Thursday, December 20, 2012

Saxophones

To my surprise, out of the 2521 clippings and notes I have on Evernote, only three have the word saxophone in them.  That seems curious, given that I collect items on music, for one thing, and given that the saxophone is not exactly an exotic instrument.

The oldest item is a list of some of the music available to download from Radio New Zealand Concert's Resound.  The piece relating to the saxophone is by John Elmsly, a New Zealand composer born in 1952, and it's called Sonata for alto saxophone and piano.  It dates from 1977.  In spite of Mr Elmsly being listed as a prolific composer, and conductor, I've...never...heard...of...him.  Strange.  I thought I was familiar with the names of most NZ composers at least, even if I didn't know much about their works.  He was even awarded the Mozart Fellowship at Otago University in 1981, which, since I live in Dunedin, where the Otago University is, would make you think I'd have heard something of him.  Nope.  The clue might come in the fact that he seems to write and conduct quite a bit of electronic music.  I'm certainly not much up with electronic music.  Sorry, John.

The second item in my clippings relates to the poem that won the Caselberg Trust International Poetry Prize in 2012.  The judge, James Brown, discussed the poem and why he chose it, and at one point said, think the mournful saxophone in Gerry Rafferty's 'Baker Street' as the exemplifying emotion.  That's the kind of feeling the poem gave him, I gather.  Dear me, I don't know Gerry Rafferty either, or Baker Street, so I can't dredge up this kind of feeling when I read the poem.   Ah, well, my ignorance is showing up well and truly today.   I've never heard of Dukoff mouthpieces for saxophones either - until today.

The poet who won the Caselberg was Tim Upperton of Palmerston North.   You can read All the things I knew here. 

The final item comes from a hilarious list called Side Effects, by Steve Martin, the actor and stand-up comedian. (At least I've heard of somebody in this group!)  The list picks up every kind of possible side-effect you could imagine, and many you couldn't, and notes towards the end: This product may contain one or more of the following: bungee cord, plankton, rubber, crack cocaine, pork bladders, aromatic oils, gunpowder, corn husk, glue, bee pollen, dung, English muffin, poached eggs, ham, Hollandaise sauce, crushed saxophone reeds.  It's originally part of the album Pure Drivel, apparently, but this is more than pure drivel: it's pure insane imagination.  It's printed as text in a variety of places around the Net: for example this one, as well as being available in audio format.  Here, for instance. 








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