“I personally tend to see the beauty in each of the various arts as being unique to each,” said Morgan. “So paintings do not usually suggest music to me. Nor does music suggest poetry. My aesthetics are more compartmentalized.”

I’m with Maestro Morgan. But it seems that people now talk about adding video or photography to concerts in order to keep people entertained. I do remember a woman saying her son’s reaction to a symphony concert was, “It was okay, but there was nothing to look at.”

Listening can be such a yawner, right?

Anyway, the work Maestro Morgan is conducting is by Dave and Chris Brubeck, and Sacramento Philharmonic will be playing it. (It was commissioned by six orchestras.)

You can read all about it here.

And speaking of Sacramento Philharmonic Orchestra, they have a YouTube page. I wish SSV would get something up and running like that. Of course we don’t have a music director, but what about a “get to know the guest conductor” or “get to know the musicians” type of thing. Hmmm. Just a thought.

From the YouTube link:

The most important thing to remember about contemporary music, well, two important things to remember. First of all, no one … no one likes everything and so you have permission to not like it. It could be that you don’t like it or you might like it, but you’re better going into the performance thinking well I’ll see if I like it. And then you decide at the end whether you like it or not.

It helps to have the composer present and we have pre-concert talks before each concert to talk about the piece of music and generally the composer’s there to explain what he or she was trying to do, so if you come an hour early and you see that pre-concert talk it gives you a much better idea what’s going to happen but even then the idea is that the composer tells you what he or she was trying to achieve and then you get to decide how successful they were.

The other thing about contemporary music that you need to remember is that every generation in terms of what’s great and what’s not, every generation got has gotten it wrong. All the time.

[…] Leave your mind open, see if you like it, and then later generations will decide whether it was great or not.

-Michael Morgan

And here you can hear the woodwind quintet playing (that’s Tom Nugent on oboe). I’m sure some of my students will recognize that music!

Okay, enough of me. I should be resting. The cough is a bit worse today, rather than better, and I do not want to cough my way through today’s matinee!


  1. Thanks for posting this!

    Very minor correction: It is not the “Sacramento Symphony” as stated in the fourth paragraph. (You got it right — Sacramento Philharmonic — in the others.)

    I’m glad that the organization is posting videos on YouTube. Nice touch!

  2. Oops! Thanks, Cameron. I meant to go back and catch those errors. But then I spaced out!