Random

Day 20: put your music player on shuffle and write the first three songs that play and what your initial thought is.

Number one: Beethoven Late String Quartets performed by the Emerson String Quartet; Quartet no. 13 in B flat Major, Opus 130: Adagio ma non troppo, Allegro

I love Beethoven and have since I was a small child. His music is an amazing combination of rhythmic drive, harmonic richness, lyricism, and wildly contrasting emotions. As a violist, I love to play and perform Beethoven’s music, but I particularly love his string quartets. These late ones are especially rich and play a pivotal role in the development of the string quartet later in the 19th century.

Number two: Paul Simon, The Rhythm of the Saints — Spirit Voices (work in progress, bonus track)

For my 41st birthday, John bought me the newly published book of Paul Simon’s lyrics, but there was much more to it than just that. One of his co-workers is married to a musician who has worked with Paul Simon for many years. So, John gave her the book, she gave it to her husband, he took it to NYC to a recording session he was doing — with the illustrious Mr. Simon himself. When asked, he very graciously consented to sign my book. All this went on without my knowledge. The book alone would’ve been a wonderful surprise, but the inscription and autograph inside on the title page nearly made me faint. It is one of the most meaningful and special gifts anyone has ever given me.

Number three: Jethro Tull, Aqualung

Oh my God, I’m laughing out loud on this one. I haven’t heard this one in a long time. This takes me right back to high school. My fondness for Jethro Tull, Yes, and Genesis can be traced to a boy I met in ninth grade. He had skipped two grades in school, so he was only 12 at the start of that school year. He was one of the smartest kids I ever knew, truly wise beyond his years. We used to get into lengthy conversations about music and he would make me cassette tapes of the stuff we talked about. I may even still have a few of them. Just thinking of Jim makes me smile. I never told him how much I appreciated him or what a big impact those conversations had on me.

Bonus track number four: The Beatles, Money (That’s What I Want)

Yes! I love The Beatles, especially John Lennon. This is, of course, a remake of a Berry Gordy tune that was one of Motown’s first hits. It’s an oldie and a goodie!