Oh Bother!

Another title contender might be “Oops, I did it again.”

In the few years that I’ve been blogging I’ve detailed a few slips, trips and falls, and yes, I HAVE done it again. All I did was stand up and YIKES!  My ankle rolled. I crumpled to the floor in pain and for a few brief moments worried that I’d broken something, but thankfully no.

I blame it on the shoes.

Karina, 9 years old, was scheduled to be my Sunday date for an eagerly anticipated performance at the Disney Concert Hall.

I wasn’t about to let a foot resembling a sausage conflict with a Los Angeles Philharmonic performance I’d promised to share with my youngest granddaughter.

Although I’m partial to Gustavo Dudamel, the current conductor and music director of the LA Phil, I thoroughly enjoy exposure to other musical artists.

And exposure is what I had in mind with Karina’s first trip to this venue.

Would she become restless? Bored?

Her only comment before we arrived was to suggest she might get so relaxed she’d fall asleep, to which I assured her that would be just fine!

I was so glad we attended the pre-concert Q & A with the guest conductor, John Adams, sharing the discussion with two pianists, Marc-André and Orli Shaham, who would be performing Adams’ Grand Pianola Music. 

Adams also prepared us to hear the unconventional–my word, not his–Symphony No 12 “Lodger,” composed by Philip Glass, based on David Bowie’s work and premiered this last week in Los Angeles. If you’re a Bowie enthusiast, I recommend THIS ARTICLE to provide context.

I’ve discovered through experience that pieces of this “untypical” nature require more than one listen to fully embrace. I am interested in learning much more and studying the Glass-Bowie collaborations that preceded this latest offering.

But the surprise?

Composer Gabriella Smith explained that the inspiration for her piece, Tumblebird Contrails, originated from her experience at Point Reyes, California, one of the most beautiful stretches of ocean in coastal Northern California, Marin County.

I’ve written about this area before and I could easily understand the inspiration connected to Ms. Smith’s original piece.

How she was able to create the sounds of birds, surf and wind with such untypical uses of the instruments was surprising. It left me breathless and wanting more. I wish I had the ability to adequately describe the unique qualities of sound that come through brass instruments used more as megaphones for wind sounds than melody, and I am not sure how the string section mimicked bird sounds so perfectly.

In her own words…

And did Karina enjoy the performances?

Yes, she did.  I was very proud of her. She didn’t fall asleep and had several things to tell me at the end which told me she was paying attention.

Upon returning home as we all sat down at the table, her mom asked her to share her impressions.

First question, “Did you enjoy yourself?”

Of course she answered affirmatively. But then when asked to expand a little bit her next statement was delivered with a twinkle in her eye.

“Well, Nan met a nice man!”


Well, in a way.  I did have a nice chat with the “older” gentleman in the seat next to me. He knew several of the musicians and had some interesting comments to make about the performance.

Now truth be told, I DID suggest that Jay might like to attend with us. Sunday football was apparently more interesting. So…

The music was enchanting and the grandmother-granddaughter bonding time was priceless.

Good thing Karina didn’t mention that the gentleman gave me his card.

Wonder if I’ll have an older, more experienced chaperone accompany me next concert?