George and I are thinking of starting–or at least encouraging–a revolution. No politics involved, no social statements, no protests. This would be about music.
The idea came from a gig he played last night at the Sturgeon Bay Yacht Club. He was having a great time with people who appreciated the music and his playing; and then, at the end of the last set, a woman asked if he could play “Romanza” or “Lagrima.”
“Imagine,” he said to me this morning during one of our post-gig debriefings. “I’m in a bar (although a pretty classy one) and they want to hear something classical.”
“Now there’s a thought,” I told him. “What’s wrong with someone opening a classical music bar?”
George and I live where most of the music is rock, country or blue grass. What we both love is folk, jazz and classical. Our biggest disappointment about where we live is that it’s hard to pick up a classical music station on our radio–although we do stream one via our computer. So, when someone requests a classical music piece, it’s a refreshing change of pace.
George took the idea and ran with it. You know those guys who ride around town in the summer with their windows open, sub-woofers throbbing, rock music blaring enough to register on the Richter Scale? What’s wrong, he asked, with rolling down the windows and turning up Stravinsky’s “The Rite of Spring” to similar cataclysmic levels?
Just to prove his point, he opened his iTunes collection, called up that very piece, turned down the air conditioner and the fan, and let ‘er rip. Gritty and teeth rattling, to say the least.
The ballet’s (yes, ballet!) innovative, complex rhythmic structures, timbres, and use of dissonance–especially that dissonance–are guaranteed to create music envy among the local rockers. In 1973, composer and conductor Leonard Bernstein said of one passage, “That page is 60 years old, but it’s never been topped for sophisticated handling of primitive rhythms…” Ah, primitive rhythms. Not something most people would associate with classical music. Bernstein also said it has the best dissonances anyone ever thought up.
A few minutes of riding around town with that blaring, and the sidewalks would likely begin to undulate.
To be fair, though, we’d have to sprinkle in some Mozart or DeBussy. Maybe something soothing, broadcast loudly, would lower the stress levels for harried vacationers or overburdened workers. At the very least it would return the sidewalks to their normal placid state.
And then, when someone opens that classical music bar, we’ll be the first customers.