Feb 10, 2015

Vacation Listening


Do you take music with you when you go on vacation? I do, but then I am so addicted to listening to music that I cannot imagine going anywhere without it. In the old, old days that meant packing a cassette tape player – usually a Sony Walkman – and a stash of cassette tapes in some kind of case with fitted slots designed to transport them. Just the memory of packing them makes my head spin. The cassette case took up so much space in my suitcase!

Then, in the old days (as opposed to the old, old days) one took a portable CD player – again, usually a Sony Walkman (I still have that device) – and a stash of CD’s in their plastic or paper sleeves. . . ah, but now? It’s all in my iPhone, hundreds and hundreds of musical compositions in this small, thin, handheld device. A miracle of technology!

Airplane rides do not have to be interminably long and tedious. Yes, there are movies to watch – violent ones and not so violent ones – and books and articles to read. And there is music available from the aircraft itself, but often a limited amount of classical music and jazz. So. . . my iPhone to the rescue, coupled with my noise-cancelling Bose headphones, and I am in heaven.

Last year, on the four and a half hour flight to Cancun, I treated myself to Handel’s Concerto Grossi, Op. 6 – all twelve of them. . . almost (had to take out some time to eat.) I may treat myself to Handel again this year. And remember what Beethoven had to say about Handel: “Handel is the greatest composer who ever lived. I would uncover my head and kneel down at his tomb.”

Once we get to our vacation destinations we can relax and listen to more music! I often use this opportunity to listen to lots of jazz. This year I’m taking plenty of the remarkable artistry of Ted Rosenthal. If you do not know this jazz pianist – “get with the program!” Ted is a sensational pianist/composer who has performed with and for The Discovery Orchestra on several occasions. . . when he’s not playing all over the world. Here’s a sample of his music.

Sitting in the sun (somewhat shaded, of course) while giving my undivided attention to jazz puts me in a state like no other. Try it sometime, but just be careful not to get so lost in the music that you get too much sun!