The songs I’ve offered up over the last few days shook me by the shoulders and handed me this piece as my last choice. I realized mid-week that the songs I’ve chosen, and the majority of songs throughout history either celebrate our connection with each other, long for that connection, or grieve over its loss. Sondheim’s words sum it all up for me and they do it in both a contemporary and a timeless way. The melody sounds simple, though of course it’s not, and it takes root in your teeth and bones.Read More
I couldn’t submit five choices without choosing one piece operatic. Ok, it’s a bit long but it’s Richard Wagner, the early years when he was still in his ‘bel canto’ period. And baby, could he ever write a melody and throw some rockin’ orchestration at it.Read More
Am I sentimental or does this define the agony of break up and the anguish at trying to hold on to a relationship after it’s over?
I stood transfixed in the fourth floor walk up of an African actor’s sparse Paris apartment one morning as I saw this for the first time on his little rabbit-eared TV. We were in the middle of the rehearsing exorcism that became the European tour of Peter Brook’s La Tragedie De Carmen so this video caught me already raw and a little bloodied. I was twenty-seven and learning my way around hot, cranky Paris in August and had never even heard of Jacques Brel.Read More
It comforts me and allows me to open old wounds so they can heal. It reminds me why I love and it shows me again and again how much I am loved. Groth’s words teach me to love better and they tell me what a privilege it is to be the reflection of another’s goodness—to see him whole and well so that he can see it more clearly himself. I get to do that. Wow. There’s love and genuine hospitality in action. And if it weren’t for Johannes Brahms, well, I probably would have never even heard these words, and definitely never in a way so transcendent.Read More
My mother, Helen Joyce drove an eggshell Cadillac until she couldn’t drive any more and the sprawl of West Texas required she spend lots of time in her car. She and I agreed on all things “Willie” and we differed on most things political, but when his cd in her Caddy landed on this track, all our differences blew away with the West Texas wind. We sang along with him most times and she always had it playing when I came to town. Our common ground was “Living in the Promiseland”. I love it for that and also because it makes me feel home.Read More