planes and trains

by pieces of moments

Over the course of the last 14 days I have been in 3 cities, 3 hotels (and 4 different hotel rooms), 2 trains and 1 plane. Currently I am writing to you from my hotel room in the lovely Magnolia Hotel in Houston, Texas. Nice hotel. Recommend it for your next foray into the Lone Star State. But don’t drink the water – it’s $6 per bottle.

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We’ve been in town taping with the Houston Grand Opera and I have to say, it was a great, great show tonight. Shout out to HGO and all the kids for making terrific radio. Boston is more of an instrumental town (sorry my operatically inclined Bostonian friends – but I’m stickin’ to that observation) and it’s opera company simply doesn’t enjoy the kind of public adoration that HGO seems to hold as a major part of Houston cultural life. I guess they do really like things big in Texas. Speaking of which, can we talk about how the Wortham Center is giganticanormous!? W-O-W.

Wortham Center, Houston, TX

Perhaps the best thing of all were these kickin’ bracelets that the HGO made for us that say HGO and FtT on either side in our FtT blue and yellow…sorry they’re backwards but I can’t turn the photo inside-out.

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This morning I was driving to a meeting at the Houston School for the Performing and Visual Arts and passed a sign only a few blocks from the school that read “Rothko Chapel” (yes, that one) and I suddenly realized that I had forgotten that it is here in H-Town (as they apparently call it? don’t know…saw it on a t-shirt so I’m going with it). So after my meeting I grabbed a moment to do a quick drive by. The space was very moving, I have to say. Although, thus far the most amazing Rothko collection I have seen was the room of paintings made to replicate the feeling of brick walls in the Tate Modern in London. Very similar layout, with a totally different ultimate connotation.

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“Broken Obelisk” outside the chapel by Barnett Newman

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The exterior and sign outside the door (no pictures inside…)

Last week I was New York City – twice (came back to Boston for a couple of days to get stuff done and then returned for part 2). All of our television tapings at Carnegie went well, and I was able to stay over the weekend with friends. On Sunday we found ourselves on 5th Avenue looking at all the crazy hats walking by for the Easter Parade (being that it was Easter) before it was time to head to brunch at Aquavit.

Easter bonnets on 5th Ave

While in the city we also caught the new Alarm Will Sound program at The Kitchen entitled 1969. I have to say, I really like the concept of investigating actual and imaginary intersections and meetings between “classical” and “pop” worlds in the year 1969 (I’m a big fan of intersections and the question of influence), and the visual set up was cool, but the musical execution could have been more tight. Although, props to anyone who actually wants to undertake the technical exercise of orchestrating The Beatles “Revolution 9”.

Alarm Will Sound @ The Kitchen

Midtown is crazy these days. It’s full of European tourists. I mean, Midtown is always full of tourists anyway, but they have taken a very decidedly European-majority flavor these days with the current $ to € ratio. So after my Carnegie Hall duties were over for the week we high-tailed it downtown and hunkered down in the West Village for refuge (from the tourist trap Midtown, not the Europeans…fyi).

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During all this activity I have also been writing program notes for a concert entitled Music From Ibero-America to be presented this Sunday by my friends in the Impetus Duo over at the Lilypad. I love writing program notes, it’s really nearly one of my favorite things.

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