Friday, November 9, 2007
A Lot of Us Wouldn't Be Here Without The Big Guy
Gordon Wright will be on Alaska's Mt. Rushmore for Musicians. When they get around to making it. He was already more than life-size, all six-foot-seven of him. His heart was a lot bigger.
Mike Dunham and I teamed up to make Gordon even closer to his real size last Saturday in Anchorage. The Anchorage Civic Orchestra commissioned me in the spring of 2007 to write a work honoring Gordon Wright. As I was finishing Sinfonietta, working on a rag about Gordon, I decided to use Mike Dunham's purposefully inelegant and eloquent description of Wright's passing as the rag's theme. The logical next step was to ask Mike to tell the audience about Gordon, and his last ride from cabin to hearse.
Not only did Mike describe the scene in a way that would have gotten Robert Service rolling on the floor laughing, but the orchestra pretty much outdid Mike. Even the tuba player that made Mike tell the story.
I've posted the slightly elegant, very eloquent - and just plain pumped performance of the Anchorage Civic Orchestra playing Sinfonietta, at my garage band site. Here are direct links to the three movements, with three cool pics of the progressive - but, oh so retro - Gordon Wright:
I. Contrasts -
II. Lamentations -
III. Rags - Gordons Last Ride
Thanks to the Gordon Wright Memorial web site for posting many pictures of Maestro Wright on the web.
November 11 - Update: Mike Dunham has written about the Sinfonietta and his talk about Gordon at last week's concert in today's ADN.