I was having this dream that the symphony’s soloist couldn’t make it to a concert, so they hired a street musician named Ned to play funk saxophone with the symphony. In my premonition, the audience loved Ned so much they put thousands of ones in Ned’s saxophone case which he left on stage (at Carnegie Hall) and he was able to get off the streets for a few weeks.
In real life a few days later after this premonition, I was at Walt Disney Concert Hall which I inappropriately call “Symphony Hall” since I’m an East Coaster origionally. There were several world class school bands playing who were the best of their class. One band had 63 members and came all the way from Malaysia to play music that was far harder than any high school band could possibly master. Last, there was a professional wind ensemble of 101 members called Symphonic Winds from Woodland Hills, California.
Symphonic Winds of Los Angeles area was so good, I could tell while they were tuning up that they were top notch. Their performance was so good that I was blown away (pun intended). Their performance went from a accoustical gale to an symphonic typhoon which filled the whole hall with glorious sounds. After the performance, I wondered if the musicians had a scotch to “unwind” (another inexpensive pun on wind instruments — sorry.)
But, what if there were a radio show called classical hip-hop. The theme song would have a hip-hop drum beat with a funk saxophonist taking turns playing or dueling with a classically trained violinist and pianist playing contemporary sounding music. What an odd sound idea. But, the diologue of the DJ’s would be even more interesting.
JAZZY: (gravely voice) Hi, this is jazzy Fred, comin’ at ya in New York. How y’all doin today? We have a lively program from some cool classical cats like Vivaldi, Levi-Strauss, and more.
EDWIN: Ah yes, the harmonious sounds of the Baroque era. By the way, that is Strauss, not Levi-Strauss. You wear Levi-Strauss’ work, you listen to Strauss.
JAZZY: Oh… Gotcha. Well, anyway, you know what time it is.
EDWIN: Actually, I don’t, I left my watch at home and I’ll be damned if I know where I left it.
JAZZY: Well, you’ll find it — player.
EDWIN: Actually, I’m more of a listener than a player.
JAZZY: I hope you don’t mind Edwin, but I invited a cool cat up to the studio to hang with us. We go way back.
EDWIN: I wish you hadn’t done that. I’m unfortunately quite allergic to cats.
JAZZY: Well I bet you ain’t allergic to this cat. Boy you should hear him play.
EDWIN: I have a long string right hear, I’m sure we will have ample fun watching this feline play with it.
JAZZY: Here he is. Shorty — how you doin?
SHORTY: I’m doin all—- right….
EDWIN: Hello Mr. Shorty, I was going to inquire as to whether or not you had been neutered, but I see that the question no longer needs to be presented to you.
SHORTY: Neutered? After my first wife cranked out triplets, I considered it now that you mention it. But, my wife wasn’t down with that.
EDWIN: I see. Well just give her a stiff drink and perhaps she’ll appear to be more down.
SHORTY: When I first met Jazzy, I asked him if he played jazz or if he played it straight. He asked me what playing it straight meant. I explained to him that meant classical music. He was sober in those days.
EDWIN: Well indeed yes, there is nothing worse than curvy music, especially in this day and age. But, modern classical music does tend to be rather dissonent. I’m not sure if there is anything straight about it.
SHORTY: So, Jazzy, how do you like my new threads?
EDWIN: Now I see why you call him a cat. He likes threads so much, he must be a cat in human form.
JAZZY: Nah, ya-see, calling a brotha’ a cat is a manner of speaking. It just means a guy who likes to hang out.
EDWIN: So, would a “cat” then chase tails?
JAZZY: Oh my God. You actually used an experession that we would use for the first time. This is a triumph for classical hip-hop, where worlds collide.
EDWIN: Yes, where worlds collide, but without all of the predicted meteor showers and the like.