09. January 2006 · Comments Off on Listening · Categories: imported, Ramble

When I first read about the John Cage piece that is going to last until the year 2639, I just sort of shook my head. Then I forgot about it. Today I read that the second chord has been played. The concert began on September 5, 2001.

Anyway, the work is knows as ASLSP and when I first read that I read it as “asleep”. That seemed fairly appropriate. Yes, I know I misread it, and that I’m truly a goof. I’m good at misreading and being a goof. For those of you who don’t want to bother with the link but are anxiously awaiting the CD of the piece (grin), it’s called organ2/ASLSP, or, more clearly As SLow aS Possible. 😉

In other news I’m just home from my drive to Mark Chudnow’s to have “Oboe A” looked at. Mark’s place is about a 90 mile drive or a bit more. One way. I left home around 7:00 to take Jameson to school, filled the car with gas (note to self: gas is cheaper in Napa!), bought a latté and muffin (note to self: if you’d gotten up when the alarm rang you could have had your cereal at home and saved the bucks!) and then I drove to Napa. Arriving, I handed Mark the oboe, chatted for a very short time (less that 5 minutes, I’m guessing) turned around and drove home. When I arrived home I found myself in a bizarre place as it felt like no time had passed. But it was nearly noon. I feel like I’ve lost time.

As I drove I listened first to a few musicals (along with traffic reports) and then I finally moved to Mozart and began listening to Don Giovanni. (We’ll be doing that later this year in Opera San Jose.) The musicals were for light listening. The first, Oliver!, was something I bought because I have such great memories of seeing it as a high schooler (or was it junior high). I don’t know what it is about some music, but there was a point in this silly musical where the music hit me and I wanted to cry. I think it has something to do with tender memories. (Hmm. Sounds like it must have been in junior high, then!) The second, The Baker’s Wife, was something I picked up on a whim. The lead woman sounds so much like a Disney singer. (A Belle or Ariel, or any one of the contemporary Disney musicals, not the older ones.) I wonder what I’m hearing that makes me think of that.

And then Don G … great music, that! But I found that while I listened to the musicals, I wasn’t truly listening to the Mozart. What was that about!? Was it that I don’t speak German? It hardly seems likely, but maybe. I’ve played it before, so did I stop listening because it was familiar? Can’t be, since Oliver! is quite familiar as well. Or was it that Mozart requires more attention than a musical? I’d start to listen and then my thoughts would take over and the next thing I knew I was at a recitative and hadn’t even heard the aria before that. I’m feeling guilty … as if I’ve lost the ability to listen.

I do know that true listening takes effort. More than many of us are willing to put out much of the time. Add in car noise, things to look at, remembering which freeways to get on and off of, and driving over the Benicia Bridge (I am fearful of bridges and I can’t drive in the other lane for fear of driving off the edge. I know it’s silly, but there you go.), and maybe I have a legitimate excuse. But maybe not. I do know I was annoyed with myself and I say “Listen, girl!” but then find myself drifting again.

I guess I’ll have to get my part and go through the opera at home or, better yet, on campus. (I’m more focused on campus because I’m not able to locate as many things to clean when waiting for students!)

But enough of my ramble! I have things to work on. Projects to finish. Hot tea to drink!

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