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    Music to My Ears

    The Grammy’s were on CBS recently and Herman was delighted to find out that Herbie Hancock won best album of the year. It was for an album of all Joni Mitchell songs.

    I have been a Joni Mitchell fan for a long time. Do you guys remember an album called “Court and Spark?” It took me through my years of college. Good old Indiana University and me being a school of music major.

    Have I ever discussed this with you? My music teacher there, George Vassos, wanted me to become an opera singer. Indiana is a huge opera school. Luckily I hooked up with another voice teacher, the great Eileen Farrell, who was a jazz singer in her own right. She had a great sign on her studio door, which I knew right away meant I would get along great with her. The sign simply read, “Opera sucks.” It made me laugh every time I went in to study with her.

    Now Herman is hugely into jazz while I can spend hours listening to classical music. The violin in particular really speaks to me. I found this great site, www.pandora.com, where you simply punch in your favorite song or artist and it builds a “radio station” around that kind of music without commercials or any other interruptions. Once every several hours it might stop with a window popping up to ask “Are you still listening,” but otherwise it keeps playing.

    As a matter of fact, I’m listening to it as I write this, my favorite selection being baroque chamber music.

    I just heard my clock chirp 4 p.m.. That is also music to my ears. Let me explain.

    Herman came home one day with a new wall clock for me. The interesting thing about this clock is it has 12 different birdcalls for the 12 hours on the clock. It came with an Audubon Society booklet describing the birds pictured and their calls.

    This gift was a big hit with me. It struck me a bit later than he gave it, but it grows on me.

    I just had Herman switch to Herbie Hancock on Pandora so I could sample some of his music. Herman says it’s a blend between jazz, funk and rock. I withhold judgement, as my mind is still tuned in to classical music.

    I am now back to classical music. I didn’t mind Herbie Hancock, but it wouldn’t be my first choice. Or for that matter, my second or third.

    It’s sometimes hard to find music both Herman and I enjoy together. I have dragged Herman along to classical concerts with my mom and I and he brought a book to read. What’s with that. He brought me to see the Dave Brubeck Quartet at Troy Music Hall a few years back, and I really enjoyed them, but I wouldn’t want a steady diet.

    So, whatever your music taste, you can find it on Pandora. Check it out.


    Kathryn Spira, a native of Cleveland who pursued an acting career in NYC and Los Angeles, now pursues free lance writing from Caroga Lake in Fulton County. Previous columns may be accessed at her web site www.kathrynskorner.com