Saturday, February 18, 2006

According to Andrew

I'm a geek.

He's not using the word in the correct sense but I honestly can't think of a better word so let's go with his usage.

Sometime this week, when I was still in Dallas but my wife had returned to Phoenix, she had occasion to be driving my car with Andrew as passenger. Apparently they had stopped at a supermarket so some groceries could be purchased and Andrew was left in the car as my wife dashed in. As evidence of my advancing years I posit that when I was a kid, had I been Andrew, it'd have been my mother waiting in the car as I (playing the part in the drama that Andrew played) dashed in. But let's not get onto the subject of how lazy kids are these days. It's not their fault they've been allowed to become lazy. If sufficiently provoked by comments on this post I'll expand on the subject!

So anyway, as Andrew idled away his time in the car as aforesaid he apparently noticed a CD I have tucked away in the pocket of the drivers side door. He's recently become interested in music and he associates CD's with music; he's a long way from knowing that digital storage can encompass many forms of content.

What more natural, then, than for him to grab the CD and slide it into the player. As an aside, I'm wondering how it was that the player worked if Andrew was alone in the car. As with almost all car accessories it's necessary to have the keys before the player works. I really must ask my wife about that...

So he sticks the CD into the player and listens. It was the soundtrack to The man with the movie camera[^] by Michael Nyman. I've mentioned the movie and the soundtrack once or twice[^] before. If you follow the link you go to IMDB and you can see that they don't list a CD. Uh huh, I ripped the soundtrack from the DVD to make the CD. If the music had been available on CD I'd certainly have bought it, especially considering that the rip is 68 minutes of wonderful music with nary a sign of track markings.

So Andrew listened to a couple of minutes of the introduction and, when my wife returned to the car, opined, to quote my wife

'Rob's a geek. This is opera!'

My wife amused me greatly by relating the story as we drove home from Phoenix Sky HarboUr airport Thursday evening. When we got home Andrew emerged from his room to greet me and I advised him that it wasn't opera. A momentary pause as he caught up and then he commented that it was 'classical'. Nope, not that either. The music was written in 2000.

I shouldn't be too critical; I'd reckon that to the average listener knowing nothing of the history of orchestral music it would seem 'classical'. To be honest I'm not sure what label I'd apply to it. Romantic? Nope. Post Romantic? Nope. Minimalist? Nope. Post minimalist? Nope.

If I'm still alive in 20 years time I imagine I'll apply some label such as 'early 21st century' to the music of Michael Nyman, just as now I apply the label of early 20th century music to the works of Alban Berg, Ernst Krenek and Kurt Weill; until then I'll be content to listen and marvel at just how good modern 'classical' music can be.

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