As I mentioned in my last podcast, Tuesday night I went to the Menil Collection to see Pedja Muzijevic play John Cage’s Sonatas and Interludes for Prepared Piano. Tiffany and I walked to The Menil Collection from her apartment a few blocks away, which reminded me how much there is to love about Houston. It was an interesting crowd, and actually pretty amusing when a couple of cell phones went off during the performance, considering Cage’s philosophies about chance music. Muzijevic joked after the first piece was interrupted by a cell phone that John Cage was probably the only composer who would actually suggest that the audience turn ON their cellphones during the performance…”let’s just see what happens!”
Something became perfectly clear to me during the performance that I have been wrestling with for several years now:
working in theater has killed (or mutilated, at least) my passion for playing the piano.
Not only have I spent years hacking away at piano reductions of orchestral scores I have little interest in to begin with, but playing the piano has meant the drudgery and frustration of seemingly endless reheasals teaching singers who don’t read music how to sing their parts– all for a pitiful (at best) salary. The result of this has been the loss of a social life, the inability to see inspiring performances like the one I saw on Tuesday, and the abandonment of my own compositions/ pianistic adventures.
So yesterday I turned down the fourth musical directing gig I have been offered since my last show at Unity Theater in February. I also dusted off the score for Three Visitations, a piano piece I wrote for Dominic Walsh years ago that he has expressed interest in using. All I have to do is learn how to play the damn thing and get a recording of it to him.
I was excited to get some positive feedback about the John Cage segment I did on MPOB 45, it looks like some of you would be interested in more of that with other composers. It sure helped me snap into some excitement about music again. Let me know if you like that sort of thing.