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Monday, July 19, 2010

Hot and Tots

Yesterday I played a concert where I was a member of the band, not the director, for the first time in 24 or 25 years. The Shafter Summer Community Band performed in front of the SHS auditorium.

Gary and Martha Ingle put it together. Ken Fosbender (Dr. Kenneth Fosbender), a friend for many years, former SHS band director (early 1950s), Department Chair for both BC and University of Delaware music departments, former Marine Corps band director (in the footsteps of Sousa, and directing the likes of guys from the Jimmy and Tommy Dorsey, Stan Kenton, Woody Herman, Harry James etc. big bands [how'd did we get a guy like this? He lives in Shafter...retired here...don't tell me Kern County isn't cool]) and former owner of Stockdale Music (which is how I met him), was our conductor. He is Grandpa Heywood's contemporary, and has slowed a little because of age. There were a few "messups" here and there...but he's forgotten more about music than most people, even music teachers, ever knew.


Mom and Dad were there, up front, just like grade-school. Valerie and Kristopher were as well. David, Brittany, Tyler, Karina and half the Wasco Ward entourage accounted for at least a third of the audience.

It was hot...O, so hot...104 in the not only is Kern County cool, it is hot too.

We played God Bless America, National Emblem March, Music Man Medley, Zacatecas March, Themes From Superman, Instant Concert, El Capitan March, and Stars and Stripes Forever. We had 40 participating musicians ranging in ability from high school sophomores to music teachers. Miriam played the piccolo solo in S&SF, of course, and fellow trumpeter Ben Wilson performed the Rafael Mendez rendition of Variations on a Trumpet Voluntary.

There were families, and a lot of children in attendance. The kids were fun. Kristopher ran up to me after the concert and hugged my leg and said "Unca Dave pay tumpit?" having been coached by his Mom I'm sure.

This is what being a musician is all about. We had fun together--up close, personal--in an Sunday-appropriate activity.

Wish you all could have been there.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Few Random Morsels


I am really getting a little discouraged. No one wants to hear or watch my concerto. 0 hits.

Well all things take time. Besides who knows a music man from little old Wasco CA? That may be the only thing extraordinary about this music. Everything else about it could be considered passe.

First, to enjoy it you'd have to enjoy Classial genre. Second, apparently the choice of CORE AUDIO as the media of an acoustically-intended work is the same as the death pin through a drunken sailor's nose. There seems to be a societal reaction against anything synthesized, from plastic wrap to spastic RAP.

"Acoustic" is considered "pure." "Synthetic," "impure." Synthesis is bringing diverse elements or concepts together to form a unique whole. It is a process which combines, refines and bonds. Synthesis made aspirin possible. Penicillin too.

More often than not, we become infected and impure by the organic processes which surround us unseen. More often than not nature messes with us. While it is true that sometimes synthesis makes a mess, more often we wind up with brass.

Brass is synthesized copper and zinc. Without it, brass choirs do not exist. How ironic that without synthesis "pure" brass instrumentation is impossible, but synthesized sound sampling is impure. HMMM...

Last time I wrote about the conflict between organic and inorganic, and how patently silly the whole thing is. John Lennon penned, "There's nothin' you can do that can't be done, nothin' you can sing that can't be sung." Ecclesiastes says "all is vanity under the sun." All life eventually ages dies, and becomes fertilizer for the next rotation.

Basically they are both saying that everything has a life-span, all things are replicable, all will eventually recycle, nothing is unnatural--EVERYTHING INCLUDING CORE AUDIO IS ORGANIC.

CORE is a tool in which a pallet of colors is made available in one relatively small and inexpensive package. I am grateful that such a tool exists, as it make hearing at least the color of and in my music possible--and it is pretty close too.

Ah, but we are social snobs--it hasn't been that long ago that all movie scores were synthesized. Now, to touch it is to become "untouchable," almost unholy. Certainly impure.

I shake my fist at an unyielding sky
I cyber-cry but no heart is open
No one to listen not even the moon
Doth hear
Nor to shine
Nor to shine
Even sparkle a tear...

Sunday, June 27, 2010

A Question of Nature

If we have access only to those corporeal materials which occur on this earth, along with the occasional meteor (a naturally occurring object in space) which crashes through our atmosphere to become part of the earth, and if though we be empowered to manipulate naturally occurring materials, but are incapable of eliminating or changing anything really, then is any matter really inorganic or unnatural?

It is a fallacy to claim that any substance manufactured by humanity or nature (since humanity itself is a naturally earthy phenomenum) can be unnatural or inorganic. Even my granddaughter's plastic doll is organic and will in due time recycle--remix--as natural processes intercede and act upon it.

We worry way too much...

Sunday, June 20, 2010

If You Don't Know Me By Now...

I am engulfed within aromas of broiling mushrooms stuffed with sausage and cream cheese. I feel a connection with Hobitton when it comes to mushrooms. And Christy's stuffed mushrooms make my tastebuds "party like its 1999" (Artist formerly known as Prince [at the time of the quote]). Right now the olfactory is workin' its chops an' triple tonguein' double C's at 1/4=240 bpm. Mom just brought in a plate-o-4. Gulp! Man the saliva is positively, ponderously flowing with anticipation. Right now her mushrooms makes Christy the sexiest woman alive!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Hello, Is there anybody out there?

Today I've been gardening. In fact I've just finished doing what I was going to do today, so I thought I'd get my blog going. This is my second attempt, my first being a disappointment because I failed to remember my information, or didn't use the correct sequence or something. Anyway, since posting my first blog, I've been unable to post subsequently. I hope this works better and that I have figured out the bugs. We'll see...