"if it's good news, it must be someone else's"

Thursday, May 21, 2009

552. a brief conversation with jonathan schwartz

i asked jonathan, so when you finally get home from a long day of playing the most obscure songs one can imagine for NPR, what does jonathan schwartz listen to for relaxation?

jonathan said, it seems to me that what appeals to me most, what strikes me to my soul, what satiates my need—no, my desire—to be in harmony with those funny odd shapes brilliantly planted on a few pages of scored paper, is a note that plays with my inner ear in a way that is almost anti-atonal, as if placed against my eardrum by the hands of god, like the precise strum, for instance, of perfectly tuned, bronze steel wires that cascade in wavelengths of wonder, awashed in instant syncopation with the grandest of sounds, life—or so i believe.

he slowly sat back to glow in the satisfaction of an answer well spoken.

i said, holy smokes! i think that was one sentence.
he thought for a moment.
then leaned forward and added, yes, i agree in the most grammatical of ways.

and i thought, gee ... what happened to the guy who just played endless quicksilver messenger service sets and rambled on about the boston red sox on wnew-fm in 1969?
i would have asked but i had other obligations i could not afford to miss later in the week.

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