Grow or listen to the same shinola
Greetings Earthlings and Eastern Sierrans. I’m writing this for the benefit of anyone hereabouts who isn’t a classical music enthusiast. If that describes you, my guess is that it’s because you’ve never sat in the same chamber with a world-class symphony orchestra and heard the air around your head vibrate and tickle your soul with a mind-numbingly brilliantly written masterpiece, played by truly great musicians under a great conductor.
For one thing, truly great symphony orchestras are increasingly rare; unless you really go out of your way, you haven’t heard one in person. Just to get a seat up in the nose-bleed section to watch the Los Angeles Philharmonic or San Francisco Philharmonic will cost around 50 bucks … for front row, about 30 feet from the stage, it can be several times that. Plus, you gotta go to the city. Ugh. Consequently, there are a lot of perfectly good humans walking around here unaware that they’re missing out on one of THE most musically nurturing and sonically sensual experiences life can offer.
Lest you think I’m a classical music snob, don’t. I write, play and produce all styles, usually Jazz, Rock, Funk, Latin or some mixture thereof; and though I also write orchestral music, I’m stylistically as unbiased as my profession and this letter is unsolicited.
I’m writing this simply to help pull the wool from your eyes if you’ve never really, REALLY heard and felt what I’m talking about, because there’s an amazing opportunity for you here.
The likelihood of an orchestra of truly splendid quality existing at all is small enough, but for it to come all the way up here to your front porch is patently absurd. Yet that’s precisely what we’re presented with here and now.
For 3 nights per year, the Eastern Sierra Symphony Orchestra brings some of the finest classical talent in this time zone to Mammoth Lakes, sometimes to premiere someone’s brand new material, and to basically blow our minds and keep things surreal.
Next Thursday night is the Chamber Music Concert at St. Joseph’s church. The Beethoven Woodwind Octet is on the program, along with some other really good stuff you’ll dig. It’s cheap, like $20 or less, which is ridiculous.
Friday and Saturday is the BIG NOISE: The 70-or-so-piece orchestra playing Beethoven’s 5th Symphony and his “Egmont Overture” at Mountainside Conference Center up at Main Lodge, Bogidar Avrimov conducting. WOW. This should be super expensive, but again it’s cheap. I’m tellin’ ya … BE THERE.
On a related note, the Felici Trio is just completing its latest Chamber Music Festival, featuring ridiculously talented players performing masterpieces we shouldn’t be able to hear without going to much travail and paying $1 million bucks. I can’t overstate how fortunate we are to have them in residence here and you’ll want to take advantage of that. (Note: If you hurry, you can still catch the final show on Aug. 6).
So, there it is. The choice is yours: expose yourself to amazing beauty, and grow, or keep listening to the same old shinola.
Vols are music to Coulters’ ears
The 22nd Mammoth Lakes Jazz Jubilee could not have happened without ALL of the support that came from EVERY aspect of this VERY GIVING COMMUNITY.
Many “things” are needed to put on this type of event: places to play, people to attend (they came from 22 different states & 3 foreign countries this year); but the most important ingredient is the army of volunteers who spend many hours organizing, setting up and executing the plan,
We actually build a small city in several locations around town that provide many of the comforts of “home” — available food & drink for purchase, free water, power, safety personnel close by, and a place to sit and listen and/or dance to the many hours and styles of music played by great musicians from all over the country.
“Mother Nature” even played a part this year providing some “music” of her own along with a light show. The rain helped keep the dust down, and cleared the trees of a lot of their pine pollen, while keeping the air temperature cooler than predicted.
Once again, a very BIG “THANKS” to all who were involved.
Ken & Flossie Coulter