Friday, April 27, 2007
snow. mud. spring.
The view from my motel room in Chama, Tuesday morning, 7 a.m.
By Wednesday, the day of the performances of the Chama and Tierra Amarilla student operas ("Dallas Stadium Fan Fight" and "A Blast of the Past," respectively) it was sunny and warm enough for the ice to turn to water. Water that saturated the clay bog at the bottom of a driveway off a dirt road about 7 miles from Chama where I tried to turn my car around in the break between dress rehearsal and performance. A clay bog that ate my car. An hour and a half before set up for the shows. I tried the old trick of jamming rocks, sticks, dry dirt under the front wheels, to absolutely no avail. In fact, the more I tried to rock the car out of the saturated and colloidal clay, the more the front end of the car sunk. By this time there was about 10 pounds of mud in the car itself, from the bottom of my shoes.
However, not only was there a cell phone signal out there (Verizon comes through) but also: I called information, got the number for the hotel my teaching partner had gone to (checking in early for his parents), called the number and got through to him. So he headed out to rescue me. I stood up on the road's shoulder, waiting, when a huge F350 pickup approached. The fine gentleman and his wife were on their way to a meadow to watch deer. Instead, he went back to his house and got a Polaris 4-wheeler, enough rope to reach into several bogs, and in no time the car was hauled back to navigable road. I think his name was Bob Marshall, and he'd just retired to Chama from Tallahassee. "Lucky we came this way," he said. "There's nothing up this way at all."
The students did a great job performing their operas too. Nearly 300 people came. There are 1,200 residents of Chama. Let's see...if I could get 25% of Santa Fe's residents to come to my next show...that would be about 17,500 people.
Played a lot of Andrew Hill's music on the radio show yesterday. I realized that the best way to listen to Hill is with headphones, eyes closed, no distractions. Just how extraordinary his work was comes through clearly that way. Especially the dense, dissonant altered chords, suspensions and twists and turns.
Also played some Roscoe Mitchell in preparation for his performance in Albuquerque on May 19. Tnoona, The Key, the version of Line Fine Lyon Seven from his Black Saint Sound and Space Ensemble recording. A brief alto solo from his three CD solo release on Mutable Records. Looking forward to working more Roscoe Mitchell in over the next few shows.