20 April 2024
Entertainment Music

How California Turned America’s Modern Music Capital

CLAIRE CHASE (flutist) I grew up in north San Diego County, and went to public faculties the place there was no music program. A number of my musical schooling occurred as an alternative on the San Diego Youth Symphony, which is, I believe, a very vital cultural group. It has this storied and actually progressive historical past. California is that this maze of contradictions. It has this D.I.Y. fervor — and I don’t imply within the company, Silicon Valley co-opting of that phrase — that gave beginning to and sustains each inventive group: Asian Improv Arts, the Tape Music Middle and Pauline Oliveros, Terry Riley’s “In C” being a very D.I.Y. live performance.

I’ve these lovely recollections of Pauline barefoot along with her accordion embodying this you-can-be-whatever-you-want-to-be feeling that’s so usually Californian and delightful and true. She was this queer iconoclast doing her factor but additionally neighborhood constructing.

GILMER After I was going to maneuver out right here, somebody instructed me, “No matter you may dream, it’s potential.” I actually assume that’s true. I don’t know the place else I might have opened the Rady Shell [an open-air stage on the San Diego Bay] and began a corridor renovation inside 5 years.

RAFAEL PAYARE And anybody can see us on the Shell as a result of it’s outdoors within the park. We’re rehearsing, and there’s somebody strolling their canine.

SALONEN After I did my debut with the L.A. Philharmonic [in 1984], I’d by no means been to this nation. They put me up within the Biltmore, which in these days had a collection with a grand piano. I attempted to go for a stroll, and the doorman stated, “Shall I name you cab?” I stated I’d simply stroll round a bit, and he stated, “I don’t advocate that.” Anyway, there was an older cellist who got here as much as me after the second rehearsal and stated, “Welcome to your new dwelling.” I began coming again each season, and when André Previn stepped down, there was this letter from the board that modestly stated they wish to develop the L.A. Phil into the world’s finest orchestra, would I wish to be part of that course of?

One morning a lot later, after I was residing in Santa Monica, I acquired up actually early, and my youngsters have been nonetheless asleep. I sat within the kitchen, made myself a espresso and thought, What is that this bizarre feeling? And I spotted: I’m pleased. I be happy, not straight-jacketed by some form of European, dusty modernist discourse.