Saturday, December 19, 2009

Jamendo Friends and Children

I have found myself addicted to Jamendo (probably not a big secret) with a widening taste in musical genres (although I still cannot love 'rap') and a constant hunger for 'new' music. Since I have been a member of Jamendo I have made many new friends and have discovered many new sources of music.

One of my new friends, Christopher Jackson, goes by wildsage2 on his profile. I like his avatar which I hope he doesn't mind me revealing. He is also a musician and shares his lovely clarinet pieces on his own home page. Here is what he has to say about his music: "The first pieces chosen are short, lyrical works representing the early and middle Romantic period, and the 20th Century, followed by a completely new Sonata written for me which I believe deserves exposure. Although the works themselves are lesser know pieces, I believe they offer quality examples of the literature for the instrument."

Christopher gave me permission to share his music on my blog, so I decided to provide a link to his home page as it is also very interesting reading: Click on the page labeled "The Clarinet" to enjoy his performances. There are more recordings located on the "In Days of Yore" page. Enjoy!

One of my favorite pages on Christopher Jackson's site is called "Stories from Childhood." His idea is that children have funny misunderstandings about situations in this grown-up world which are amusing to recount as an adult. I think everyone has a story to tell and Christopher says that he wants to hear them and may also share them on his site.

Well, here is my own personal contribution:

I loved Kindergarten and remember it as if it happened yesterday. I think those were my favorite days because I was blissfully naive.

Usually we were left to run about the neighborhood like wild colts, large herds of sunburned children, with no one to stymie our inquisitiveness and creative joy. We rarely caused any trouble. We would just gravitate to the nearest source of outrageous childish entertainment and adventure which was often occurring in the large park behind the grade school. I remember those days in primary colors of blue and green and bright yellow sunlight; in sounds of musical laughter, or the shouts of a baseball game in progress; in flavors of pink bubblegum and wild berries; in sensations of skinned knees and hot metal slides, oh how I miss those days. Good memories.

I looked forward to Kindergarten because I liked learning new things. Always have and always will. But - there they confined us like pet rabbits. We actually had a huge chain-link fence around the Kindergarten playground. Totally separated from the rest of the world. I remember hanging on to that fence, talking to my older friends on the outside in the big kids playground. We had stuff to play with in our little prison: a swing set, tricycles, toys, balls and other little kid items including an empty sandbox. Ah - that empty sandbox!

I think I liked the safe feel of confinement. That fence was strong and our teacher, Mrs. Blankenship, was firm but kindly. There were so many of us as we were the baby-boom generation. I think she had thirty-two children to teach and control.

One part of our daily routines was nap time. First we had our little snack, which consisted of a cracker and a tiny paper cup of juice. Then we tidied up and got out our little sleeping mats and put them down on the floor. We laid down and Mrs. Blankenship would turn off the lights and tell us, "Close your eyes and maybe the Sandman will come." I would dutifully close my eyes in great anticipation.

After nap time we would go outside and play. I would always race to the sandbox, only to discover that it was still empty. I remember, one day, standing there, by its side, looking down with another child commenting on its barrenness. "Why didn't the Sandman come? I closed my eyes" The other child sadly said that he did also, and we walked away.

I believe that I never actually had a restful nap in Mrs. Blankenship's class. I would squeeze my eyes shut as hard as I could and listen with sharp ears for the sound of the Sandman.

Edit with clarification:

". . .the pieces I perform (like the clarinet works to which you refer) are of course not my own compositions, but the work of other people - most in the public domain, and the Sonata written for me by a friend/colleague. You might want to clarify that in some way. It sounds as if "my music" includes those works, whereas on the site, my original works are "Drifting into Grey" and "Bromptons".
Thanks for your kind support.
Christopher (wildsage2) "
Clarification posted.

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