My teachers, and in some cases my colleagues, just knew more music than I could imagine knowing. They could quote chapter and verse. For example, someone mentioned Hindemith’s Kammermusik No. 1—a piece I’d never heard of—and one of my teachers said, “oh yes, that’s the one with an accordion.” Because there were eight Kammermusik pieces, and he knew all of them. I had some serious catching up to do.
Lacking a structure toward this pursuit, I flailed for years.
Somehow it may have been today, in the year 2020, after everything that’s happened, when I heard Lil’ Jürg Frey perform a set for Experimental Sound Studio’s Quarantine Concerts from within the video game Animal Crossing, that I finally admitted to myself: there will be no catching up.
Maybe I should have known a few months ago, when I heard for the first time Joni Mitchell’s 1988 album Chalk Mark in a Rain Storm, wherein she duets with Willie Nelson on the cowboy standard “Cool Water”—but she's just warming up for the dazzlingly problematic “Lakota,” with a vocal contribution by actual Iron Eyes Cody.
There will be no catching up.
• Gone Walkabout
• Music as Drama
• Crossroads II
• 10 Best of 2014
• January: Wyoming and the Open
• February: New Mexico and the Holes
• Coming Up
• Notes on The Accounts
• Crossroad Blues