A few friends sat on a porch in Rochester on a recent cool summer night. There was music, and beer, and some talk of going hiking. The music varied as different people used Spotify to play Nick Waterhouse, Leonard Cohen, Olivia Tremor Control, Wilco, and whatever else came to mind.
Late at night, late enough to be almost early, one of the denizens of this porch called up Coplandâ€™s music for The Red Pony. He then turned to me, the ostensible classical music expert, and asked: â€śWhy do I like this music? What makes it so good?â€ť
November is American Music Month, and WXXI has been playing music by American composers throughout the month. I only just discovered this celebration when I arrived here, and it has been wonderful to get to hear a lot of American music, and to choose some interesting examples to feature on my programs in the afternoons and evenings.
In addition to listening to music, I love reading (sometimes about music, sometimes about time travel and exploding alien spaceships...). I have a few recent books I've enjoyed that relate to American music. Here are my suggestions if you want to do a little reading, in addition to listening. I'd also love to hear if you have any suggestions that I should add to my reading list!