Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Good News for Memphis

I just learned that Mei-Ann Chen has been named as music director of the Memphis Symphony. This news led me to look at the Memphis Symphony web page, where I found this page of videos. The first video, where the orchestra, with its new conductor, plays a piece of "city music" by an unnamed composer (who really should be given some credit), demonstrates the relationship that the Memphis Symphony has to the revitalization of the city as a whole. The video gives the impression that there is good will between the people in charge of the infrastructure of the city and the people who contribute to its culture.

Much to my surprise, the featured video for February has music written by my brother (and it sounds like it's also him playing), who is a member of the Memphis Symphony's viola section (yes, he's a violist-composer like me, but he did both before I started doing either one).

It is a novel idea to commission background music from members of the local symphony orchestra for films that showcase local businesses. It is so much better than using generic background music. Marshall's musical response to writing music for this Australian-owned dog-grooming business is in the (highly appropriate, I believe) form of a fantasy on "Waltzing Mathilda."

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