18. August 2008 · 2 comments · Categories: Ramble

I was just sent a wonderful article that will appear in The New Yorker‘s August 25 issue. (Or is it out already?) It’s a great read (close to a good reed, but not quite), and I’ll probably be reading and re-reading it for a while. I can “see” much of what he describes, as he talks about coming to California, living in Berkeley, having a cabin in the Sierras … all places I’ve been. And he talks about the music going on in the 70’s. I was in college from ’74 – ’79. As he talks about the music he was doing I think, “Yep, been there, done that.” Or sometimes “Been there, seen and heard that,” since I didn’t do the electronic music thing (but was closely linked to it, since Dan was in the middle of it all with his SJSU instructor, Allen Strange). Having gotten through a number of pages I came across a portion that just made me stop and have to post some of it (I have to cut a bit to follow copyright laws). I know Dan will love it too:

On an early evening in the spring of 1976, I had a revelation while driving along a ridge in the Sierras, in my old Karmann Ghia convertible. … ever-increasing piles of plastic cassette cases … everything from Monteverdi’s Vespers to Miles Davis’s “Bitches Brew.” That evening, the Sony was playing a recording of music from Wagner’s “Götterdämmerung.” As I guided the car along the sharp curves and looked out on mist lingering below in narrow ravines and riverbeds, I listened intently to the shapely ascents and descents of Wagner’s melodies and to the rich, morphing harmonic world that they described. Wagner had not been on my mind much in those days. But this music, especially the quiet opening bars of “Dawn and Siegfried’s Rhine Journey”—with its graceful leaps of sixths and sevenths, its soft cushions of string chords—spoke to me. I said out loud, almost without thinking, “He cares.”

If allowed, I’ll post more later, where Adams goes on to explain the “He cares,” bit.

Then again, you could just pick up a copy of The New Yorker magazine, August 25 issue. And I’ve just been informed it’s on newsstands as of today. 🙂


  1. Good read? Good reed?

    Reading and re-reading? Reeding and re-reeding?


  2. If only I could re-reed.

    Oh wait. I think that’s what I do, using these old things that should really be retired.

    Never mind.