Being here in Los Angeles, I have gotten the privilege to play movie scores both in the concert and studio settings. Some of these scores were simply student creations, but others were award winning masterworks. Even if a score doesn’t earn an Academy Award on its own merit, however, it lives in the hearts and memories of the people who love those films. Who in the world wouldn’t immediately recognize the Star Wars theme, or the chromatic motifs of The Twilight Zone? Music is special, because it has the ability to unearth memories that are buried deep within our spirits. This past weekend my fiancé and one of our friends, Guillermo, visited me and there seemed to be music attached to the entire experience.
My radio is still off for Lent, by the way, but we sing and joke around enough for that not to be an issue. They landed around the same time on Friday night at LAX, which was great, and we went straight to the bar. Well, we actually stopped for a little Mexican food first, and walking down the street in our white, purple, and pink outfits (by coincidence) we felt it necessary to channel Gloria Trevi’s “Todos me Miran”, which means “everybody look at me”. The bar we went to is one of my favorites, simply because of the price, and it’s filled with regular working folk who are out to unwind and play a little shuffle board. We stuck out, and it definitely seemed like everybody was looking at us, but I consider that a good thing! It seemed to get late too quickly, so we later retired for the evening.
The next morning I had an AYS rehearsal, followed by a trip to the beach. The weather was great as we drove down Sunset to the Ginger Rogers beach, and we felt fabulous. Hanging out and letting the sun kiss our skin was very Katy Perry “California Girls”-esque, so clearly that tune was in the air. All that was missing was our “bikinis on top” (because me and Guillermo were already rockin’ the daisy dukes). On the ride home from the beach we reminisced about our time together back in Memphis and sang “Our Last Summer” by ABBA. Ahh….bon temps.
We hit up West Hollywood with our friend Dominique that night, and the hot tunes in the clubs are bars were “S&M” by Rihanna and the new single by Lady Gaga, “Judas”. I was D.D. so I didn’t get too crunk, but everyone seemed to have a good time.
On Sunday morning we took the trek up to Studio City and had our bi-monthly champagne brunch with Dominique and her husband. There was a live musician there playing the electric guitar and singing jazz standards, with my favorite being his rendition of “Beyond the Sea” by Frank Sinatra. Following the brunch was shopping in the valley, Malibu, and Santa Monica, and we tied it all together with a late dinner at a Mexican restaurant in Venice called Casablanca. This place also had a live guitar musician, and she sang soft tunes that I thought were very beautiful. Guillermo knew them all.
On Monday I took them back to the airport, and the gloomy weather matched my mood. It’s hard to go back to work after such a great weekend, and all I seemed to want to do was to go back to Memphis with Andy. The day was rough, but I made it through. That night I actually went to an oboe recital, and one of the pieces (the Poulenc trio for oboe, bassoon, and piano) matched the ups of the weekend and the downs of the following day. The piece ending with a mood of comfort, promise, and a sort of “near the finish line” feeling, and it snapped me back into focus. I’m now ready to press through these last couple of weeks in L.A. and complete the first half of my master’s degree.
With all that being said, take a moment and think about the music that unlocks memories for you. What songs remind you of your childhood? Which tunes unleash the saddest moments of your life? What artist represents the summation of everything you’ve done until now? I can’t answer those questions with single answers, but I’ve been reminded that, in the words of Robin Williams as “Genie”, there’s nothing in the world quite like a friend!