analytical Q May-Aug 2000 Sept-Dec 2000 Jan-Apr 2001 Discussion

The Diary
Anne Ku

20 January 2001 Saturday



It is unusual to meet professional musicians willing to sightread with me. Who am I, but an amateur? At a recent concert, I met a pianist, a violinist, and an operatic tenor. In the spur of the moment, we agreed to get together to play. Yes, to sightread music and to perform our own compositions.

The violinist and pianist had to cancel at the last minute. But the tenor made it and sightread my piece "Watching Together." At my request, he also sang "O Sole Mio" acapella. It lifted my heart so. We had more performers than audience.

The modern dancer from Puerto Rico and the Houstonian composer/pianist improvised for us. They spoke to each other through music and dance. She got up and moved to his beat. He played to her twists and turns. It was the first time that I had witnessed such freedom of expression in a performance.

Tonight was not confined to musicians only. One lady surprised us all by doing her own stand-up comedy acts. She turned into a Southern waitress named Ray Jean. In the second act, she told a funny story about her husband and herself: "her bio-rogical crock is ticking away."

Then it was my turn. I introduced Full Moon on Maui, a simple piano solo I had composed on my sister's piano. Then I moved on to Autumn Shivers, Summer Solstice, and Winter in July. It was time, my audience said, to compose a piece for Spring. Ah! But spring has never arrived in the last four years!

Watching Together
Full Moon on Maui
Autumn Shivers
Summer Solstice at Sunset
Winter in July
I have been organising soirees since I was a kid. Only then, it was called parties. Getting together with other musicians, whether professional or amateur, was a normal thing. What else do you do? Just sit there and chit chat? The best kind of soiree has a little of everything - like my farewell party in Houston in 1997: great food, drinks (I had handpicked wines from the Napa Valley and ordered a case to be shipped), great company (diversity of interests), and great music. The best kind of music is live. And the best kind of party is also LIVE.