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Friday, May 13, 2011

Strange duet



5/10
Jack hammers pounding. Drills. Caterpillars. Concrete being mixed, poured. The city is hard at work right in front of the church. Working on the drain systems for the streets that get flooded all the time. The noise is maddening. 

city at work


city at work

 Jon walks in the door. The former second chair bass player in the New York Philharmonic, just recently retired. He is the creator and founder of Very Young Composers, a program that works with young musicians to find the music that they already have within them. And Jon has been my son Micah’s bass teacher. 
 It’s so much a musical version of what Steve is doing with video and Sylvia with theatre. The educational theory is very much in line with the principles of the Centre.  Jon will soon be heading to Venezuela to work with El Sistema, the program that produced Dudamel, the new conductor of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. (And where  Juan might be working now.) El sistema says that they are not a music education  program but one that uses music
 as a medium for social transformation. I give Jon the complete tour as well. 
Somewhere in all this is the makings of an  is the makings of what could be a significant after school program. Music, video, theatre. Alone and collaborating together. Each one exploring that frontier where ethics and esthetics, beauty and justice meet. Where people become the subjects of their own history. 
Tom has arrived with Penny. She is the local community board official in charge of coordinating with the city public works projects in the neighborhood. We are meeting with a team of city engineers and others to talk about the sidewalks.  Soon the crew arrives; Ahmad, Pierre and Noriberto. We will debate what the city is and is not responsible for . And who is if they aren’t. Seems we’re going to have to go to the pictures, the record of before and after to determine that. Danielle lets them know that she’s got her own set of pictures. So we will go downtown to see the pictures, see what will happen next. The three enter into the sanctuary, just to see it. For Ahmad, a sense of awe. He points to a window. Compares to a similar type tradition of Persian glass and metal works. 
Outside has been this incessant din of street work. Inside, Grace has come back to practice, to play some more. This has become a sanctuary for her.  She has brought Danielle a beautiful wooden fan. Outside, Jackhammers, the sound forcing  its way into us. Inside, Grace. It’s a strange duet. 

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