There are some musicians who changed my world from the moment I saw them, and then followed this up with changing my world the moment I heard them.
I always tell the story about seeing Guy Few on an airplane several months before I met him… the memory is printed on my mind’s eye like the shadow on the wall in a nuclear blast. And the moment I heard him remains with me… I know I was wearing my purple sweater (before I accidentally washed it and it turned into a purple tea cozy). Following that moment, I was on the phone to my composer, asking for a double concerto for trumpet and bassoon (the rest is history).
Likewise, I passed the folksinger Valdy in a hotel corridor and we grinned at each other like two monkey morons, then talked about something, then I heard him that night as he provided the entertainment for the International Log Builders’ Association (my parents founded that organization when it was the Canadian Log Builders’ Association). Anyway, Valdy’s unforgettable musicianship caused me to get him to sing on our Caliban Does Christmas CD, and I have always wanted to play with him more. Such a true-hearted musician.
Now, he has asked me and Guy to appear on one track of his newest album AND he has agreed to do a star turn when I am touring the Vivaldi CD in 2012/13 —- we’ll combine Vivaldi with Va-Valdy.
Other musicians whose images and sounds are seared into my memory are violinists, cellists, bass players, sopranos, conductors, brass players… people who play their hearts out no matter what, people who sometimes growl in frustration yet spread light and glory with their playing. I would list them but I am afraid of forgetting someone.
And then there are the musicians who make things possible, like the recording engineers …always listening, always paying attention — our recording engineer is a saint with a temper and absolutely precious.
I notice the musicians who are laughing even when they are alone… and I often find out that they are the most serious-souled people imaginable. But they make me laugh and make me want to play and take chances doing stuff I never dreamed of before I met them.