Concerto In F (Allegro) – Gershwin
Music has given me many perfect moments in my life. At concerts, on trains, in cars, in rehearsal, even on stage. Often through headphones. I just had a perfect moment on my front door stoop in Brooklyn on ipod shuffle. A positive rush of joy where the music – Gershwin’s Concerto in F – matched my thoughts and feelings precisely in a rush of connection.
We all know Rhapsody In Blue. Manhattan. Used as the soundtrack to Woody Allen’s film. But had been the soundtrack of the city since 1924. The brilliant use of jazz in a classical score has not been bettered, except perhaps by Miles Davis’ Sketches Of Spain. It has an amazing section two thirds of the way through which Brian Wilson transposed into a vocal opening for his “Gershwin” LP a few years ago. I’ve toyed with getting those four bars of music tattooed onto my left arm, below the butterfly, the Jenny symbol and Chester’s pawprint. It’s an iconic piece of music. I’ve seen it live in concert, at the Dome in Brighton, and seen that great musician Leonard Bernstein conduct it in New York, on youtube of course. But this piece is less well-known, certainly by me. Due diligence reveals that it was written a year after Rhapsody In Blue premiered, in 1925. It’s more classical in form than the more famous piece, but has echoes of it nonetheless. My “well-trained ear” (this is a joke) immediately finds astonishing beauty in it.
Today was a bit nothing. Cold and rainy, I went out at five to try and make something happen – maybe buy a chest of drawers, get the dry cleaning delivered because it’s too heavy to carry down the road, buy some of Jenny’s favourite beer Negro Modela. All failures. I did manage to buy cheese eggs and milk at Trader Joe’s. Jenny was on a long Facetime. When she came off it she cooked us both an amazing stew. We don’t cook much, so it was a treat. I helped a couple of young people make a connection in “this business we call show”, and was rewarded by a Twitter follower explaining to me how I could embed videos onto this blog. What goes around comes around said Leonard Kravitz. I had some puff, went downstairs onto the stoop for a Benson & Hedges with my ipod on, and this slice of unknown New York music came on random shuffle. It was beautiful. Life is good suddenly.
It wouldn’t be my pop life without random shuffle now would it? As serenity flowed through me (mingling with the pleasant effects of marijuana) I felt lucky, satisfied and happy with myself. It’s been a bad day but it can end well even so. Fleeting moments of joy that I welcome and hold close for a second. Then decide to write it down. My Pop Life. It’s almost live.