Monday, October 30, 2017

My Masterwork

Mozart composed the Requiem, Beethoven the 5th Symphony, Verdi La Traviata, Stravinsky The Rite of Spring. Monk composed Round Midnight, Miles recorded his Kind of Blue album, Dave Brubeck Time Out, Coltrane A Love Supreme. The Temptations recorded My Girl, The Supremes Baby Love, James Brown I Got You (I Feel Good), Chuck Berry Johnny B. Goode, Michael Jackson Thriller. Simon and Garfunkel sang The Sounds of Silence, James Taylor Sweet Baby James, Carol King You Got a Friend, the Beatles recorded Sargent Pepper, Bob Dylan Highway 61 Revisited.

Dante wrote The Divine Comedy, Shakespeare Hamlet, Dickens David Copperfield, Tolstoy War and Peace, Jane Austen Pride and Prejudice, JD Salinger The Catcher in the Rye, James Baldwin The Fire Next Time. Thoreau wrote Walden, Allen Ginsberg Howl, Jack Keruoac On the Road, Mary Oliver Wild Geese.

Leonardo painted The Mona Lisa, Michelangelo sculpted the Statue of David, Botticelli painted The Birth of Venus, Monet Water Lilies, Van Gogh The Starry Night, Picasso Guernica, Andy Warhol a Campbell’s Soup Can.

Then there was Charlie Chaplin’s Modern Times, the Marx Brothers A Night at the Opera,
Frank Capra’s It’s a Wonderful Life, Hitchcock’s The Lady Vanishes, Fellini’s La Dolce Vita, Truffaut’s Jules and Jim, Spielberg’s Star Wars.

This the off-the-top-of-my-head-many-fabulous-works-left-out list of notable masterworks by artists in many fields. And here I humbly offer my own most memorable work in the bizarre little world of Orff Schulwerk music education: Intery Mintery.

We had our dress rehearsal today, 100 children from 1st grade through 5th, each contributing their part of the whole. 1st graders with sound effects, 2nd graders playing the melody on Indonesian angklung, 3rd graders playing the driving pentatonic arrangement I composed, 5th graders playing organum-style melody on soprano and alto recorders and the 4th graders at the center of the whole show, being the dearly departed who get to come back to Earth for one wild night of revelry, dancing in choreographed abandon, accompanied by all the instruments plus Bulgarian bagpipe. It’s really a one-of-a-kind dramatic performance. A child-sized masterwork and if that’s how I’ll be remembered, that’s fine by me.

1:00 pm to 1:30 tomorrow. Drop on by.

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