So, I had originally planned at the outset of this evening to write a review of the Anchorage Symphony Orchestra concert which I attended tonight, but after all that has occured tonight, it seems almost insulting for me to just keep my focus so narrow, because tonight was such a completely perfect night that only talking about one part of it seems rather cheap, and cheapens the reason why this night was so wonderful for me. I normally don’t talk about my daily life, and I don’t mean to start now. I just want to show why my concept of happiness is so much more practical, and why I am so glad that I have the people in my life that I do.
Let me begin this by saying that I had been wanting to go to the symphony for some time. I had gone a couple years back, and had been dying to return ever since. I didn’t get the chance until the powers that be decided that they would lend me a hand. Lady Luck is a fickle creature. In any case, for Christmas, Sally gave me two tickets to this show. I had originally been planning to go anyway, and to buy tickets. This particular show caught my eye instantly, and I am glad I went.
In any case, I was given two tickets, so I had free range to invite whomever I pleased. The person that I went with is my cousin, and one of my favorite people, Mandy. Mandy and I have been thick as thieves since the day she moved up to the Valley from Juneau. She and I have always been close. I remember the days when she would visit, before she moved up here. I would look forward to seeing her like nothing else. Though we don’t see nearly enough of one-another these days, we are still thick as thieves.
I won’t lie, Mandy was not the first person that I wanted to take to the symphony. I don’t mean to sound cold, or to sound like I am displeased that I did go with her, because I’m not. But that wasn’t how it began. I originally had planned to ask my good friend Emily to go with me. But a lot of shit happened within the time-frame of me getting the tickets, and so I just didn’t see us being able to go to this, which displeased me greatly, and saddened me.
I spent a lot of time trying to think of who to invite, then it suddenly hit me, and I felt very dumb, because the right name was right in front of me (literally, I figured out to ask her when we went out to dinner at Red Robin’s). She was very excited from the git-go, because I explained that this concert was not really classical music. It was american master musicians, mostly the guys who took jazz off the street, dressed it up, and took it the concert hall.
So, the trip began with me picking her up, and right off the bat I could just tell that it was going to be a good night. The two of us just have so much fun talking. I truly almost never run out of things to say to her and talk about. We had a lot of good laughs on the long-ass car ride to Anchorage (being tall is a problem when driving. Cramps are a bitch). We had dinner at my favorite place- Pizza Olympia. The food was spectacular. The gyros at that place are so worth the amoung of money and the amount of time until it gets to you.
After that, we began the journey to the show itself. That took a bit more time than I had liked, but it was all good. For the performance I got to witness, it was so worth it. The name of the show was American Masters. It was a performance of the Anchorage Symphony Orchestra, but had some guests- a group called Time For Three.
The show began with “Music for the Theatre,” by Aaron Copland. This was a very vivid and very peaceful performance. One thing that I love about modern music is the rich harmonies with the strings. For real, that makes it all worth it to me, but to be honest, both the first and the last piece paled in comparision with the piece that was played in the middle.
The middle was actually a combination of two pieces, but it was listed as one. The first was that it was the best piece of the night. The last piece was “Porgy and Bess” by George Gershwin, and although I love Gershwin and his music, the simple fact is that the second piece was so much more involved than that one.
The first part of the second piece was a creation by a modern American song-writer, Chris Brubeck (whether or not he is related to jazz legend Dave Brubeck is unknown). He created a wonderful combination of the works of Time for Three, a group of four guys- two violin players, a cello player, and a drummer, and the orchestra. It was rowdy, involved, and very cool. Then the three main guys, the violin and cello players, stood alone and did a combination of several works by different Russian composers. The composers weren’t jazz, but these guys made up for that.
Now, the whole reason that the second piece had so much power was because of Time For Three. These guys were vibrant, fun, and even got the audience to get emotionally involved with the performance. They got the audience to laugh at their on-stage performance, which for a symphony production, is incredibly difficult without seeming rude. But these guys- Nicolas Kendall (Violin), Zachary De Pue (Violin), Ranaan Meyer (Cello), and Matt Scarano (Drums), were able to do it perfectly. Their performance was brilliant, vibrant, and got a well-deserved standing ovation, with massive applause.
In the wake of that, the wonderful piece by George Gershwin just couldn’t hold its own, which I’m sorry to say, because it is still something that I love to hear. After the show was over, the two of us began our long right home. It was during this that my night was truly wrapped up and felt so much better.
Mandy and I are both in a similar place right now. We are both coming down from some personal hardship. I have talked in some detail about mine (my saga with Emily), and her’s is honestly none of your damn business. During the ride home, the two of us got to talking. We are both heading back onto the straight and narrow path, with a goal in sight again. Both of us had been on the crooked road, not knowing where to go.
Mandy is one of my favorite people. She is a person that I love to talk to, and I always can talk to. And I am hoping to be able to help her, should she need it, in the future. Both of us are getting back onto our feet, and honestly, I am just happy that the two of us could escape our personal problems, and be in the comfort of people that we know and love. I love her, and am glad that we could experience this wonderful night together.
Until next time, a quote,
“Remember this- keep close the people who care about you. Once you start thinking that you’re alone, you are. And that is the worst place you can be in, trust me.” -Eli Johnson