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Gettin’ to know the neighbors….

December 16th, 2003 · No Comments

Neighbors. You see them mowing the lawn. Washing the car. Maybe even slipping outside wrapped in a bathrobe to grab the paper. But do you really know what it is they do all day long?

We’re always excited to meet a new family in our neighborhood, and we were especially excited this summer, when we discovered that the couple who had just moved in down the street from us, were both musicians. Walking around the block in the morning, I always hear music spilling out from their house: even now in winter weather with the windows closed, tunes still trickle out into the street. It’s like walking past a bakery and smelling the scent of cinnamon rolls:enticing! So when we heard that Patrick would be performing with the Bremerton Symphony Orchestra , conducted by his wife Elizabeth, we decided to try to go. We were curious. Yeah, that was our motivation: we’re nosy neighbors :).

Despite the effort required to go on a date – thanks Grandma! – it was worth the 45 minute drive and work just to see Patrick and Elizabeth perform together. His jazz trio was the highlight of the afternoon for me, my favorite part. Although I had never imagined “Coventry Carol” with a drum solo, it was fun to discover how jazz could spice up familiar carols, making the ho-hum hot! Intriguing to watch Patrick’s fingers explore the range of the keyboard and the range of his compositions. How rare also to see husband and wife on stage together, to watch them interact and communicate, while performing a piece of music -he on piano and she with baton – or inbetween pieces, Elisabeth handing the microphone to Patrick so he could explain what he had written. It was fun and suspenseful to see what they would create together!

Seeing the couple who live across the street from me perform with the Bremerton Symphony Orchestra inspired my creativity. I confess I don’t have much training or education in music or music history. What comes to mind most often when thinking about composers and symphonies are images of men who wore white powdered wigs and lived in Europe centuries ago: distant and dead.

Yet on Sunday I heard Patrick play pieces he had written for that particular performance with the Symphony. Music so fresh! Creativity became something accessible. To think that my neighbors across the street create compositions to be played by a symphony orchestra. Wow! To think that someone walking on my block or driving down my street is making such rich music. Without a white-hair wig! Makes me wonder if I can create something too…..

For Ted’s review look here ….

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