harness pulled a wagon filled with sleeping fawns.
The other day I said to my family, â€śLetâ€™s all give homemade gifts this year.â€ť This suggestion sank like a stone on a wave of despair, since my kids are still young enough to dream of Lego sets, gadgets, and games. But for my part, Iâ€™m determined to do it.
A few years ago, my colleague Laura Garrison formed a club for WXXI listeners who are passionate about travel. She and former morning host Simon Pontin led a trip to Austria in 2008. Last year, a small group went to Costa Rica with WRURâ€™s Scott Regan. When Laura asked me to co-host a trip to northern Italy in 2011, I was thrilled.
If youâ€™re lucky to spend time in Boston when the weatherâ€™s nice, walk across the Arthur Fiedler Memorial Bridge and trace deeply-carved composersâ€™ names on the band shell where the Boston Pops plays in the summer along the banks of the Charles River. Spend half the time getting lost in opulent Beacon Hill. Follow the Black Heritage Trail. Itâ€™s all good.
In June, BBCâ€™s Radio 3 polled listeners on their favorite aria. If youâ€™re into opera, you might guess Pucciniâ€™s â€śNessun Dormaâ€ť or "Un bel diâ€ť soared to the top of the list, or maybe â€śLa donna e mobileâ€ť from Verdiâ€™s Rigoletto. But the winner surprised everyone; it was a three-century old song from a relatively obscure opera by Henry Purcell. Officially, Englandâ€™s most
I guess we owe some kind of grudging debt to the underhanded business manager that stole Leonard Cohenâ€™s money a few years back. That betrayal plucked the songwriter from his Buddhist retreat on Mount Baldy and sent him back out on the road to refill the coffers. A lot of people have had a lot of pleasure in a lot of concert halls because of what that guy did. Leonardâ€™s one of them, actually.
RPO Music Director Christopher Seaman has returned to Rochester after summer travels to Australia, New Zealand, and the U.K. The big question is, what's with the chickens? Find out this Thursday morning on Classical 91.5 . . .