Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Memory Palaces

I am not a conductor, and will never be, but I had a wonderful time leading last night's Summer Strings rehearsal. I got as far back and as high up as I could to get as many people as possible into this photo.

I usually spend rehearsal time holding down the viola section while someone competent does the conducting. I also make the arrangements. Last night our conductor was unable to come to rehearsal, and we had four people in the viola section, so I conducted the rehearsal. It was the first time I had ever heard my arrangements from the position of a conductor. I was really pleased with the way my arrangements worked, and I loved to see and hear how much people enjoyed playing them. It was really exciting.

I didn't get much sleep because I just couldn't get the music we rehearsed out of my head. It was great fun, and it was a highly productive rehearsal. I do wonder how conductors actually get to sleep after conducting a rehearsal.

Anyway . . .

Michael and I went to the Farmer's Market at around 7:30 this morning, and we popped into a new book store that had opened up on the square. Joe, the owner of the book store, is a friendly man who to attended the local university in the 1980s. He recently moved to Charleston from Chicago because of his fond memories of the town, particularly the university station where I spent 13 years as the classical music director, and Michael had a weekly jazz program. Joe thanked us many times for the work that we did. The people who run the current university station (with the same call letters and the same frequency) somehow managed to wipe those 13 wonderful radio years out of their history, but there are people who remember.

I wrote a blog post about the station back in 2007.

After we brought our goodies home from the market and the book store (I picked up a copy of Moby Dick, which was exactly what I was looking for), I took my iPod for a walk and listened to an episode of Radio Diaries called "Welcome to the Memory Palace". This podcast was all about Guglielmo Marconi and his theory about sounds (including radio broadcasts) continuing to travel infinite distances after they are broadcast. I believe that Marconi's theory has been scientifically proven to be wrong, but this morning's adventure shows a different way that radio signals can travel. They can echo in the palace of memory.

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